Does Amazon FBA owe you money for lost stock?
We’ve heard from several Tamebay readers who use Amazon FBA who have concerns. It seems that Amazon might not be as fastidious as we would all hope when it comes to stock care.
And if you do use Amazon FBA you should be asking this question: has Amazon mislaid your stock?
According to the sellers we’ve spoken to Amazon is fair and reactive when it comes to damaged stock that they hold. But they seem to be rather more secretive when it comes to lost or mislaid stock.
Maybe such problems are inevitable. Things go missing. But one Amazon FBA seller we know has recently been refunded £3k when it comes to lost stock dating back over a year. It’s good to note that Amazon have done the right thing here. But is there a bigger problem?
The Tamebay correspondent got in touch with us and says that when he put in a claim for mislaid stock to Amazon, he got a payback on the same day. Clearly, in this case, Amazon realised they have a problem and made good on it regarding lost stock quickly. Hat’s off.
Here’s what he said: “I did this and submitted a claim going back to January 2015. By end of day they emailed me and refunded me the best part of £3k.” But this is a seller who has been using FBA since 2011. Perhaps he is owed more?
What next? It’s time to make a claim and take a watching brief of these problems. Mishaps are inevitable but when you entrust your stock to Amazon you need to be sure that they are living up to their duty of care. Do you have stock with Amazon FBA? It’s time to do a stock check.
But what about the longer term? You may have been using FBA for more than 18 months. It seems that there is an 18 month cut-off with the Amazon terms. So get a wiggle on and make sure that Amazon is working for you.
When you plug into Amazon FBA you put a great deal of trust in to Amazon. We’d love to hear more from Amazon FBA sellers and their experiences. Is Amazon playing fair for you?
Can you advise how he made the claim and what text he used?
There have been delayed parcels entering warehouses, most recently a two week delay. Not always a problem but when there are seasonal fast selling products it’s easier for us to keep our own inventory than risk Amazon holding it.
We did get paid out on lost stock before Christmas that they found about three weeks later, fortunately it wasn’t Christmas specific so nothing lost. I’d be very concerned giving them short life items, especially with more warehouses they’re planning to open.
It seems new warehouses take longer to get straight and end up with a backlog of stock.
It’s a monthly job for us – damaged and lost returns are normally pretty good and automatic.
It’s always the lost in FC which are marked but more often than not need a manual intervention to request the refund.
Half the time we will challenge the refund amount as it’s lower than cost price for this item.
How do you locate/identify stock that is lost in FC?
How does one stocktake their fba stock?
Hi Andrew – I’d be grateful if you go into more details about how you find the relevant items to be credited? Which report do you use please?
Any sellers wishing to find out more details about how to claim an FBA refund for lost or damaged stock can check out the blog below.
Step 4 in your guide Chris is missing from my FBA account. I guess they removed this button to stop people sending in claims after you wrote your guide lol
Thanks for the feedback elvis.
You may still be able to check for lost stock (step 8).
Also, worth checking if returned items were ever returned to Amazon as you could be due a refund for these items.
You can find more details in this guide,
Hope it helps some.
With the last process in this link (Step 10 onwards) you say to copy and paste “reimbursements” but doesn’t “reimbursements” mean amazon have reimbursed me for the item so what am I asking amazon to investigate?
The items in Steps #10-18 are ones that Amazon reimbursed the customer, but the customer never returned the item. That is why you submit that case.
Downloaded the Inventory Adjustment Report but it dose not have the reimbursement field in the file. Should I just ask the support to investigate all mark as M but I have over 1400 row of that.
I had over 600 items for amazon support to investigate. They replied saying they’ve checked the first 50 and are reimbursing me for 11 items. The remaining 550+ items they have said I need to split in to quantities of 10 and open a seperate case for each set of 10.
Surely this is just lazybones on their part? I’ve provided them with the information so why should I be expected to waste valuable time opening 50+ cases.
Is this a reasonable request by amazon support for me to do this?
First of all, l’m so pleased this worked for you and you were able to get 11 reimbursements straight away. A separate case for each set of 10 does seem like a pain, good luck.
