What Third-Party Sellers Need to Know About FBA Reimbursements
April 6, 2021
Yoni Mazor is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of GETIDA, a company that provides state-of-the-art reimbursement recovery solutions for FBA sellers. Utilizing GETIDA’s unique auditing technology, Amazon sellers can have peace of mind that all their funds and inventories are properly accounted for and audited.
In addition to this, Yoni is a former Amazon seller and a Board Member for The Ecom Cooperative, a powerful network of top e-commerce experts and service providers.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Yoni Mazor’s experience as a third-party seller on Amazon and what inspired him to build an FBA reimbursement solution
- The most common types of mistakes that Amazon makes during fulfillment
- Are you eligible for reimbursement in the case of customer fraud?
- Why Amazon reimburses third-party sellers—and why you should seek external help with reimbursements
- What distinguishes GETIDA from other FBA recovery companies?
- Yoni discusses whether Amazon brand aggregators should start performing FBA reimbursements
- How to reduce the likelihood of Amazon making mistakes while handling your inventory
- Yoni shares a story about one of the most difficult reimbursements he encountered at GETIDA
- The valuable lessons Yoni has learned from other companies in the industry
In this episode…
One of the most frustrating aspects of using FBA for your business is dealing with mistakes on the part of Amazon. There are a number of different mistakes that Amazon can make during fulfillment—including mishandled or lost inventory, incorrect shipping, or bad packaging. In these cases, third-party sellers can seek reimbursements from Amazon, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds.
Although Amazon’s software is able to detect some mistakes and reimburse sellers automatically, a few tend to slip through the cracks. However, if sellers fail to reach out to Amazon about these discrepancies, they may end up losing their inventory and money. This is where GETIDA, a state-of-the-art reimbursement recovery solution, comes in. GETIDA helps Amazon sellers achieve maximum profitability by ensuring that all of their funds and inventory are properly accounted for.
Yoni Mazor, the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of GETIDA, joins James Thomson on this episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast to share what third-party sellers need to know about FBA reimbursements. Yoni explains what inspired him to create his Amazon reimbursement solution, how his company differs from other players in the industry, and the common mistakes both sellers and Amazon make during fulfillment. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Buy Box Experts
- Controlling Your Brand in The Age of Amazon: The Brand Executive’s Playbook For Winning Online by James Thomson and Whitney Gibson
- James Thomson on LinkedIn
- Yoni Mazor on LinkedIn
- The Ecom Cooperative
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
- Helium 10
- Disruptive Advertising
Sponsor for this episode…
Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.
The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.
Buy Box Experts prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.
Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com.
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts Podcast. We bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.
James Thomson 0:18
I am James Thomson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts Podcast. I’m a partner with Buy Box Experts and the former business head of the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager for the Fulfillment by Amazon program. I’m the co-author of a couple of books on Amazon including the recent book, Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Amazon. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. When you hire Buy Box Experts, you receive the strategy optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. We also help investors with due diligence services. Go to buyboxexperts.com to learn more.
Before I introduce our guest today, I want to send a big shout out to the team at Disruptive Advertising. For off Amazon advertising, Disruptive Advertising offers the highest level of service in the digital marketing industry, focusing on driving traffic, converting traffic and enterprise analytics. Disruptive helps their clients increase the bottom line month after month. Check out disruptiveadvertising.com to learn more. Our guest today is Yoni Mazor, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder of GETIDA, a service that helps FBA sellers get reimbursed from Amazon on revenue that wasn’t properly paid out initially to the sellers. Utilizing GETIDA’s unique auditing technology, Amazon sellers can be assured that all their funds and inventories are being properly accounted for and audited, providing peace of mind and maximum profitability. Previously, Yoni was a large Amazon seller for several years, where he learned firsthand what can happen to your FBA inventory. Yoni, welcome, and thank you for joining us today on the Buy Box Experts Podcast.
Yoni Mazor 2:04
Glad to be here. Thanks so much, James. Hello, everybody. It’s great to be here.
James Thomson 2:08
So Yoni. Let’s start by asking you how did you first get exposed to the Amazon Marketplace?
Yoni Mazor 2:15
Um, I think like many originally, if I have to dig down deep, it’s as a consumer. I started shopping on Amazon. I think that’s one of the first things I ever bought was Dr. Marten shoes, or boots. So shout out to them. I think they’re doing okay, right now, more than a decade after but early on, I started selling stuff online for you know, it was mainly eBay. And then 2013, we realized that Amazon is an up and coming beast that has opened up the marketplace. We’re really focused early in the early days on watches. And I think that category just opened up for third party sellers in 2013. We kind of knew about it before, but it wasn’t open yet. And once it was open, you know, for third party sellers, we jumped into it. And we never looked back. I guess that moment those 2013 will be the more the executive we started. But let’s say 2008 nine was my first recollection of Amazon as a marketplace that started.
