Your FBA Reimbursement Process?

The last few times I have tried to get reimbursed for lost inventory, Amazon will not admit their mistakes and I am frustrated with time spent pursuing it vs. time I could be doing something else.
What is your process of clawing back what Amazon owes you for lost and damaged items? Do you hope Amazon is honorable enough to auto refund you without prodding? Do you have a process to DIY your requests for refunds? Do you use a service?

Without you explaining or giving examples of your situations it’s hard to reply as each specific problem requires a specific procedure. Requesting reimbursement for a FBA customer return is different than lost inventory which is different than lost inbound.

Don’t have to, as we have procedures that keep us close to 100%. The only one that gives us a problem is missing LPN#'s. Never expect a sociopathic greed machine to do something honorable.

Yes, and they are specific to the problem. Post an example and I will be happy to walk you through it.

Absolutely not. The number of suspended accounts on the OSFE for “repeated reimbursement claims” will keep us from ever using a service. They provide no guarantees as to the accuracy of what they provide you and request you claim, and double checking their work makes it pointlessly redundant.

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In my own experience, the reimbursement problems most often not honored by Amazon are FBA items that are counted in the receiving process and disappearing before or shortly after reaching a fulfillment center. Amazon does not reimburse, saying all items are accounted for when using the Research Missing Units for the shipment.
ytd

I have also opened cases outside this process, even when presented with the Inventory Ledger that shows the items received, Amazon does not reimburse.

A couple years ago, it was a quick and easy process, point out their error, they pay you for the missing units.

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We have encounter this as well on recent shipments, and I have seen a lot of posts on the NSFE of others running into it as well. I also had to fight with them to get reimbursed because it seemed like they weren’t looking at any of the attachments, one being the Inventory Ledger report. I had to copy the text version of the report into my message to get them to see it. In their previous responses to me, they would go on and on about how accurate their receiving process was, so I quoted it back to them, saying that they couldn’t refute the accurate receiving their team had done initially receiving the full amount. I think they got tired of dealing with me because they came back saying that they still had no record of receiving the missing units but were issuing the refund as a gesture of goodwill.

If someone has more successful way of dealing with these shortages that are reflected by negative receipts on the Inventory Ledger report, I would love to hear it. I have been trying to push the mods on the NSFE to get an answer, and Bryce claims he is trying to look into it.

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I see it a lot when shipments arrive at hub is counted in full and then transferred to other warehouses. When the shipments display missing units they eventually pop up in the problem FCs. I think it has to do with an automated time frame of when they close the shipments.

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Ya, we just keep posting the inventory receiving reports showing the inventory history until they send a message like this…


image
Insert inventory reports…
Result…

Our problem is the time wasted, as they eventually claw the money back when the find the inventory a few months later.

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Which is the precise reason we write off lost inventory based on captured receipt records once shipments are closed.

The reality is, if you sent it, and it has an FNSKU on it, Amazon will eventually find it.

The way we do it, we get the tax benefit with records to back it up, and the inventory eventually back to sell.

Don’t tell Uncle Sam

It’s a very minimal number. FBA does a good job by us thankfully. The one thing I have a hard time complaining about.

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This is why we play the long game with this kind of thing, pushing out claims for 90 days most of the time, because the overwhelming majority of the time they find the stuff.

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East coast I have very few issues, whenever a shipment is sent to Cali or Texas is when stuff gets lost for 4 months. For me lost shipments are a waste of time to fight, they eventually find them and its not normally more than a case pack of 6 or 12 that go missing.

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Based on what I used to see on the OSFE, it does seem like things outside of the east coast are more difficult.

With that said, TEB9 was an epic disaster when they first opened their doors and ABE8 wasn’t much better.

AVP1 was the best but we got moved to the 2 above when they opened. Happy to say that after about 6 months, both got their acts together and everything has been great. Used to cringe when we got TEB9 over AVP1 when it first opened. Knew we were looking at weeks vs. hours for a check in on received shipments.

Once had a shipment checked in and fully counted less than 24 hours after we dropped it off to be shipped. That was cool.

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I remember that debacle - from 2015 to 2020, ABE8 was the primary East Coast destination for most of our FBA Inbound Shipments, and we had precious few problems over those years with that DC, but it all went to pot when TEB9 suffered through its interminable rollout @ the height of the COVID-19 Crisis scare.