Thanks for your links Chirs, they’ve been a big help (I’ve bookmarked them for future use). I replied to the case saying I’ve provided the information required and am not prepared to open 50+ cases. Amazon support just rang me telling me I need to do this. I point blank refused and said they at amazon can split it into 50 cases if they want but I’m not doing it as I’ve already provided the required information and it’s easier for me to monitor it all in one case ID. He seemed gutted and said “thanks for answering the call, I’ll update the case ID”. So I’ll wait and see what happens as we didn’t really reach a resolution on the phone.
No problem, you’re very welcome. Hopefully Amazon can help you out with the remaining cases.
I’ve just gone through the inventory adjustments in excel, checking for missing items that were not subsequently found. In four years, they’ve lost approximately £6000 in cost value of stock! I’ve just opened a case, with the 18 month limit, it looks like I will only get about a quarter of that. Between all the FBA sellers, there must be millions of pounds of refunds that they have never given out! Massively appreciate this post though, I wouldn’t have known about this otherwise.
How did you identify which stock is missing?
I downloaded all of the inventory adjustments ever, put it into excel, sortied by date, highlighted the missing and found entries, and then manually cross-referenced them by eye. It seems all they want are the ASINs, so you don’t really even need to cross-reference them, just get a list of all of the ASINs that are marked as ever going missing, and then they will investigate if they are permanently missing. Only 10, at a time though and only for the past 18 months, so you will still be out a bunch of time and a bunch of money for their screw up.
Thanks Kendall, you say “manually cross-referenced them by eye”.
where are you manually cross-referencing them? In returns reports?, reimbursement reports?
In the inventory adjustments report, it tells you both when an item has been misplaced, and also when it has been subsequently found, so when you see an item that has been misplaced, you look further up to see if the same item has been found. But you don’t really have to do this step, as Amazon will do it for you.
I need to do this as I notice lots of inventory minuses with no corresponding pluses.
Some are returns I know but there is a growing number of disappearing stock items.
Whilst Amazon is infinitely better than Ebay to deal with they are all over the place with regards to stock control in FBA. Sellers shouldn’t have to provide a list of items Amazon have screwed up back to them for investigation.
As a follow on form my earlier messages…I sent them 600+ items and my latest reply says they won’t investigate them. I’ve been told I have to investigate each item individually and open a case for each one I find that is missing.
1. How would I do this.
2. Why should I do this.
The whole set up is a bit of a mess
I tried claiming for the step 10 onwards part (customer returns) and had a call declining it and basically saying the same that I had to investigate each one (5636 items!)
I have checked a few orders and there is little consistency in the status on the returns report compared to the payments report.
I fear this could be one of things just have to be written off as would be a full time job trying to argue every case and no doubt every Amazon rep would answer slightly differently
Very frustrating as it “appears” Amazon are not playing fair and know that ultimately nothing any individual seller can or will do about it
Has anyone heard of or used refunds manager for fba?
The service looks like a good idea but are they a reputable company?
Are there any similar companies one can recommend ?
You need to get in quick now as the time limit has now been reduced to 180 days.
Not sure why refunds are not taking place automatically.
Must be many sellers out there who have no idea about this.
So easy to lose money these days, one needs to keep a ledger book like scrooge and cross off once paid etc.
We have had 5000 missing but they will only refund 18 months.
So we are left with 1000 now they want us to cross check which ones are missing and which ones have been found. – How on earth do we do this? We have been exchanging emails for 4 days but have no help and resolution. It seems they wish not to refund.
Can tamebay help?
Apparently they are only refunding for 6 months now and not 18 months. It has changed without notice.
Best way is to open up 3 windows in explorer.
one for inventory adjustments (date range 12 months)
another exactly th same as above
And one for sending messages to amazon
In the first window find an sku that has been misplaced, copy and paste the misplaced sku to the second window and do a search by sku. This will show you all the misplaced and found items for that sku and you can determine how many are missing and how many were found.
From here you can inform amazon in the message window that you are missing x amount for that sku.
After some time amazon will email you that they have done a search and found missing items and then perhaps refund.
You then do this for every sku that was mispalced within the date range.
You need to keep all 3 windows open so you can see what you are doing whilst you go through the list in the first window.
This should be done automatically but for some reason it’s not and sellers have probably collectively lost millions.
The missing items are probably just sitting on a shelf in amazons warehouse misplaced.
You will also have to do this once a month from now on as otherwise you will continue losing money.
On another note if amazon had to refund for all the missing items for every seller this could be the difference between a profit and loss for the site.