We carried out this exact process recently and received over $1888 in reimbursements from Amazon for FBA inventory either lost, damaged, or for customer returns.
We had no idea we were entitled to these Amazon inventory reimbursements, and I have a feeling Amazon had no real intention of paying them.
This was a great feeling as sellers are usually on the losing end of their relationship with Amazon 💪.
Getting our FBA inventory reimbursement from Amazon was a relatively simple procedure that only took us a couple of hours.
We are going to show you exactly how to get Amazon reimbursements for lost inventory, stock damaged in the Amazon warehouse, and also reimbursements from customer returns that you never received.
We will also look at our recommended Amazon FBA reimbursement service you can start using to automate this entire process. So let’s dive in…
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Want to take a shortcut?
If you want a tool that will automatically get you reimbursements from Amazon, then we recommend ‘Refund Genie‘ You can start using it for free and there are many other Amazon tools included with Helium 10.
- 1. How to Get Amazon FBA Inventory Reimbursements
- 2. How to Claim on FBA Items Refunded but Not Returned
- 3. How to Claim for Items Lost in Transit to Amazon FBA
- 4. Amazon FBA Reimbursement Service
- Amazon Reimbursements Summary
The bulk of the reimbursements we received were for inventory that had been lost in various Amazon warehouses over the previous few months.
Amazon seems to purposefully make the process confusing, so most sellers don’t even know they are missing stock. I can only imagine the amount of money Amazon are saving every year by withholding refunds from sellers.
This is not really acceptable as Amazon certainly has the computing power to automate the reimbursements process rather than sellers having to flag them up and make a claim.
So how did we go about getting our $1888 refund?
1. How to Get Amazon FBA Inventory Reimbursements
The first thing to do is go to your Amazon Seller Reports> Fulfilment by Amazon> Inventory Adjustments. You should then download the last 18 months of data.
You will then have an output file showing all the events by FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit) and the quantities involved.
At this point, you could try and just send this entire file to Amazon and ask them to reconcile it. They will probably process the file, pick out the missing items, and offer to reimburse you.
I would recommend checking yourself though so you know what to expect and avoid sending Amazon lots of meaningless data.
Checking for Lost Amazon FBA Inventory
You should check to see if the quantity Missing (M) and Found (F) match on the ‘Inventory Adjustments’ report. If they do not match, then either you have been given some extra stock by mistake or the items are lost.
If you click on ‘Learn More’, Amazon gives you a complete rundown of their complicated coding. Here is a summary of the codes used.
Now check each FNSKU to see if the total for missing and found matches. If they match, then delete these rows from the spreadsheet so you can focus on the missing products.
If there are more Missing (M) than Found (F) then highlight this row as you will need to submit this to Amazon.
Checking for Warehouse Damaged FBA Inventory
You should now check for Amazon warehouse damaged inventory. With damaged inventory that has been reimbursed or returned, there are normally three rows related to the same FNSKU, as shown in the image below.
You need to match up ‘Damaged Sellable -1’ with ‘Damaged Unsellable +1’ and ‘Transfer to Holding Account -1’. This means that a product has been returned to Amazon as damaged, added to your inventory temporarily, and then returned to you.
You can delete these rows as they are now dealt with.
If there are any FNSKUs that do not match, as in the example below, you need to raise this with Amazon, as the items were warehouse damaged but have not been returned or reimbursed.
The example above shows that the Fisher-Price product has not been returned or reimbursed, as there is no ‘Transfer to holding account’ entry.
Save the remaining rows for lost and damaged as a separate CSV file. You can now raise a case with Amazon Seller Support with the file attached listing problem products. Your claim with Amazon should look something like this;
Lost and Damaged Inventory ResearchJames Percival
I am reconciling my Amazon account and see there are items lost or damaged in the warehouse. There are still some that have not been reimbursed as shown in the attached file.
Can you please research these and credit my account where appropriate.
Amazon normally replies fairly quickly and will email you a list of products they are reimbursing. For anything they are not reimbursing, Amazon should provide an explanation.