James Thomson 3:15
So you’re now selling products on Amazon. At some point, you say wait a minute, there’s this thing called FBA, and there are the problems around my FBA inventory. Take me back to what happened to make you think about whether we should build the FBA refund solution.
Yoni Mazor 3:33
Got it. So what happened was when we started selling on Amazon, we were fbm fulfilled by merchants. Yep, that was the model. That’s what we kind of pursued of any marketplace because we’re also selling on eBay. I think even overstock.com was an option for us. Or even Rakuten. Today’s dragon was called by carbine.com. Yes, doesn’t matter. But yeah, all of a sudden, you know, we realize there’s another there’s two options to sell your inventory on Amazon fbm fulfilled by merchant or FBA said, Okay, let’s try this experiment that FBA I think you were kind of created that environment anyways. And the back end, if I think of it, you were in charge of that program. And I don’t know how and what you guys did in that magic that was to start the SIM, but it did. But we were not that. It’s not like today, everybody takes for granted. And of course, it’s going to be FBA fruit. For us. It was like an experiment, we want to understand what is this and what is standing behind this? We understand that Amazon said, standing behind it, but what is their exact policy? So I remember we had we invested $10,000 in a shipment in products to source products who sent FBA. And for us back in 213 it was a lot of money. $10,000 like, you know, again, big gamble, you know, big ballers. So we actually took the moment to read Amazon’s policies and then we called it in and we talked to seller support. And we asked them what’s going on if any of this you know, inventory units get anything has happened to it? What are your assurances to say, okay, check out this page and that page, we discovered that really, Amazon has, you know, a unique policy. Same place, the call the FBA reimbursement policy, and just assignment for the listeners to kind of learn that every unit that you ship to the fulfillment center is insured under this policy up to the value of $5,000. So if you ship, a unit that’s worth $4,999 is covered if anything happens, but if it’s worth 5000, and a penny, and then something happened, you’re screwed this, you know, so just, you know, the elements there. So we discovered that early on, so we’re happiest, okay, at least it’s in writing. It’s not just an error. They’re not just telling it over the phone, it’s writing the shoulders, where is it? In writing? So we’re very, very prudent about that. I don’t know why. You know, sometimes in life, I’m not that prudent. But for that particular business decision, I was with my partner Max as well. So we shipped it in and we shipped it in and we’re crossing our fingers is going to go, well, it’s gonna be good, and it’s gonna go smooth. But long Behold, the first shipment, something happened there was a few missing units, and we shipped 100 and something units, a few units are missing. So we open the case. So we’ll investigate. And they did investigate and said, oh, we’re sorry, we apologize. We lost it. And because of that, here’s the reimbursement. So that put a pull on the switch on a business of honor to talk about reimbursements on selling on Amazon FBA a moment that was like, Okay, these guys are serious. This Amazon as an organization, as a company, they stand behind what’s right, now, we could probably do a lot of business here, you know, they take full responsibility. So that gave us a lot of confidence moving forward to next year was higher and bigger. And then we went into 100,000 worth of shimmers and the rest is history on the retail level. But what happened was okay, so we know that the entry level is easy, right? You ship 100 units to receive 99 units. It’s easy to reconcile. Yep. But that was just a firing shot. We were very interested in what’s happening afterwards. Where is it stored? You know, when it’s moving around, what so early on, we dive, we always download the data, you know, Excel, Excel spreadsheets, we always reconcile. And always we found discrepancies inside the warehouse, units were being lost, or damaged, or destroyed, or disposed of, or were charged with fees, also returns that were coming back there. There’s been all these, you know, the being refunded incorrectly and stuff like that, we always found it and we always opened a case for it. And Amazon, thankfully really took care of it. So we did it for our own needs. And we did this for a couple of years. But what happened was that as a business we grew to such a degree that our spreadsheets were breaking, we couldn’t fit in anymore. Just to give some backdrop story, we’re starting at 13. But very quickly, the business grew from zero to 20 million. And that we became a part of a larger organization that together as a group, we did about 100 million. So the basic tools we were using were not good enough. So we had to make a decision, which was based on two components. First thing was to create a technology that’s able to handle all this mass data that comes up daily, right? It’s coming to daily, all this data, the greater the college is able to analyze an audit constantly. So that’s the first component. But the second component was to create a dedicated team, that its whole purpose in this world is sit on those data points, and reconcile that back and forth with Amazon until this resolution, because what we discovered early on that the discrepancy rate ranges between one to 3% on an annual level, at least for us, right. So if we’re doing a million dollars at 10 to 30,000, between $20 million is 200 to 600,000, we’re doing 100 million, that’s one to 3 million a year. So we said at that scale, that you need a dedicated team. That’s all they know, it’s all the purpose they have. And once we are able to create the solution for our own needs, we do pretty well with it. And that was all the only intention we had. The intention was blasted on Amazon to grow, you know, keep growing, keep marching. But what happened along the lines was, we told some of our friends from the industry that we have this ability, and they told us to help us. We’ll pay you. Yep, that was really the genesis of a good to 2015 16.
