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July 1, 2019

Amazon FBA seller refunds with Ben Chambers

FBA seller refunds  with Ben Chambers (operations manager) of  Refund hunter

Why do people need Refund Hunter/Refund Hunter? 

Amazon FBA seller refunds is a real issue. Often sellers often have unclaimed funds. That’s because they:

  • Don’t have know-how
  • Don’t have time to get that money back

Who uses Refund Hunter?

Wide range of customers need to get FBA seller refunds:

  • Corporations doing $10’s of millions
  • Lots of big Chinese manufacturers these days.
  • Anyone who can’t scale out a dedicated team of people filing 1000s of cases over year (Some other people have VAs that manually file claims)

Do you support European markets?

Yes – Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain);  North American markets (USA, Mexico, Canada); and  Japan are all supported.

What are the sources of FBA seller refunds  that Amazon owes?

FBA seller refunds come from 3 basic causes:

  1. Warehouse discrepancies (lost inventory)
  2. Customer returns
  3. Inbound shipments

Under that they branch into 3 fields.

Which is the biggest cause of lost in FBA seller refunds?

Lost inventory!

What’s the problem with lost inventory?

Things get lost in Amazon; Amazon requests 30 days to find product or reimburse FBA seller for it.
After 30 days, Amazon lets you raise a case.
Refund Hunter look at the inventory  (18 months of numbers)

  • Lost report
  • Found report
  • Reimbursements reports

Inventory adjustments report – in warehouse itself
For people who don’t have a lot of SKUs, this isn’t an issue;  but if you have 4000-5000 SKUs, it’s a big problem.

With say 10-20 SKUs, what are the DIY solutions to getting FBA seller refunds ?

Easiest to find is lost and damaged inventory.

Lost inventory

Simplest way – video 11 minute walk through – click here.
Ben makes a pivot table in excel. Move fields around – sum number at end.
Do It yourself for 2 months to test it.

Inventory codes – for movements and descriptions:

F – found; M – misplaced
Put in date range – downloaded report
100 lost events, 98 found events
Online is cleaner but only 50 lines
Cross reference with Inventory report – if that number isn’t equal, then some units are lost.
From there, file a ticket, and give Amazon the details.
Sometimes if sellers are just starting out selling on Amazon, Ben will teach them how to do this themselves.

Relatively DIY method

  • Download excel file
  • Create a pivot table
  • Contact Ben on a one-to-one basis!

Refund Hunter is for when people start scaling.

Inbound Shipments

Easiest ones to do on own.
Amazon in the last year has started cracking down on paperwork needed for inbound shipment reconciliation.
The hard thing is Amazon starting to ask for paperwork for any level of discrepancy
Manual invoices are a pain.
You’ll need a Stamped inbound Amazon proof of delivery – get from logistics provider.
Ideally a scan of a piece of paper and proof
At least an electronic version
Even with just 1 item out of 2000 units, Amazon wants paperwork from manufacturer!
Obviously, this is most  valuable for bigger sellers to get off their plate, especially if they are doing several shipments a week.
Refund Hunter will try to file on behalf of sellers.

Customer Returns

Another tough area because of

  • Seller initiated refunds
    • Simple thing is detecting when customer been refunded and not returned product
    • Hard thing is to know whether Amazon initiated the refund or the customer
  • Sometimes the seller will refund things themselves
    • Amazon will say – you’re ineligible for a reimbursement
  • Some companies are aware of this and they also provide return labels to own warehouses NOT back to Amazon
    • For them, they already know what they are doing
    • Other sellers do put everything through Amazon
    • Especially higher volume folks

For FBA , Amazon is supposed to handle reimbursements.
However, if customer contacts seller directly, seller often refunds them directly.
Issue is if that customer does not return product, Amazon will know seller refunded customer and won’t reimburse the seller.
Often seller will say – “Don’t worry about returning product”. But this communication is not included in reports.

