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How to Reconcile Amazon Inbound Shipment Claims

Threecolts
Emma Ritson
Published
December 16, 2022
Modified
March 26, 2024
Amazon shipments about to be reconciled

Fact: Amazon ships approximately 1.6 million packages a day. In 2019, Amazon made $141.25 billion in retail product sales. This amounts to an average of $385 million each day.      

While Amazon does an admirable job of handling billions of dollars worth of stock, every year three percent of it goes missing or gets lost, damaged, destroyed, or incorrectly disposed of. That’s roughly $12 million a day missing from the collective pot.

What that translates to for you and your business could vary. For those with a $1 million turnover, it's anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 a year being left under the table. So if you’re an FBA Seller, this effectively means Amazon could be mishandling three percent of your inventory or gross sales—and something will need to be done. Unless, of course, you’re already claiming your FBA reimbursements.  

Amazon reimbursement space

Amazon allows sellers to claim reimbursements on lost stock within 18 months of the purchase date. Amazon will either reimburse the expected sale price—minus FBA fees—or reconcile the discrepancy in units of inventory. With the former, you still make a profit, just as if it had sold to a consumer on Amazon.

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t make any of this easy. It takes quite a lot of time and effort to check your stock processes, invoices, and delivery timelines and then make a claim. There are loopholes, hidden clauses, and lots of fine print. It can be extremely challenging for sellers to cut through all the red tape.

Amazon service center near a tree

It’s all about accounting  

To claim inbound shipment recoveries more easily from Amazon, you will need to use better business practices. Every seller needs to be confident about documenting and invoicing to successfully recover reimbursements from Amazon.

There are a few other things you can be clear on, so read ahead.

Eligibility

For an item to be eligible under this policy, the following must apply:

  • The item is registered in FBA at the time it is lost or damaged.
  • The item complies with FBA product requirements and restrictions and with FBA inventory requirements.
  • You have sent Amazon the exact items and quantities stated in your shipping plan.
  • The shipment for the item is not in canceled or deleted status.
  • The item is not pending disposal or was not disposed of at your request or because Amazon has exercised a right to do so.
  • The item is not defective and was not damaged by a customer.
  • When a lost or damaged item claim is filed, under review, and during any appeals, the seller’s account must be in normal status.
Amazon boxes for delivery

What makes a good invoice for Amazon?  

  • Make sure your invoices are in the proper pdf file format.  
  • The invoice date should be stated clearly and dated before the shipment received date.
  • Make sure there is a clear indication of final payment present on the invoice (either a “paid” stamp, “final” marker, or a final balance of $0 showing).
  • Ensure the quantities of items with missing discrepancies support the total quantity sent on the shipment (the quantity purchased for each SKU should be greater than or equal to the quantity shipped).
  • Do not upload any proforma or commercial invoices, as these will likely be rejected.
  • Do redact any sensitive information that isn’t relevant to confirming your shipment contents or quantities.
An Amazon shipment that made it

What else does a good invoice include?

Ideally, an invoice will clearly list each SKU and match your item descriptions (or include annotations so they could be easily matched to your Amazon SKUs if necessary).

The file names should ideally include the words “Final Supplier Invoice” followed by the corresponding Shipment ID.

Help! I don’t have an invoice

A lot of resellers don’t ever get invoices—so what can be done?

If you don’t have an invoice, you can send a receipt instead. While it doesn't hurt to submit what you have, please be aware that receipts might not always be enough for Amazon to continue with its investigation.

The critical requirements for a receipt are the same as for an invoice. Crucially, Amazon needs your proof of purchase, so the receipt should show:

  • Clear indication of final payment (shows a final balance of $0, or has a PAID stamp).
  • Quantity purchased for this SKU should be greater than or equal to the quantity shipped.
  • Receipt purchase date should be clearly marked, before the shipment received date.
  • Highlight the SKUs on the receipt to easily identify them, so we can match them to your shipped items.

We recommend downloading the “Genius Scan” app on your phone and using it to take photos of your receipts and scan them into a PDF file.

Amazon boxes lined up for delivery

What if all I have is packing slips or bills of landings?

If you are a manufacturer and do not have invoices available (or if Amazon has already pushed back on an invoice you provided), you can submit a packing slip instead. The packing slip should include the following:

  • FBA Shipment ID, clearly printed near the top.
  • Packed/shipped date, is clearly printed, and matches the shipped date of the Shipment Plan on SellerCentral.
  • List of SKUs packed, with clear descriptions and quantities that match the shipment plan.
  • Signature of supervisor/manager that affirms that the shipment was reviewed and confirmed as packed properly.
  • File should be formatted as a PDF file.

Remember, be methodical and thorough when filling out all forms. Go over everything twice and do extra research if you’re unsure about one of the steps above.

Professional profit recovery

Alternatively, you can find a professional profit recovery expert to do the work for you. This is an efficient way to ensure profits are realized on lost or damaged stock—and you don’t need to lift a finger. Tools such as Threecolts Profit Recovery are perfect for this type of FBA reimbursements—and they work with both Seller Central and Vendor Central.

These services do regular audits that include damaged inventory (in the warehouse), damaged inventory (in transit), lost inventory (in warehouse and transit), discrepant inventory, and inventory disposals. They also work with sellers to reconcile incorrect weight/dimension issues, which can lead to various inaccurate charges, including FBA fulfillment fees, storage fees, and long-term storage fees.

There are other ways to become a successful Amazon seller

If you want to learn more about maximizing your profits through other methods, then check out SellerPricer and FeedbackWhiz Profit Analytics, and you’ll see how many ways you can increase your bottom line. Recovering profits is the first step. Maximizing sales and conversions and accessing the best data analytics for your store await you. Go sell!

About us

Threecolts acquires, launches, and grows e-commerce software with a robust suite of offerings such as SellerRunning, SmartRepricer, SellerBench, Tactical Arbitrage, Bindwise, RefundSniper, ChannelReply, and FeedbackWhiz.

Reach out to SellerBench for help with shipment reconciliation and FBA fee reimbursements; it's the most robust profit recovery platform for Amazon and Walmart. Because 99% of FBA sellers are owed money. Get your free audit today.

If you are more interested in the #1 Amazon Arbitrage software, try TacticalArbitrage. With over 6,000 users, TacticalArbitrage will help you discover profitable products to resell on Amazon.

SellerRunning is an entirely new way of selling on Amazon. Discover a global network of Amazon marketplaces for seamless listing, smart pricing strategies and increased profitability. Outdo the competition and win the Buy Box with prices that are automatically updated according to your rules.

Bindwise will help you to identify costly issues with your Amazon seller accounts. Receive instant Bindwise Alerts about everything related to your store on Amazon.

RefundSniper is an international Amazon reimbursement service that runs audits on both Vendor Central and Seller Central. Find out how much you are owed by Amazon today.

Try effortless, instant and automated repricing today with SmartRepricer. It's the world's #1 repricer to safely automate your Amazon pricing, win the Buy Box, and increase your sales.

If you're looking for a way to streamline multi-platform e-commerce support, ChannelReply has you covered. Cut your customer response time in half by having all your customer information in one hub.

FeedbackWhiz is an Amazon sellers management software that helps merchants scale their business by automating email campaigns, improving seller feedback, getting more product reviews, monitoring listings, and analyzing profit and accounting data.

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