They eventually righted the ship, and have become exemplary again - but the available evidence recently seen in NSFE discussions suggests that the same old bottlenecks in Mid-America (Memphis/Joliet/DFW) and the Far West (SoCal/Phoenix/LV) seem to be cropping up again.

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Oh, we had that happen once and it was shocking to say the least. These days, its usually 1-2 days with AVP1 but TEB9 can be hit or miss. Same batch of deliveries can have some items check-in next day while other parts take a week. So odd.
Recently we have seen some items being kicked to ORF2. They seem to be ok (2-3 day check-in time), but their delivery always has that notorious “delivery have been delayed” excuse for a few days.
Can’t complain at the moment. Lets see how this holiday plays out…

Tom

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Define recently. From 9-25 we can’t get anything checked in that was shipped and can’t get BOL’s for open shipments.

We even have an LTL shipment that says it’s been picked up when it hasn’t. Still can’t print the BOL for it. Generated but can’t print (waiting for information from the carrier WHICH IS AMAZON)… 3 other LTL shipments are sitting at our warehouse with unprintable BOL’s. I’ve never had that happen before and I’m not seeing anything about this on the NSFE so a bit concerned.

Not good. We are trying to be good little boys and do what Amazon tells us (Get your Q4 ish in by 10-26. They aren’t living up to their end of the bargain. Shocker…

Have you considered using small parcel? Those pretty much always get delivered and received. It seems like amazon holds up LTL shipments when they’re running over capacity.

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Yes, have a backup going out tomorrow and went with the recommended split to give us 3 chances of getting a check in somewhere but SPD is a losing battle with our volume. It’s also a big waste of time and $.

Maybe Amazon shouldn’t send out panicked emails multiple times about 10-26 and just let nature take its course with natural selection where sellers that know how to run a business win and those that don’t, don’t…

After what sellers went through the last 3 years with FBA inventory limits and problems I can just imagine how much is trying to be inbounded right now. I believe someone at Amazon made a big miscalculation about just how much inventory would rush in after sending that warning shot. Get your crap in by 10-26 for essentially Q4. All of it, because we won’t be doing any receiving / transferring in Nov and Dec. That’s basically what that email says in a nutshell.

So we had 2020, 2021, 2022, and now 2023.

Let’s see if they can get this right in 2024 because 2023 is another FBA bust.

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Yeah, SPD does cost a bit more, but it’s still a lot better than missing out on sales due to them refusing to pick up any LTL shipments.

There’s some items I sell decent volume of where shipping LTL would be cheaper, but the extra hassle of scheduling an LTL pickup makes me choose SPD over that.

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We have 26K units ready to be picked up. Not sure the UPS guy would take that many shippers on our daily pickup. LOL

Unless you are arranging your own freight, scheduling is taken care of for you for partnered carriers or Amazon Logistics LTL.

9 months of the year LTL service is beyond excellent. Pickups within 48 hours, deliveries / check ins 48 hour after that. I suspect that the fact that we are located smack dab in the middle of 3 Amazon DC’s (all within 20 miles or so), is why things normally go so smoothly for us.

Amazon just hasn’t figured out how to handle the most important 3 months of the year yet.

2018 and 2019 Q4 was essentially no different than the rest of those years for us in terms of FBA. Yea, they used to send out notices that things would be delayed but they never really were for us.

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It also is a pain when you operate close to maximum because pending shipments count against your total inventory even when Amazon is broken.

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When we have more boxes to go out than will easily fit in our Ground driver’s truck, we call the local office and ask for a ‘pre-hit’. They send someone with a box truck and we just roll on pallets stacked with boxes with SPD UPS labels. It gets sent to the hub and handled as if it was picked up by our Ground driver.

I’m at the point now where the 2 main people at the office know my name and voice. I try to give them a heads up when I know we’ll have extra packages during the week.

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Inasmuch as we’d rather not spend $1300 vs $350 to ship this stuff, it’s starting to sound like a good idea…

Trying to leverage our SAS manager at Amazon to figure this out first because those plans are way beyond being able to be cancelled…

Just want to make sure there’s not some glitch that happened with these BOL’s. An answer is all we are looking for. “We will pickup in a month” something…

Don’t like operating blind…

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