  1. look at refund report –

reports>payments>transaction report – sort refunded orders

  1. customer return report

Generated whenever a customer goes back
2 FCs for returns Las Vegas and Kentucky

  1. Also check a 2nd report – inventory event report

Unsellable inventory

How should seller handle the mix of volume and detail?

Download stuff into a pre made excel spreadsheet

How does Refund Hunter handle the mix of volume and detail?

Their software crunches through a lot of stuff.
The report reading is the automated part.
Also have account managers who

  • will double check on that
  • Raise the tickets to be filed – raising Cases with Amazon

Values you add is understanding the level of understanding of a particular SC employee

  • They see 100s/1000s  of different cases with Amazon
  • Ben does a lot of training
  • Deciphering what Amazon agents say is important
  • Realising which Amazon agents know what they are doing.

Ben’s Background

Ben Chambers – education background – teacher for almost 10 years
Started working with an Amazon seller by chance.
Ben worked for a seller Hitesh – did it for 3 ½ years – Ben did a lot of that for him manually.
Hitesh has a friend Ed who is CEO of Refund Hunter – mentioned to Ed – build me one of these reimbursement services
Had used others in the past but they weren’t good.
Refund Hunter needed someone with seller central experience. Ben was the man for the job!


Reimbursement product – charge 25% of what they get back.

How to use Refund Hunter

Seller central API access
Amazon’s info and api is not always same as see on seller central
Access different reports
Handle case creation and followup
Take 25% of whatever gets reimbursed
By invoice – detailed invoice with case and reimbursement ID.

To explore working with Ben and his colleagues, contact Refund Hunter Here


To read and listen to Ben on handling Customer Returns, CLICK HERE. 


Michael Veazey 0:04
Welcome ladels and jelly spoons. Welcome to the show. Today I’m going to be interviewing somebody about an very important topic. So today I’m talking to Ben chambers, who’s the operations manager of refunds Hunter, when by sales zoom. And they, as the name implies, deal with refunds for people on Amazon and anyone who sold an Amazon more than 10 minutes will realize this is actually not a small task. This is a huge area where 10s or even hundreds of thousands for serious seller of your dollars or pounds will be locked up in Amazon and these guys can help get it back. So important task. Ben, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me, Michael. So Ben, tell us a little bit more about your background and how you came to be working for salesy.

Benjamin Chambers 1:35
So I actually come from an education background. I was teaching English as a second language, mostly overseas in Asia. I had a short stint in between jobs while I was back home in the US. So to occupy my time, I started working for an Amazon seller. And first I was doing the warehousing, the packaging the product, picking the product, then I moved into doing product listings product photography, and started doing the reimbursements for the seller as well, manually filing tickets and finding these discrepancies. And then from there, actually, the owner of the Amazon seller, he actually had a friend who was just starting sales him and they needed an operations manager who kind of knew some of the ins and outs of selling on Amazon. So I got referred over the position. And here I am.

Michael Veazey 2:25
Excellent. Well, that’s quite interesting. I was just reflecting as you’re saying that on there. Because I did English as a foreign language teacher as well. But I did that in the UK and other people came here. But it’s funny how really competent people they say cream rises to the top. So you started off doing packaging and stuff. And now you’re in charge of a pretty major operation. So just goes to show people always race and there aren’t that many, in my experience having hired a lot of VA. So I’ve got one that’s working for me in the Philippines just absolutely does everything that intimately asks intelligent, intelligent questions of I’ve given him very stupid, avoided task. And yeah, but that’s fantastic to hear. Well, it’s quite a title rise. So tell us a bit about sales zoom. So why, you know, surely Amazon owes money and refund, they’ll just do it when they I mean, why does anyone need a complicated approach to refunds tell us more about why that’s needed.