James Thomson 8:48
So your company exists explicitly to address the reality that Amazon makes a lot of mistakes handling inventory. Tell us how that’s possible. Given all of Amazon’s sophisticated software. What did you learn doing this? That’s made you realize that, you know, Amazon software alone doesn’t doesn’t make this foolproof?
Yoni Mazor 9:09
Right? So the software, I am going to put this out there, the software that they have built is really amazing. It’s nothing else out there. Because if I mentioned that the discrepancy rate is one to 3%. Yeah, let’s let’s flip it for a moment. It means that Amazon does an amazing job 97, 98 maybe 99% of the time. Now we’re just our inventory. Everybody’s inventory. It’s 100 that nobody can you fathom how big it is? Yep. If you go to Adidas or Nike, all these big brands and ask them logistically when you move your inventory from your warehouse to another warehouse, if you’ll be happy with one to 3% of the discrepancy that says Of course, they easily cross 5, 6, 7, 8% easily constantly all the time. That’s the rule of life. When you move inventory around from one place to another in house or between warehouses. Things just fall through the cracks. You know, I saw through I can’t handle the fact that they you know if you shipped a to 1103 boxes, only 2102 boxes came in for whatever reason maybe fell off the truck, maybe No, no, you know, people some I know. So I think so in other words, what I’m referring to might be the human element that is still there. And it causes a one to 3% discrepancy rate. But also we know things false even in the machine that keeps the machine. The robot, you know, picks a unit from the band or something. And I’ve been there for unit jobs for whatever reason, as a damaged unit that needs to be recovered. So. So in between those lines, there’s still room for discrepancies, even though they created the most fabulous logistical machine the universe has ever seen. inside of it, they should be definitely proud. But instead of it there’s, there’s elements that need to be addressed. And that’s our purpose and mission. That’s where we live that one to 3% demand, just to put in perspective, so you’re talking about one to 3%?
James Thomson 10:43
Are there other rules of thumb that we should be thinking about as Amazon sellers, in terms of four proportions of inventory that Amazon Mishandles or loses? I mean, have you broken down the different types of mistakes that commonly happen?
Yoni Mazor 10:57
Yeah, I’ll give a breakdown to how we high level how we organize things. But another way to look at it is that if for every 100 units that a seller ships, FBA, between one to three units might get affected somewhere along the lifecycle of the product inside Amazon’s realm. Yeah, let’s put it this way. Let me touch a few. I touch the early one, when you ship the 1000 units, you know, inbound, you know, they receive 990, that is inside the warehouse, right? That’s when you know, between the bins or between the teams, that’s when things happen. But also between the warehouses. Sometimes Amazon might shift your products from Kentucky to California, California to Nevada, things happen there. from Amazon to the consumer things happen there. By the way, this already starts to involve external powers such as carriers, it can be UPS, FedEx post office, then once again, from the consumers back to Amazon, also known as returns refunds, things up in there, oh, there, we need an easy reconciliation. And of course, if any seller does removal orders, and shows back the units also, same things happen there. So all these friction points, logistically, they have different characters and different traits and different data sets that we look into. And of course, once we find the discrepancy there needs to be reconciled. We bring it to Amazon’s attention. And of course, only if you know the eligibility is recognized, then Amazon provides, you know, successful reimbursement.
James Thomson 12:07
Where does customer fraud fit into this? You know, a customer returns an item and you know, you get a brown you get a brick back rather than the product you actually sold them.
