Are Amazon’s mistakes costing you money?
Check again—they just might be.
Amazon is the leading online retailer for a reason. Customers love its fast, free shipping, broad selection, and Prime benefits. Sellers reap the benefits , too—on average, half of Amazon sellers make up to $25,000 every month, and about 20% earn $300,000 to $3 million in sales. There’s no better time than 2021 to be an Amazon FBA seller.
While those numbers are impressive, Amazon is bound to make mistakes at that level of operation—and mistakes cost money. Your money.
Most of those mistakes come in the form of fee errors. Fortunately, Amazon is aware of the problem and will refund you. So, how do you avoid a sinking bank account? We’ve identified five of the most common Amazon FBA fee errors—and how to get your money back.
Top 5 Expensive Amazon FBA Fee Errors
Since Amazon understands seller needs, they make reimbursement easy. Just remember to keep track of all your charges so you can pull necessary records; most cases can be filed for mistake charges dating back 18 months.
1. Overcharged Fees for Category Commissions
As you know, commission fees (or referral fees) are what Amazon charges you for earning on their platform. They’re based on the type of product. For example, Amazon typically charges:
- 45% for devices
- 12% for autos
- 15% for books (+$1.80)
- 8% for cell phones
- 17% for clothing
- 15% for home, garden, & pet supplies
- 15% for office products
- 15% for other, uncategorized items
- Many, many more (you’re probably familiar with them)
Sometimes, though, mistakes happen, and you get overcharged. Let’s say you sell men’s t-shirts. The fee for clothing is 17%, but if you get charged 45%, it can add up rapidly.
For 100 t-shirts sold for $5.99 each, you’d be charged $269.55 instead of $101.83. That’s 250% more than what you should have to pay normally.
2. Removal Order Never Received
This error occurs when you submit a removal order to ask Amazon to return unsold inventory so you don’t get charged for long-term storage fees, but you never receive the product. If your removal order doesn’t go through and your inventory sits in Amazon’s warehouse for more than 365 days, the charges could be significant.
Let’s say you sell children’s toys. You have 20 units in storage that Amazon never sent back, so they’re charging you a monthly long-term storage fee of $14.06. By year’s end, this mistake could cost you over $168.
When you submit a refund claim, however, keep in mind that Amazon will refund the product’s value based on a complex calculation—not its potential selling price.
3. Overcharged Dimension Fees
Dimension fees are based on—you guessed it—a product’s dimensions. Smaller, lighter items are less expensive, and oversize items are pricier. When you’re overcharged, it’s usually because the fee was attributed to a larger product.
Let’s say you sell earrings by the unit. The fee should normally be less than $2, but you get charged $8.26 for a small oversize package. For 100 units, that’s $826—over $600 more than what you should have paid.
4. Customers Get Refunded Without Returning the Product
As a customer-centric company, Amazon is known for their flexible return policy. Consequently, returns are common. If the customer doesn’t return the product after 30 days, Amazon is supposed to nullify the refund, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Customers get their money back, but you don’t get your product. In this case, you lose money AND product. That’s bad business.
Luckily, that’s on Amazon, not you—and you can get your money back. Due to the high frequency of returns, sellers can get monthly reimbursement for this error.
5. Products Lost or Damaged in One of Amazon’s Warehouses
Life for a product in an Amazon warehouse is chaotic, fast-paced, and often crowded. Products can easily get lost or damaged. Amazon normally keeps track of lost or damaged inventory and then reimburses the seller, but the reimbursement doesn’t always go through. As a seller, you should always ensure that you received payment. If you don’t, contact Amazon straight away.
How to Get Refunded for Amazon FBA Fee Errors
Now we move on to the big question: how do you get your money back from these Amazon FBA fee errors? The answer is simply to file a case. You can’t get your money back if you don’t ask for it. Fortunately, reimbursement is not hard to get.
Steps to filing a case:
- Open the inventory adjustment reports in Seller Central for a specific date range
- Copy the report into a spreadsheet
- Compile your report and save as a .CSV
- Open a case with Amazon Seller Support
- Include a short, specific message asking for a refund
- Remember to attach the .CSV report
- Wait for a reply (usually arrives within 12 hours)
When you file, remember to include all the proof you can to back up your claim. Keep your report simple. Get to the point. Amazon won’t be impressed by fluff or complaining, but they’ll perk up at your solid evidence and straightforward language. Digging up your records beforehand saves them time. Alternatively, save yourself some time and headache by hiring someone else to perform the audits. This allows you to focus on your business. A final piece of advice: file claims manually for a human touch.
Don’t Be Discouraged by Amazon FBA Fee Errors
Watch out for these five Amazon FBA fee errors so you don’t lose profits. You’ve just seen how destructive they can be to a small business owner. Just remember that mistakes are a human symptom. Your relationship with Amazon is a business agreement, so hold them accountable—when you do your part, they’ll follow through on theirs. Don’t get discouraged. Get your money back.
Refunds Manager helps successful sellers remain profitable on Amazon and is the only FBA refunds service that handles claims manually and personally to get you more money back from Amazon.
To learn more and sign up for our service with no monthly costs, visit RefundsManager.com .