Benjamin Chambers 3:13
So the concept of is actually very simple. It’s, you look at how many items are damaged, and you look at how many items Amazon reimburse you for damaged, it’s a pretty simple concept. But when you start throwing in, you know, these items are damaged. But then Amazon said they weren’t damaged, and they put them back to the syllable position, or they were damaged, and they got lost. So they’re reimbursed as lost, it starts kind of just exponentially getting more and more difficult. And then you start throwing in customer return items that weren’t returned within the window frame, the 45 window frame that Amazon tells you to wait, or items that were refunded. But Amazon refunded the customer outside the window frame. And so you got to kind of email Amazon say, Hey, you know, you refunded this person six months after they purchased it, you know, you’re not supposed to do that. And kind of just knowing there’s quite a few different scenarios. And so you have to start cross referencing, you know, plethora of reports, you know, different time ranges. And so for any kind of seller, if you just have one or two skews, it’s something that you can really stay on top of. But you know, once you start throwing in 510 skews, and you’ve been doing this for a year, it’s not something that you can do every single day, it’s something that you can maybe do, once a month, once every three months, you can have a VA do it. But again, you know, you’re not going to be paying a VA to be downloading reports every single day, and just looking at the numbers. So this is where refund really comes in. It’s something that we are monitoring every single day. And if we don’t find any opportunities, you’re never charged. So we’ve had some customers signed up, and three months later, they’re sending me emails, and I’ve not seen you guys send any tickets on my account yet, you know, is something wrong? And I’ll take a look in and I’ll tell them, we just haven’t found the opportunity yet. But you know, there’s no reason to turn our services because you’re not paying anything. So

no monthly fees,

Michael Veazey 5:06
makes an awful lot of sense here, that’s really very good. Actually, exactly. Most services make their money but having monthly fees or any kind of management service, right? That even it comes down to in the real world, the old property manager, which in the UK, we have a real estate, so you pull it out in a oftentimes I’ll take 10% of your monthly revenue for nothing. So, you know, it’s really here. But yet also the way you’ve described it, I’m completely convinced that I couldn’t add No, it’s not something I’m ever going to be bothered, shall we say to do, because it just sounds horrendous. I mean, you know, I fortunately have not had horrendous amounts of refunds money to me or anything too complex myself personally. But I know that people with accounts doing several hundred thousand dollars and literally over 110, hundred and $15,000, particularly around sort of January, February time when Christmas is awful lot of stuff has happened. So yeah, a lot of sense that you do want to outsource this, just the way you’re describing it took about using a VA sure you could use a VA, but you could have a crystal clear process. And that whole thing sounds incredibly messy, so very hard to outsource. And it makes a lot of sense to me, my experience with outsourcing is that once you very, very clear, simple process, very easy to outsource and very rewarding. And when it’s a really muddy like that, and there’s a lot of edge cases that you just, you know, it just becomes a nightmare to outsource because you outsource it to somebody, they come back with a question you have to then dig deep the deep dive into all this and then come out with the answer. And it’s taken you 15 hours to do that. And then five hours to raise the VA he didn’t come up with the answer. So yeah, I’ve been there with all of that financial stuff. Great sell it? Well, I think it’s pretty easy to convince anyone who’s been there for five minutes that you guys do something that they definitely need a little bit more about who uses our sales zoom? And what sort of it what kind of customers you got.