Yoni Mazor 12:17
Yeah, so that is okay, so referring to the removal orders, so yeah, so we’re not the police just doing it to make it perfectly clear. We’re not the police. So what we do see is that Yeah, sometimes you shipped an iPhone, and you got a break back. We saw this a lot. I think it was around 2017. That was really a pandemic, because those iPhones were selling for six, eight, or $1,000 or something. And we saw one case that somebody ordered about 20 of those shipped overnight to you know, the guy next day, and then they right away as soon as they got to send all back, lo behold 20 units, which were $20,000 were, you know, the eventually the sellable or unfulfillable. They’re a solid removal order. And then, you know, they had to follow a kind of serious claim. But why does it happen? I don’t know. But yeah, there’s just you know, if somebody listens to this, and you realize his opportunity to get a reimbursement or recovery, if you essentially what internally, Amazon calls a switcheroo. He said, you know, a certain unit like an iPhone, instead of getting an iPhone, you get a box inside of it, there’s a little stone, or if you ship your iPhone, you get a baseball. That’s not the same item, you’re eligible to get reimbursements. Hopefully you get that back on the baseball, if you like to play baseball, it’s another one.
James Thomson 13:26
So also, baseball is all day long if I get brand new iPads back. So let me ask you this. What kind of mistakes is Amazon more likely to make today than, say five years ago when you first got started looking at FBA reimbursements?
Yoni Mazor 13:41
Oh, that’s a tough one. So to be fair, not all sellers are created equal, because simply the products that they sell are just different. I’ll put it this way. There’s certain types of products that are more prone to get affected. Now let’s make it simple, fragile products, you see I’m selling glass cups of wine, then they have a tendency to get damaged more than let’s say, baseball, it doesn’t really get ruined, or anything like that. So it depends less on Amazon’s technology or Amazon’s ability to refine itself. It depends, honestly a lot on the product profile. But another resolution we discovered is that not all Amazon FBA warehouses are created equal as well. Known warehouses are just more superior than the others. They’re just not to handle things to have a better team or better than namic have a team. Or maybe you there’s a new team that they hire. So they’re just breaking them in once they get that human element is something that we know, it’s not it’s not software related. So it fluctuates. And because of that, there’s kind of always a need. At the moment, robots will be producing everything, packaging everything and delivering everything. Yeah, that’s maybe we’ll be able to see a quote, come as close as possible to that 100% mark of zero discrepancies. But I think we’re 50 maybe 100 years away, maybe more. I’m not a prophet percent. But I’ll take a little bit more work from all
James Thomson 14:55
because of the scope of error detection that you’re doing. Does Amazon ever come to you and ask you for that kind of data and say, show us which of our warehouses are doing? Well show us which types of products aren’t doing as well. You know, is there any outreach there that
Yoni Mazor 15:10
Yeah, we are, you know, between you and between you and I, and I guess who’s ever listening, I will be interested to see if we can help prevent this in the first place will be our pleasure to provide from our data and our mindset, or our angle and point of view at Amazon. So they can least identify the warehouses that maybe are falling underneath the benchmark, maybe push it up there. So you prevented those issues from coming in the first place. That’s one thing we would like to be of service to the community and then the marketplace. In addition to that, maybe also kind of the fraud detection level. If you know if Amazon can earn a spot on, you know, more, more, more issues of consumer abuse, maybe, you know, help prevent it, you know, before it becomes a bit too harsh. I will protect Amazon or protect the sellers, this image creates a better environment. So we do have a kind of passion for that. But it’s too early, I guess, for us to go to have this discussion there. There are so many you’ve been there, you have to have so many things on their mind, we’ll probably Lie Number Number A million something plus, who knows?
James Thomson 16:11
So let me ask you, why does Amazon provide reimbursement to third party sellers in the first place? Why do they even care about having
Yoni Mazor 16:18
is it fundamental? I’ll take you back to our mindset back in 2013. Because today, Amazon is a beast as a giant. So everybody takes for granted that trust. Yep. But early on, I didn’t have that choice. I said, Okay, Amazon’s fine. They sold a few books, a few shoes. Alright, so I need to know that my investment is protected. So that is the cornerstone of the FBA program, which is wildly successful on a global level, that trust is there as laid out in early fundamentalism, having a it’s an insurance policy, if the moment they say, we’re not going to use send us a million dollars worth of products and goods, the moment it comes to worse, whatever happens, we’re not we’re not responsible, if it gets lost, somebody has a heavy hand, they take it, whatever it is. And all of a sudden, all that infrastructure, the credit and hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide will crumble. So it’s essentially an insurance policy that they have in place for the third party seller to know that your products and your life’s investment, your business investment is in good, trustworthy hands. And that alone fertilizes the big picture of having a marketplace product variation, product selection, you’ll probably know a whole thing is based on the third party seller rise, which heavily is relied on by the FBA. It’s all interconnected. And it stems from that trust they laid out early on, I know, I can ask you, were you aware of these policies back in the day? With FBA at all?
