TOS-Compliant Requests for Amazon Reimbursements or Reconciling Inventory and FBA Fees
This post is by Tuvyah Schleifer, the founder and CMO of CRSeller. CRSeller is a marketplace services provider offering the most exclusive suite of solutions.
For eBay, CRSeller offers suspension reinstatements, selling limit increases, and account status audits. As well, eBay marketing tools including Daily Deals invitation support.
For Amazon, CRSeller specializes in tactical approvals and invitations for vendors and sellers. As well, brand-boosting strategic activity including ASIN optimization, marketing and PPC management.
Photo Credit: Bonnie Kittle
To start off, James Greaney offers a wonderful Udemy course on Amazon reimbursements. Yet to manage a successful Amazon business, one must hire a dedicated team member. (Or external provider.) Amazon lends itself to DIY operators. As such, a user can fast become a ‘jack of all trades master of none.’ (And yet at the same time, fall prey to the deluded thought that they are the master of all.) In fact reimbursements [like all Amazon] is a dynamic landscape. Amazon is dynamic in essence. (Day 1) Another perspective, is simple and human: The dynamism of imperfect humans. (Whether actually human, or AI.) As well the dynamic of external/ seller influence: (Tone, style, and skill of the inbound requests/ communications/ claims.) In a 3P relationship the money and product always belong to the seller. Yet Amazon is holding it and steward in this sense, (not a thief.) At the same time, they must also protect themselves from seller fraud. As such, withholding is a simple, common, understandable outcome of using FBA. Keeping track of everything has been a challenge for any merchant for thousands of years. Amazon is doing a super job at something surprising... Helping merchants become better stewards of their own respective businesses.
There is another point to make (and not skirt around.) Like any profession one may find the low skilled and “poor.” And the high-skilled, and rich. Think about this, who goes to a bad and poor doctor? Well, those with a lack of information, or money. Or an unhealthy mindset can also prevent them from ‘finding’ the “best doctor.” When it comes to managing reimbursements it comes down to this... For many sellers there scarcity of wisdom, understanding and knowledge. The wisdom to see and be 'enlightened' - in an instant, in the matter of any particular thing. The understanding of how to enlarge and expand and comprehend all the details. As well, the implications and all the areas touched by the above insight. The knowledge to take the insight and implications and actually work with them. In a practical and real manner. Also, to begin with, the desires and pleasures of owners may often not center around Amazon policy. (Many sellers have no interest whatsoever in how Amazon works. And often if there is an interest, there is fear, anger, and danger.) The opposite of pleasure. Thank you Ed Rosenberg of Amazon Sellers Group for bringing this important issue to light. Now getting down to 'brass tacks,' many providers are hovering in a similar rate of recovery. Better providers can justify higher fees. After-all, it comes down to net recovery. Providers have an enormous and extreme time commitment and dedication to this activity. There is account analysis, claims, and of course successful case work. This can tie in to frequent client communication. This is the most sophisticated range of activity required for a seller. The costs and skill development alone lead to an outside professional being necessary. You can 'get away' with a provider coming in every 16-18 months. But best is to use on an ongoing basis.
Still, most providers are only getting 40%-60% of what is possible. (With internal teams, or single-owner business tending to be on the lower end of this.) CRSeller offers a VIP solution for qualified sellers. Mini and full-audits are available so you can see exactly what is being left on the table. (We show you how much more you're gonna get and we get it.) Mini-Audits are a 6-8 hour analysis, depending on account size. It's currently free. Full-audits including breaking down total dollars by refund categories is 4-5 days. It is $350/hour with a max. charge of 20 hours. This will make often make sense for accounts with $20 Million in annual sales or more. The cost of the full-audit counts towards reimbursement services. In effect, it becomes a free service if we provide the reimbursement service. Best of luck sellers. We hope we were able to shed light on this important issue.