Benjamin Chambers 6:53
So the majority of our customers are actually Chinese companies. And the reason why is there are other companies out there that have been in the US marketplace already for all the US sellers. And out I mean, five, six years already, for some reason or another? Well, I think the main answer is, you know, to get a Chinese customer, it’s very relationship based. So for a Chinese manufacturer, you know, you can’t just cold call the Chinese manufacturer and say, Hey, I have this product use it, you know, even if you can show them numbers or not, if they don’t know you, if they don’t have any kind of trust with you, they’re never going to use your product. So going back to the Amazon seller that I used to work for, he had a really good friend. And so he had, he was a trying all these different reimbursement products, and was just saying, Hey, you know, all of these, they’re terrible. You know, they get some, you know, they get some of my reimbursements. But he’s like, I know I have, there’s more opportunity out there. So he told his friend, Ed, who’s the CEO of sales, and now he said, Hey, Ed, you can build me a better product, which is what I did. And Ed has roots in China. So knowing that there is a, you know, huge opportunity out in China, he kind of came out to China and started scooping up a lot of the big sellers out here who most of them actually didn’t even know that this reimbursement product even existed. So it was kind of like, you know, like, oh, there’s this huge goldmine out here of all the sellers who have no idea that there’s reimbursement services out there. So we scooped up a lot. So we have a lot of very large manufacturers, who are our biggest clients. For some of that, I mean, the amount of volume that they’re getting. So we just recently had an $89,000 ticket go through for one of our sellers. This was November 25. This is just a few weeks ago. But you know, I mean, they’re doing 10s of thousands of units, it goes to show that the largest manufacturers in China trust us with their accounts, you know, because a lot of our ticket filing, we make sure we stay within Amazon policies, you know, because Amazon doesn’t like the excessive of, you know, the excessive ticket filing, and these kind of things. So we number one is, you know, we make sure we stay within Amazon policies, as well as keeping all their account information safe. So that’s kind of the main profile of our sellers now, but we’re definitely trying to, you know, reach out in, have this product out there for as many people as possible. So, as far as reimbursement wise, of course, the higher volume you’re doing, the more you’re going to get back. The benefit for smaller sellers, is that going back to that monthly fee? You know, if we don’t find anything, you know, you’re paying nothing for us to monitor your account. So it’s it’s kind of a whether you’re big, whether you’re small, you know, we feel that we, you know, we try to fit the profile of as many sellers as possible.

Michael Veazey 9:51
Yeah, makes a lot of sense. One of the things if there’s no minimum fee, there’s no sort of cutoff point below which your service doesn’t make sense, really. So that’s Yeah, makes complete sense. So question, then do you support you obviously support amazon.com? I guess, which is the US Amazon, you support the European markets and other marketplaces around the world as well.

Benjamin Chambers 10:09
Korea and Japan,

Michael Veazey 10:10
and Japan. Okay. So Europe, USA,

Benjamin Chambers 10:12
Japan, North America, Europe, and we are working to try to get into the other marketplaces as well.

Michael Veazey 10:18
Yeah. And I guess for the majority of the listeners, I mean, depending on exactly who’s listening, I never quite know, there’s probably got one download in every single country in the in the world if you look at the stats, but yeah, I doubt there’s going to be many people trying to sell in India or China, because although big markets, I mean, really hard football’s many obvious reasons. Okay, great. So let’s talk about the so we talked about the business, the holy half, you know, the cell sales in business, and who you help. So let’s get into the Amazon side. So what are the sources of money that Amazon sellers, what you know, what ways is trigger Amazon? sellers money.

Benjamin Chambers 10:53
So the three basic, you can break it down to kind of three basic areas. One is the inbound situation, so the seller sending the product into the Amazon warehouse. So that check in process, which is what most sellers can do, whenever you record, you can also those will reconcile their shipments on their own, which is, you know, I sent in 100 products, Amazon only counted 90. And then Amazon is saying, Well, you know, we only have 90, so we’re only gonna credit you 90, you know, that you know, and, you know, you gotta go, you gotta provide documentation, whatnot to prove that you sent 100 products. So there’s that situation, then you have the warehouse situation, products being moved around, damaged, lost. And that’s the biggest area is the actually the biggest one is probably last last is much more than damaged, as far as the units going on in the warehouse, and then you have the kind of outbound situation. So that’s more dealing with the shipment out to the customer. So then that’s dealing with the, you know, the product was damaged by the carrier, you’re on the outbound or the product wasn’t delivered to the correct address, the customer having a return until the customer return when it’s actually quite deep, because you have number one, the customer gets refunded, but doesn’t return the product. Then from there, you have the customers refunded after the allowable window. Very, it doesn’t happen often. But on occasion, Amazon will actually give more money than the customer paid. Right? So you know, they only pay 10 pounds for product, but for some reason Amazon reimburse them 12 pounds, and you’re kind of like, Wait a second. Why are they getting more money back?