James Thomson 17:34
Yeah, I mean, there was some stuff that we did, and that back then there were some types of errors that we would automatically reimburse. But I guess that leads to the next question. Why do I need an external service? If Amazon is already looking for mistakes it’s making and looking to make those reimbursements back to FBA sellers?
Yoni Mazor 17:54
Got it so that it becomes a bit more interesting, right? Because you can say, all right, so there’s, you know, there are all these errors, how come and Amazon is a tech savvy company? What’s going on? So the reality is, I don’t know, explain it. But the reality is that Amazon automatically does reimburse for whatever their software and the systems already catch. You know, if you look closely into the terms of servers that tell you, we’re gonna automatically reimburse you for anything that we find, we need about 30 days for that since the incident happens. But after 30 days, it’s up to the seller to audit us, inspect us and of course, anything that will be behind you has the opportunity to open a case and reconcile it. And that is the moment we can come and help, you know, alleviate that need or that function or that pain. For the sellers. So this is the fundamental work. I’m not sure why. But, you know, it’s self evident that Yeah, even after they do all the round rounds, and there’s still all these missing elements, but I’ll be honest with you internally, what happened to us over the years for the past five, six years, is that the data sets keeps on changing, keeps on updating, and we always kind of find new types of variations of all these discrepancies. And which, which makes us a usually a few steps ahead, right of Amazon, because once you get to many other moving parts to deal with, and then we discover current new claims and new tech, almost like the viruses, all these strains or all these mutations, you know, let’s if we can borrow a little bit from the COVID world, you have the issue, but all these variations, something here, there’s always that issue, always these variations that we if we take if we borrow from Pfizer, or Moderna, we try to always have an immediate answer to these variations as soon as possible. So we like some sort of a vaccine.
James Thomson 19:25
Let me ask you this. What are the types of mistakes that we’re starting to see now? ones that you get excited that you’re able to detect? That may not be so obvious? Can you give an example of stuff?
Yoni Mazor 19:38
Yeah, I mean, one thing that is kind of painful for many sellers they’re aware of but not you know, there’s still lack of awareness is the fulfillment fees. By the way, also, the performances alone are always changed and the tears kind of change. Yeah, but you know, you ship a product that’s supposed to be under a pound and under 10 inches. They’re supposed to charge you let’s say like two and a half dollars, the entry level here. Sure. Instead of that, what happens is, you know, somewhere along the lines, the information changes. And now all of a sudden, they’re charging you from a different tier, because the amount of fee that they charge is based on the winning dimension. So the larger and heavier Amazon thinks your product is, the more they’re gonna charge you in fulfillment fees, or to be more executive pick and pack fees, whenever they pick the unit from the band, the package in a bar. So you ship your product in to charge you another two and a half dollars and discover they’re charging you more, how can that be? I’ll give you two examples that I’m familiar with. One example is that, you know, every few weeks or a few months, Amazon might scan your product through their big machine called a few big scan machines, you probably are more, you know better than I do. But in that machine, whenever they do that scanning, there’s some sort of noise. Let’s take, for example, a handbag, you put a handbag through the machine, it has a strap hanging loose, that strap is adding 2030 inches, all of a sudden, boom, the whole information kind of changes. And then you get started, it starts with overcharging with all these fees. If you’re not aware of this reality, and you know, you don’t audit for this, you’re going to get heavily taxed or heavily overcharged with all these fees for all this time. But this is limited to 90 days of recovery, by the way, not 18 months until he’s got 90 days to recover this. But a second variation of this same problem that we saw is that somebody is attacking you, right, you’re selling on Amazon, or your competitor, you and I are both selling the same product, you know, we’re competing our rank, maybe you’re in the same price, I take your ace in I listen on my Amazon account, I never offer it out. But the only thing I do is change the winning dimensions. Instead of being a pound, I write a 200 pound instead of being a 10 into this, it’s 100. And whatever it is, and I distort the data. And from that moment, it was overcharged. And if you’re not prudent, you’re not savvy, also, you’re making less and less margin, are you going to the negative? Yep. So just shows you how sophisticated and weird and kinky things can be. And the discrepancy level. That’s why there’s just one example out of all this myriad of other issues. So whatever it is, you have to have, I guess, the handles in place to make sure you know, check mark, check, check, check check issue, you know, it will recover you in the right moment at the right time. Because there’s a time game to this, you know, after a while things expire, your eligibility to get recovery is expired and is lost forever. So it’s one more component of the whole crazy components, you know, a matter of several components that an Amazon seller is faced with, and is constantly evolving even on the like I mentioned under the original level of data set and the complication. complexities kind of have always their variations, same as advertising. What if you look at the advertising console today and what it was five years ago, completely different. It is more robust, more intrigue makes it thrilling for us internally. But for the Amazon seller, they need to have the awareness that you know the game for professionals, it’s only going to get more complicated, more elevated, and you have to be ready.
