Verifying Customer Exchanges Are Handled Properly When Selling with Fulfillment by Amazon

October 28th, 2015

I came across an interesting order when I was going through and adding up my monthly results for the month of September that I wanted to share here with you on the blog.  As a part of my monthly process, I always export my sales from InventoryLab into Excel.  Once I get them exported I do quite a few pieces of analysis to determine how my business is operating.  One of the evaluations that I complete is sorting the profit column from low to high to scan through any items that I lost money on.   I generally cut ties with items after they have been in stock for a couple of months, so there usually are some items that I sell at a relatively small loss.  This month however, there was an order at the top of the list that showed I lost $72.46 on this single sale.  I scanned through the line item, and noticed that the sale price for the item was $0.00.  I wasn’t sure what was going on here, so it was time to dig a little deeper.

First, I copied the order ID into the payment report.  The payment report can be accessed, by logging in to your Amazon account, hovering over reports, then clicking payments.  I then pasted the order ID into the search bar of the payments report.  This is what I first saw (click to enlarge this image, same goes for the other screenshots in this post): Initial Order And Refund - payments account

Based on this it shows that customer had returned this item, and received a refund, but it still didn’t explain the zero dollar sale I was seeing from the InventoryLab export.  I then clicked on the $70.85 link from the above screenshot so that I could view the details of the order.  This led me to this screen: Initial OrderI see that the customer was refunded, so nothing looks off immediately.  What does catch my eye is that there are 2 orders from this customer, so I then click on the link circled in red in the above screenshot.   I then find the other order which is for this exact same item: Replacement OrderThis was a replacement item for the first order.  Essentially the customer chose to exchange this item for the exact same item as they weren’t completely satisfied with the item from the first order.  The interesting part of this order was that they were not charged despite the fact that they had already received a refund for the order.  This didn’t look right, so I searched this order ID in my payments account to see if this was indeed correct:

payments replacementIt turns out that things were as they appeared, the customer returned the item, received a refund, AND received a replacement item without being charged.  Clearly this isn’t how this was supposed to go, so I submitted a case to seller support letting them know that the customer received a refund and the replacement item, and asked to be reimbursed for one of the 2 transactions.

24 hours later, the reimbursement came through: Replacment order and refunds - payments accountGood as new! Also, when I was putting together this post, I realized that I was charged for the return fees on both orders, so I have submitted a reimbursement request for that as well which I expect to receive.

Now, I also wasn’t sure of the FBA policy on customer exchanges where they receive a product from my inventory as a replacement instead of a cash refund.  I did a little research and found that policy HERE at the very bottom of the page.  When doing this research I also came across Amazon’s formal policy for sellers regarding how reimbursements are calculated, if that is of interest to you, that page is HERE.

There were 2 other zero dollar orders / replacement orders that I had during the month that both were processed correctly by Amazon.  Going forward I will be adding verifying that the payment end of transactions where customers receive replacement items are handled properly to my monthly process.  I would recommend you do the same if you ever have replacement orders from your account.  They are very easy to identify if you export your sales from InventoryLab or download an order report, and sort from price low to high.

This is just 1 of the 10 different methods I am using to get FBA Reimbursements.  If you want to see the other 9, check out The Complete Guide to FBA Reimbursements.  This is an eBook I released which documents every single step of all 10 process I use to get reimbursements from Amazon.  Everything from how to identify the issues to the exact text to use in the seller support cases is included.  Check it out HERE.

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That’s just about all I have for today.  I do have a somewhat similar process for verifying if reimbursements are processed correctly on other instances where customers receive refunds when they shouldn’t have.  If you have other tips for obtaining reimbursements, or have experienced something similar, let me know in the comments below!

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17 responses to “Verifying Customer Exchanges Are Handled Properly When Selling with Fulfillment by Amazon”

  1. Carrie Hitchens says:

    This post was incredibly good timing. I had the same thing happen a few days ago and emailed seller support. My problem is seller support basically told me that’s too bad, we provide this kind of “good” service to keep customer, which in turn help third party sellers.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Carrie,

      Thanks for the comment. Personally, I would try responding again. If they provided a customer a refund from your account, based on something that was their decision, and not a part of the policies on selling on the platform, they should provide a reimbursement.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

      • Carrie Hitchens says:

        I’ve been talking with them back and forth since yesterday and finally got a concession that after 45 days, if the customer hasn’t returned one or both items, then I should contact them again for a reimbursement for whichever (or both) items that weren’t returned.

  2. Liam says:

    Hey Ryan, fantastic post! Navigating Amazon’s reports can be a very daunting task especially for a newcomer like myself. What I am curious about is, do you think you would have received the reimbursement if you had not requested it?

    I am often finding odd issues like this come up, but AZ always assures me that in 30 days the system will automatically correct itself. I want to trust them… mainly because I hate digging up those reports… but don’t want to leave money on the table.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Liam,

      Glad you enjoyed the post! I don’t think it was very likely I would have received this refund if I didn’t request it, but it is possible. Anytime I am in doubt about if a reimbursement will be issued, I always open a case.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  3. Sam says:

    It’s also limited to 30 days to pull those sales order reports, or am I doing something wrong?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Sam,

      Are you talking in IL or Amazon reports? In IL you can go back to pretty much any time period using the advanced search. I believe you can get order reports longer than that in Amazon as well. Let me know, and I can provide step by step detail if needed.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  4. Stacy says:

    I’d like to know your process for checking for reimbursements, please. Thank you!

  5. Lisa says:

    Great info. Refunds and reimbursements are so confusing to me. Sometimes they charge me for their shipping and sometimes it is a partial refund. A post on this alone would be great. What reports to pull and how to find out if they returned the item? Anything would be great. Thanks for all your help! Lisa

  6. Pam says:

    Ryan:
    Thanks again for another timely post. I had the same issue recently but didn’t take the time to try to resolve it. I certainly will put this on my monthly process checklist to always follow up. I would love to get your thoughts on how to handle issues when a customer receives a refund when they shouldn’t have.

    Much appreciated.
    Pam

  7. Luke says:

    Ryan – What else is included in your monthly process?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Luke,

      There are quite a few things 🙂 I will look to share some more of these in a future post.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  8. Vanessa says:

    you said: I do have a somewhat similar process for verifying if reimbursements are processed correctly on other instances where customers receive refunds when they shouldn’t have. If you are interested in seeing my process for that in a future post, let me know in the comments.

    YES! I would love to see this in a future post. Thank you!

  9. Jay says:

    Hi Ryan, looking forward to that reimbursement post! It’d be really timely for 2015 cleanup.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Jay,

      I’m working on some new info for the reimbursements, and it should be available within the next week or 2.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

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