Michael Veazey 12:37
So let’s, let’s dive into each area. In turn, I think that’s okay, Ben, because you can get a bit complex quite swiftly. And, you know, you’ve got to make sure people can hang on to it. So first of all, you said last image is the biggest let’s address the biggest one first, right. So what is the problem? What actually happens there? I mean, I suppose is kind of obvious in some degrees, they don’t know where it is. But I mean, what, what’s going on with that, and whether the solution.

Benjamin Chambers 13:04
So it can get lost in any number of ways of, for example, Amazon might seem to remember it within the warehouse itself, as wonderfully automated as we would like to imagine it, you know, there’s not these giant robots that automatically move these things around, it’s, you know, these warehouses are full of people who are picking up your product and moving it to a different location within the warehouse. And people make mistakes, you know, they put it in the wrong location, or it gets left off in some corner, and it doesn’t get found. And so the just the biggest thing is, you know, Amazon typically will find the most of the product within 30 days when they realize it’s missing, but that other 5% of the time, that they don’t find it, and that they don’t automatically reimburse you for it is, this is where we’re coming in, and monitoring.

Michael Veazey 13:58
So how long do you find something like that? I mean, if I’m doing it trying to do it myself, how would I find out? Okay, by definition, they don’t like it up on the system, because their system doesn’t recognize that it’s lost or something like that. I mean, how do I start finding it without driving down to an Amazon warehouse somewhere.

Benjamin Chambers 14:17
So in their, in their reports, they need to keep an active listing of how many units you have. And so if they know you’re supposed to have, for example, hundred units in this bin, and they go by, and there’s not 100 units in the bin, they would, you know, if you have an ind that they can mark, there’s 10 units that have been lost, for them to go around the warehouse trying to find it. And after 30 days, if they don’t, they’re supposed to automatically reimburse you for it, which again, most of the time, they will, right, but it’s those few times that they don’t, and, you know, they can definitely add up over the course of 18 months, because Amazon will allow you to go back 18 months to reconcile these discrepancies. So, you know, if you have 10 product going in every month, you know, that’s still 180 products that are moving around, it’s going to one warehouse or doing a warehouse transfer, they’re being sent up to customers, so numbers can definitely add up.

Michael Veazey 15:13
Okay, so So basically, you need to look at the inventory report and see how many they’ve done a bin check, how many units have actually found, how many place to be, and whether that if there’s a discrepancy, okay, there’s, there’s officially lost in the tree and the policies that will fund you if they don’t find it within 30 days. So basically looking for discrepancy between that missing in check number of units and whether they paid before or not correct. That already does sound like a giant pain that I would refer to frequently. I mean, I’m sure that Amazon owes me some money from some past things based on this conversation, but I don’t think it’s been enough to be painful. But yeah, it does sound like a painful process. Okay, so basically, you look at the last report and the final report and what specific for those who want to do DIY, because I’m very into their details. So what are the exact reports you need to look at this? Okay, so this one

Benjamin Chambers 16:03
is the inventory, adjustments, report. Inventory adjustments. Alright. So inventory adjustments is the report that is showing everything that’s happening inside of Amazon’s warehouses, right. So there are two reports of inventory event report and an inventory adjustment inventory event is kind of if you imagine the warehouse and things going in and out of the warehouse, where our inventory adjustment is everything that’s happening within the warehouse itself. So that’s damaged items, lifestyle items. So the most complicated part with the last is the holding account. I don’t know if you’re too familiar with your holding accounts, I have no idea about money. Yes,

Michael Veazey 16:41
I do tell me more holding

Benjamin Chambers 16:42
accounts is the best way that I can describe it is Amazon’s magic bucket that they use to give you physical inventory. It’s a complicated mess. But it’s it’s something that you again, if you just straight up, look at your inventory adjustment reports, and you only look at Lost and Found Amazon will say oh, you also need to look at your holding account. And you also need to look at relabeling of products. So there’s for the Lost and Found you actually have to look at about 1234 or five different categories to reconcile just lost and found

Michael Veazey 17:19
who that sounds really nice

Unknown Speaker 17:21
to have to say.