James Thomson 22:35
So there are a lot of companies in the same space as you that do this FBA recovery. Talk to me about what makes GETIDA different, better, distinct from everybody else.
Yoni Mazor 22:46
Guys, I’ve the offset, I’ll say that, you know, we love our competitors, they do a very good job. I’m not gonna say anything. No, besides that, but I guess a few points or distinctions that I can kind of clearly make are a few fundamental ones, just make it you know, natural, because, you know, I can probably talk about how we like to do our work differently from anybody else for a long time. But on a high level, you know, We’re an authorized solution provider by the platform. So we got vetted, Amazon knows who we are, our team knows where we store our data, because there’s also data security, privacy and private policy concerns. We audit billions of dollars worth of transactions every day across our platform. That’s what we know, we also got, you know, vetted by Amazon. So we’re authorized by we authorize two components on the App Store, but also on the SPN level, the service provider network, because I want to make a distinction, we’re not a tool, we’re not a software, we’re a solution. And as a solution, we use software and a dedicated team to create the solution of maximum recovery. So on the technology side we have water eyes on the App Store, because that involves nws credentials and API and the service level because we have a dedicated team. So that’s something to get otherwise, if anybody comes to you and says, I want to help you recover, but they’re not authorized by Amazon, maybe you have second thoughts, where you’re giving access to your data. In addition to that, a big part of our team, our ex Amazon employees who used to work in those departments, the FBI reimbursements department. So we know what we’re looking for, how to present issues, how to manage the cases and deal with all the back and forth to get the maximum recovery. And another one that will just make it even more simple. We consider some actual auditors, meaning as an auditor, or you look for something very, very simple and basic, a deficit of minus, if everything’s zero checks out, no problem. If I find the minus My mission is to take care of it. So if you’re using a tool, for example, you ‘re giving you the data, you fill it in, and then Amazon starts rejecting it. But if you look at the data, there was no reason for the rejection. So we need a skilled team that knows the data or auditors to say, Hey, hold on, hold on, take a look at the information again, maybe in a different angle, okay, or maybe have a different mathematical equation to see the deficit. You recognize it. And they go again, they look at it. Oh, you apologize. Here’s your embarrassment. That ability to convert a rejected climate to a paid claim because you’re a hardcore auditor is very effective and making sure everybody gets the maximum
James Thomson 25:01
So with the rise of these brand aggregators, these companies buying up these Amazon businesses, they’re literally growing organizations with hundreds of millions of dollars of FBA revenue. Do you think that they’re going to start performing some of the same tasks? Or do you think that they’re overlooking some of these opportunities to also be reimbursing lost dollars,
Yoni Mazor 25:24
I’ll tell you this way, we already worked with the largest ones. You know, we’ve been in touch for a few years already with them. In the early years, they were simply not aware of this opportunity and were so busy creating procedures and identifying a good brand to buy or, or not. So you know, or not to buy, you know, a high level overwhelming majority of what comes to their doorstep doesn’t get purchased, by the way, because they have the whole the whole filtering or distillery process that they do, should we buy should not buy, then everything kind of on the operational level, at least in the early days was kind of where they we can wait on this first thing, start buying. And once we were able to come and conversation with them identify that, you know, operationally they’re kind of trying to figure out what’s going on. But now in a few years after I can say that this is part of their soapie, you know, the ones that are serious about it, they’re their law, the largest players, they have this in their standard procedure, knowing that this is another checkbox you got across which is auditing, making sure you get the maximum, get the money back into your organization that you’re that you have, you know, eligibility to get and keep fueling the growth. So this is how they look at it today. So any aggregator listening to this has not yet identified this as a must do or to do with things in their organization. This is you know, you, I encourage you to start right now you can do it independently, you can do as much as you want on your own right, I encourage you to do so if you ever need help from anybody, there’s all industry here or you know, willing to help you.