2. How to Claim on FBA Items Refunded but Not Returned
When a customer wants to return a product they purchased from you they are normally refunded straight away by Amazon. You will get an email to confirm this has happened.
You should then get a second email to confirm the customer return has arrived back at the Amazon warehouse and you can choose to have it sent back to you or destroyed by Amazon.
Sometimes this does not happen and when you search in ‘FBA Reports> Returns‘, nothing shows up. This is normally because the customer has not returned the product after being refunded, or the order was lost in transit.
Amazon has refunded your customer but has not returned the product to you or reimbursed you.
If you keep track of all your orders where the customer has been refunded and make a note when the order is actually returned, you will know when there is a discrepancy.
After 45 days, if nothing is showing, you need to raise a claim with Amazon for those items, as in the example below:
Order XYZ. Customer refunded but not returned.James Percival
This order was refunded on 17.1.21. We have not received this customer return and more than 45 days have passed.
Can you please investigate and reimburse if required.
Again, Amazon Seller Support normally get back to you within 24 hrs and will confirm they have investigated the claim and reimbursed you. You can then reconcile this return on your spreadsheet.
3. How to Claim for Items Lost in Transit to Amazon FBA
A final area you should be checking is ‘Inventory> Manage FBA Shipments> Shipping Queue‘. If you check the ‘Shipped’ and ‘Received’ columns, the totals should match for all ‘CLOSED’ shipments.
If they do not match, it normally means Amazon has lost your item at some stage of the shipping process.
You can then view the ‘Reconcile’ tab and report the inventory as missing. You have to wait about 10 days from when the shipment arrived at the warehouse before raising a claim.
Amazon may ask you to upload an invoice for the item and will most likely reimburse at this value.
This is where it is important to know the weight of everything you send to Amazon. You can then tell them to check the total weight of the parcel as recorded by UPS or the courier you used. Amazon knows the weight of each item, so this information will prove how many items were in each box.
You can also refer to the overall dimensions of the parcel for larger items, which will prove the quantity you shipped.
PRO TIP: Take a photo of the contents of each parcel before sealing it up. You can email the photo to Amazon if there is any dispute, as it will show the total number and the condition of your products.
Amazon will just close shipments automatically even if the numbers don’t add up. They will not investigate unless you raise a case, so make sure you check your shipments regularly.
We tend to find that about one in ten shipments has missing items. Remember, you only have 6 months to raise a case before it’s closed permanently.
4. Amazon FBA Reimbursement Service
Like most aspects of selling on Amazon, there are now software tools available that will automate the entire process of getting Amazon FBA reimbursements.
We recommend ‘Refund Genie‘, which is just one of the awesome Amazon tools included with Helium 10 and it is free to use. You also get 10 more awesome tools included, so take a look at how it can help your FBA business here – Helium 10.
Amazon Reimbursements Summary
If you follow these simple methods, you could get back hundreds of dollars in FBA inventory reimbursements from Amazon.
I would recommend keeping on top of this process and maybe doing an audit every three months or using Helium 10 to automate it all.
You can download the ‘Returns’, ‘Reimbursements’, ‘Adjustments’, ‘Removal Order Detail’ reports from your Amazon seller central. This allows you to reconcile against returns emails and refunds to keep track of it all.
If you have any questions about Amazon FBA reimbursements, then please ask in the comments below.
You are also very welcome to join our friendly and supportive Amazon Facebook Groups:
Amazon Selling for Beginners – for people starting their Amazon selling journey.
Amazon FBA Masters – for more experienced sellers and those looking at starting in Private Label selling.
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Good Luck & Happy Selling
Article By James PercivalFounder and Lead Editor of The Selling Guys
James has been selling online for over 15 years. He has focused mainly on Amazon selling but also has experience of selling on eBay, selling globally, building ecommerce sites and much more.
He still runs a very successful ecommerce business but decided to help other sellers to make money online through ‘The Selling Guys’ website and the ‘Amazon Selling for Beginners’ Facebook group.
He has 3 children, two dogs and a (now missing) cat.