Michael Veazey 17:23
It’s, I mean, most of the time with this, you know, my approach to most of this stuff, which I get experts on to give you know good content, and should people wish to use their service, then you know, they do and in most cases they don’t, that’s fine. I’m really not into heavy pictures, because I don’t think it’s effective for anyone we’re trying to provide value and an interest for the all the listeners all the time. This has to say this comes to one of those services where I personally would just be grateful to just hand it off to somebody and not know how it is. Because it is very painful from what you’re describing. In that having said that, we should begin to those who wants to do stuff themselves. Because a lot of people want great in house systems in US VA and it’s fair enough, we ought to dig into but just yeah, I have to say that anyone again, he’s dug around for more than five minutes in the back end of Amazon with the inventory side. It’s just a whole different world of reports. And many, which as you say do not do what they do they seem to do on the surface. Because you got these magical things, as you said, the holding account that that throws everything else into question is kind of not exactly fiction is based on reality. But it’s not as it’s not as basic as you’d like somehow Is it like a lot, right? So let’s talk about some DIY solutions for people with a 10 to 20 skews, because it starts to get to the point where you really going to have to outsource that, I guess, what’s the easiest. So we will talk about the so that we’ve got the three areas the last inventory, customer returns inbound shipments, let’s deal with the last stuff first, what’s the simplest way to cut through all these things was the sort of simplest possible path through.

Benjamin Chambers 18:56
So the simplest way is actually made a kind of a demo video. I don’t know if maybe later I can give you a link to this online video. And you can include it in the podcast, that would be perfect. Yeah, yeah. I actually made it just for this podcast.

Michael Veazey 19:12
Oh, that’s right. Yeah, amazing.

Benjamin Chambers 19:15
Yes, that was kind of, it’s about 11 minute walk through of downloading the reports. And I make a pivot table in Microsoft Excel. And so from Excel, you can kind of quickly move all these different fields around. So you can choose these categories. And then you can kind of get this some number at the end, and then compare it with the reimbursement report. That video, it’s a pretty, it’s a very watered down version, you know, of the very simple, this is lost, this is found this is reimbursed. It does get deeper, but you know, the in the simplest form that you can, it gives you a basic idea of how you can start doing this yourself. Dave and tell some of when I go to some of these meetups, and I meet some sellers who are just starting, I always tell them, do it yourself for a couple months. Because you know, to really learn how the process goes into the end to see what Amazon is doing. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you’ll just say, I’m tired of doing this myself. And then that’s whenever you sign up with refund.

Michael Veazey 20:22
Advice. I think in the first of all, I mean, props to you for actually, you know, as a service provider for saying do this service yourself. That’s unusual to hear. But I also think it’s quite the right way to do it. Because whenever I outsource something that I haven’t done myself, however badly, I don’t understand the process enough. And then I have either unreasonable expectations that make magic happen when they got right. Or I overpaid for service that actually is very simple. And I think in this case, it sounds like the opposite extreme. But I really great advice. And thank you, we will definitely put the video up. So just if you’re listening to this, get over to the podcast for the moment we use amazing FBA links could simple amazing sba.com forward slash sales zoom si le s Zed or Z, ro n for mother. So we’ll we’ll put up this interview there. And we’ll put up definitely link to the video. I was just thinking this sounds like a job for video. So you’ve been there before? It’s very kind. Thank you. So can you talk for those who are podcast listeners at the moment? Can you talk us through the sort of very basics without obviously do the pivot table? In my words only that would be a bit scary.

Benjamin Chambers 21:29
So you dumb it. So I don’t know if you’re familiar with the inventory codes?