James Thomson 26:42
So let’s change gears a little bit. Um, if I’m an FBA seller today, what can I do to reduce the likelihood that Amazon will make mistakes handling my FBA inventory, enhance, reduce the likelihood that I’m owed a bunch of money.
Yoni Mazor 26:57
Got it. So the two examples because they’ll probably be the most impactful ones, all the other ones, I’m not sure when nothing much can be done, to be fair to be frank. But one thing definitely sellers can do is be very thoughtful in the way you create your products and your product packaging is susceptible to being damaged or being broken, or at least when Amazon receives let’s say, a consumer buys your product. You have all these unique seals on it. And then the consumer opened it, but really, they didn’t do anything. You just open about it and change your mind and don’t want it. It’s brand new. But when Amazon receives it, it appears to be kind of used. They’re gonna deem it as unsellable, they’re gonna send it back to you. And then more logistical things can happen, all these discrepancies can happen. So do whatever you can to make your products not get damaged. Also, when they come back to Amazon’s handle, they always look new, even if somebody bought it, they don’t, they never use it. And there’s no special seals or anything that they tear apart. That can reduce the friction point logistically because it all involves logistics. So the more you can minimize the logistical movements of your product, the less you’ll probably discover discrepancies. That’s on this level. In addition to that, I’m just this is a general tip anyways in the non necessarily considering reimbursement is you got to keep in mind that when you’re selling on online, you’re selling a brick and mortar different games, you know, on when you sell in brick and mortar when you you gotta have a big bulky product that will fight to be on this on the shelf. Right, so you’re gonna have heavy and bog packaging, think about potato chips, you ever wonder what half of the chips is just air shelf space, they gotta they got to arm them wrestle. But that’s a good practice on Amazon. If you think that potato chips shipped FBA that extra air. And if that dimension puts in a different tier, then also Amazon charges all these fees, it’s gonna be a big loss for the seller. So keep in mind that maybe create your packager you know your packaging for all my sales, especially for FBA. To make it the lower than or the leanest and possible, make it small, elegant, not heavy, during the lowest tier possible in a winner dimension, so you pay the least amount of fees, that’s a gold mine tip. But of course, if Amazon it’s much easier to also audit, if you know the last year, you always need to be charged two and a half dollars, the moment is either charging $3 or $5. You can catch it on the spot. So that helps a lot. And keep in mind the moment they bought your product, your digital shelf is your listing, right, as opposed to brick and mortar, your shelf is a listing and they look beautiful and has bad content, the copyright, the video graveyard, all that that’s how you scream and shout to the consumer by me, because I’m over there ready by you, no matter what you’re gonna do, they’re always going to get an Amazon’s packaging, and they’re already sold on your product. You don’t have to sell it again with the big shiny, flashy barks. That’s not the only thing they want in that moment is their utility, they want to use the product, they already made the sale. So nice, elegant, and packaging will do just fine. So hopefully that’s a good tip for listeners out there to take upon.
James Thomson 29:43
I’d love to give our listeners some kind of a story around some of the most egregious recovery you’ve ever had to do. Or something was just completely crazy. Can you share a story of something you’ve seen one of your clients have to work through?