Michael Veazey 21:33
Or you don’t really know Sorry, I feel very ignorant. So the idea is you sell Oh, no, no, no,

Benjamin Chambers 21:39
you don’t actually. Yeah, I mean, it’s something that’s kind of it’s buried away that if you don’t look it up, you’ll know, you know, you’ll never come across it in your just regular Amazon selling daily life. So Amazon uses letters and codes for their inventory movements and descriptions. So I’m Amazon category F for found and for misplaced. So essentially just take your skew and you punch in a date. So when you’re downloading the report, you can put in the date range, again. So this is for a downloaded report, not the online, when you look online, it’s a little bit cleaner. The limitation is you’re only allowed 50 lines of events, and it’s harder to support through. So in a downloaded version, you’re essentially just taking you know, you have a skew a, and you would just line up for the last 18 months, there have been 100 last events and 98 found events, you would take those numbers and then you would cross reference with the reimbursement report. And you’ll just see how many times has Amazon reimburse me for skew a, for the reason, last warehouse. And if that number doesn’t equal out to your total 100 lost, then you would just file a ticket and you give Amazon the details. Here’s the 100 last events, here’s the of the 98 found events and there are no reimbursement events for long warehouse, you need to give me reimbursement for to. And essentially Amazon will look at the details and say we agree here’s reimbursement for two products. And then you do the same thing for the damaged you would go to choose the damage category and do the exact same process, compare it with the reimbursement report and find the difference.

Michael Veazey 23:21
Alright, thanks. Well, I think your video is going to be pretty handy for that because as I said, we’ve touched on it. But this could be very good for case folks. But if you’re listening in your car, do not click now to the video because I don’t want to be rude accidents. But yeah, I definitely want to check out this very kind of you to do that. So let’s come back with them to them. So being think that in last is obviously very big. The other things you mentioned were inbound shipments and customer returns are still with inbound shipments. First that sounds to me like the slightly simpler.

Benjamin Chambers 23:50
It’s much simpler to the Amazon already makes it very simple for you to do through their interface. Because just when you go through your inbound shipment reconciliation page after your shipment has checked in, and I think Amazon makes you wait 14 days after the first product comes in before they kind of show you any numbers, which I know also that there’s probably gonna be a lot of sellers out there who’ve way more experienced than I am. But whenever I was working for Titan rig last year, but a year and a half ago, the reconciliation process was super easy. Amazon almost never required any kind of paperwork. They just took your word for it. If you’re like I sent you 100, you only kind of 95 they’ll be like sure here’s reimbursement for five product release the last year so they they’re making it very hard. Now they’re, you know, hey, I sent you 1999. And now Amazon is asking you to send them a manufacturer invoice to prove that you purchased 1000 products. And you’re kind of like really like, you think I really purchased 999. And then I sent you, you know, I told you I sent 1000. So the harder part is having these manufacturer invoices, having the stamped proof of delivery that has Amazon stamp on it. So they’re making a bit harder. So for the last inbound, if you’re a very organized seller, and you have all of this paperwork, it’s an it’s the easiest way to get your money back. The hard part is if you are not organized and you don’t have these manufacturer invoices, you don’t have these recorded Amazon stamped proof of deliveries. That’s where you’re gonna see a lot of your money just go down the drain, because you didn’t have these documents.

Michael Veazey 25:34
Yeah, I mean, manufacturer invoice, almost everyone’s going to have somewhere, I guess, unless they really say disorganized. But what is this stamped preferred delivery that again, I’ve never come across or heard of that?

Benjamin Chambers 25:46
Hmm. So whenever your product gets delivered, there should be what Amazon wants to see is a physical piece of paper that upon check in Amazon agent that it’s a maybe I’ll send you over a picture of an example one of the the stamp that says Amazon on it, and it says how many packages or boxes were received. And they will write down the number. And so the Amazon agent verifying in the shipment, yes, we did receive 108 boxes, okay? And how do we as the sellers get hold of this lovely document, you are supposed to get it from your logistics provider. So whoever you are using is supposed to have this. I’ve had this argument with Amazon many, many times, because Amazon will say oh, you need to show us this. And I I’ve had phone calls with Amazon where I said you also have to have a copy there is no way that you as Amazon does not have a copy of this. And then the Amazon agents I’ve talked to say we do have it but it’s not our responsibility to show it.

Unknown Speaker 26:57
So they actually have the paperwork and they refuse using to show it.

Benjamin Chambers 27:01
Yeah, they’re just making the sellers jump through extra hoops.

Michael Veazey 27:05
Yeah, was is that is the way of hanging onto their money isn’t it I wonder if a lot changes Amazon I suspect of the last time we’re recording this in mid December 2018 but I think an awful lot of things have been driven by the stock price just shooting down about whatever it was 9% at its peak. So I think that they’re just trying to make actually money which is new for him and therefore they’re being really tight with their money. I think a lot of is driven by that but that that is particularly kind of mean isn’t that high of what this piece of paper here that proves what you’re saying is correct. But I refuse to share it with you it’s your job to share it with me I’m and that’s

Unknown Speaker 27:39
exactly really horrible even

Michael Veazey 27:42
as relations between Amazon and third party sellers go that’s a new local,

Benjamin Chambers 27:47
very low.

Michael Veazey 27:49
Okay, but Okay, so what it comes down to is very simply keep your manufacturer invoices demand with menaces, from your logistics provider that they give you the preferred delivery by Amazon papers, I suppose what they I’m just trying to think if I’m based in London, UK and I sell in the US, for example. So I guess I’m gonna have to ask somebody in Amazon us to physically post something all the way back to the UK to so we’ve got it here. If we are

Benjamin Chambers 28:14
usually I think the logistics should be able to give you a scanned catalog. So that’s presumably enough. Is it a scam? copy?

Michael Veazey 28:19
Yeah, as long as it’s, yeah, yeah. As long as it’s some kind of scanned file, so you can get them to send you a scanned copy of that. Okay, so that’s one of those things. One, would you just keep as part of the delivery process or the inbound shipping process? I should say, let’s do

Benjamin Chambers 28:33
a deal one. Okay, you will get some agents, if you just show them an electronic you know, online ups says that this shipment was delivered on this day. Amazon can also take that as proof without the the the stamp, you know, just some electronic version. But again, it kind of depends on the mood of the agent that day. Yeah. Sales, you send them this. And then the agent says, Well, I need to see the stamp diversion.

Michael Veazey 29:03
Okay, so there’s the safe way against the sort of vagaries of Amazon’s very variable agents, yeah, is going to be to get the scanned version of something stamp on it. That was once a physical piece of paper. Okay, got you. Well, that’s really, if nothing else, and that could save over the course of, you know, a year that could save somebody with a lot of skews a lot of money. So that’s your golden nugget right there. So that sounds like a simple, easy, nice win. Yeah, in seeing and what happens then with sales zoom, if somebody has a need for documentation, but you guys have taken the task at hand, presumably, you have to go back to the sellers and say, Have you got the right pieces of paper for this? This, this, this, this, this and this?

Benjamin Chambers 29:45
Correct. So. So that’s the tricky part is because we don’t, a lot of times, we won’t, you know, have access to these documents. So with a lot of our current sellers, we have pretty good relationships with them, that we can ask them, these are all the shipments that need documents, send over whatever ones you have. And we are discovering that the bigger the company is, the harder it is to just, you know, we’re like, all we need is this one document for this one sheet. And you know, but we’re talking to one person who hasn’t talked to another person has to talk to another person, but you know, it’s like playing the piano over in the UK the telephone game. I know. Yeah. You whisper into one person’s ear, and then they whisper the same thing down. And that’s

Michael Veazey 30:24
how we call it Chinese whispers, which is probably

Benjamin Chambers 30:29
this is literal Chinese whispers with our Chinese customers. Yeah. You know, and, you know, I will tell someone who tells me to someone, and then we get this document. It’s like an Excel file. And I’m like, Amazon stamp. That’s all I need.

Michael Veazey 30:44
Yeah, but I’m glad to hear you have a experiences Chinese manufacturers. I mean, I have to say I find the same experience with them. Like you ask a question. They answer and almost the same question, but not the same question. And then you go back and ask them the exact question you wanting, and then you get the answer to slightly different question again, still is. Yeah, sure. That happens in corporate America as well. I’m unfortunately not had many things with that. Okay, so it sounds like if you keep your paperwork and now at least we know what people are to insist on from our logistics providers.

Watch my full interview with Ben Chambers

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