Yoni Mazor 29:58
Yeah, I’ll share with you this one. This one was over $40,000 worth of claim. So we do have a kind of a department that we call a specialty claim because they have they’re kind of in a repeating race condition that we see. But we there’s always room for awkward, you know, horror stories. So we have a dear place in our heart for these issues, we try as much as possible. There’s never a guarantee, but to make a long story short, the seller was supposed to ship 1200 units, Amazon and Amazon said, Okay, let’s make a split 100 units to ship here and pull an 1100 unit split there. So both together 1200. And they did the exact opposite, instead of shipping. The word they’re expecting larger units to ship Baldwin’s units is they’re shipping 12 1100 units to ship 100 units, you know, so to reconcile was very difficult. So wherever they shipped 1100 units, Amazon was expecting 100. So whoever was in the fulfillment center received that 100 somewhere said and the rest of the 1000 units were there. Long behold, they didn’t bother doing anything. They just never received it. So you have 1000 unit discrepancy. Each one was like 40 plus dollars, you know, and value. So it was very hard to explain to them. Listen, this is how it works. We wanted to ship 1200 units, you told us to split it right the seller. And this happened and it was very hard for us to explain to them what’s going on? This is Yeah, wherever it was 100 where see the 100 no problem there. And, and whatever you shipped, you know, we’re supposed to ship the 100 1100, you only ship the 100. But we can’t find it there. So I’m denied, then I know that we have to run the whole thing repeatedly again and again. Yeah, that’s escalated to leadership and this and this and that, um, I’ll tell you this way. After countless touchpoints, it took almost four months. I’m about to say we’re about to get a recovery. And I’ll tell you that the plot was that helped us get this resolved. So what we did was we actually after like three or four months, we dived into the data, we used an external tool. I don’t know if anybody heard of it. It’s called CamelCamelCamel. I’ve heard of it. Yes, it is a tool, you kind of can see the history of a nation on Amazon. So what we were used to and what we discovered on the same date, that your those units got, you know, short received by Amazon, all of a sudden Amazon started to sell those units. So essentially, instead of those 1000 units missing Amazon receded to their inventory, because you know, they didn’t know what to do with it. They sold it very, very quickly. So they were already sitting on the money that we presented to them. So oops, right, now we can really recognize where these two, and here’s the reimbursement. So it did have a happy ending. So that was a quirky, offside story that ended up well. But underneath the current, there’s a lot of issues that still happen around where we are we have a lot of exposure to but they don’t end up well. And there’s a lot of pain behind it. The whole mission of reconciling things. But we know we were committed to it as much as possible, you know, for the overwhelming, overwhelming majority ends up well, but the ones that I don’t I still feel bad. I wish I could do more. And that’s where you enter into the spiritual realm.
James Thomson 32:59
And I just wish for better days when I was working with FBA sellers, what I said to them is, if you’re only going to do one thing with FBA, that is make sure you actually ship in what you say you’re going to ship in. And by the way, what you’re going to ship is what Amazon tells you to ship in. So make sure those line up. And if you’ve got employees that don’t pay attention to details, like oh, this goes to this location, this goes to that location. Probably FBA is not the right place for you. Oh, what’s the odd mistake here, there? Believe me, it’s a big deal. So just just get it right the first time.
Yoni Mazor 33:30
Get it right the first time a great tip, because there’s the mold, make sure you fit them all. Because if you’d all be very bad.
James Thomson 33:36
So let me ask you in closing our conversations today, are there any types of tools or companies that you’ve worked with throughout this process that have been particularly beneficial for helping you build your business and helping you create more visibility for what you do for Amazon sellers?
Yoni Mazor 33:55
Going to separate this question, because there’s our experiences Amazon sellers, and there’s no which we don’t do anymore, when we’re experienced as a tutor as a solution provider.
James Thomson 34:05
So let me ask, let me ask the question a little bit differently.
Yoni Mazor 34:07
Yeah, go ahead.
James Thomson 34:07
You’ve evolved as a company over the years doing what you’re doing? What kinds of learnings from other companies have you most benefited from that have allowed you to become as good as you are today?
Yoni Mazor 34:19
From the industry from our industry? Yes. Oh, yeah. So Teikametrics, I always say I always draw my inspiration from Teikametrics, they, the whole user experience that the technology works, how the dashboard, they communicate with you, I always admire that many of our clients who use them and why you’re here, the same thing. I’m an admirer, also, you know, Helium 10, how they were able to build up from the ground up the whole company, 90 codes. The whole thing is very inspiring to us and the ability to create a global solution that helps the you know, the sellers community worldwide, really, this is something we’re very, very zoned in on what kind of solution we created, which you know, this whole industry, we love the industry we grew up here, we brought us to a financial success as sellers and our solution provider is, the least we can do is help the next generation if you like, or even though the old school generation as much as we can, from our little corner to any of those companies that are leaders in their space on these elements, we take a lot of inspiration from and we try to to absorb to our, our experience as much as possible. So that’s that’s in a nutshell, just a few. There’s a whole line, a whole list but these guys shout out .Yeah.
James Thomson 35:28
Yoni. I want to thank you for joining us today on the Buy Box Experts Podcast. For those of you interested in learning more about GETIDA Please visit getida.com, that’s getida.com. Join us again next time on the Buy Box Experts Podcast. Now to finish today’s podcast I’d like to share some final thoughts. For third party sellers to be successful on Amazon. A critical level will be soliciting feedback from customers. We at Buy Box Experts are really big fans of the team at eComEngine and it’s tools that help Amazon sellers to simplify the process of messaging customers of Amazon orders. To learn more go to eComEngine.com. And with that, I want to thank you for listening today and I look forward to joining you next time on the Buy Box Experts Podcast.
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