Today we talk to a Refunds Manager seller who has been in the business for 14 years to discover why she decided to stop trying to handle FBA reimbursements by herself.
How did you start selling on Amazon?
We started in 2005, when books were new on Amazon, and we did really well. My daughter started the business as a young teenager. She’s a very heavy book reader, and she asked us to set up an account for her so she could sell some of her old books to buy more. I thought it was a crazy idea, but the first 3 months, she made $1200 in sales. She was young, and didn’t like the customer service aspect, so we bought the business from her.
My husband and I have been full time Amazon sellers for 8 years now. We’ve helped a lot of family members to get started on Amazon.
I spent a whole day every month just getting everything sorted and looked through and verified, to make sure I was submitting an accurate request for reimbursement. It needed to be done every month but I couldn’t dedicate the time to do so I would always get behind. And then I would always lose track.” – Denise Craig
Why did you decide to sign up for Refunds Manager?
We signed up in January 2018 to save time. For me to go pull the reports and download the excel, and sort, and sift and verify…it was very time consuming. It needed to be done every month but I couldn’t dedicate the time to do so I would always get behind. And then I would lose track of what I had covered and what I hadn’t covered.
Following up on the customer support emails was always time consuming. It got to the point, where I through my hands up in the air, feeling absolutely frustrated, and I thought that there has to be an easier way.
How many hours per month did you spend on this before Refunds Manager?
It was easily a whole day. A whole day every month just getting everything sorted and looked through and verified, to make sure I was submitting an accurate request for reimbursement. And then there’s the follow up time after that. To see that this item actually went here, that it was restored into your inventory. The Amazon customer support would come back and try to explain away the issue, and I would spend another half a day just dealing with the follow up process and chasing around more information for the support representative.
It became such a logistical nightmare. I wanted to make sure that as a business, we were good at handling this, but I wasn’t at the point where I could hire someone to specifically look at these types of lost inventory, damages, and customer support type things. There was no way I could afford that hire at the time, but it needed to be done, because that’s money that’s just gone forever if you don’t address it.
Before you signed up, was there a particular type of issue you were concerned with the most?
I thought that items that were damaged or missing in the Amazon warehouse was a black hole that I would never be able to shine a light on, to see what actually happened to my product. They do transfers between the warehouses, and I felt totally at their mercy, like I couldn’t possibly track issues. When I was doing it myself, the amount of time I spent versus what I got back made me feel that I was still losing money. I was spending so much time that I could’ve spent elsewhere in my business.
If you’re going to do it manually yourself, that is a big process. That process is really, very difficult to first create and then remember each month.
Did you get money back that you weren’t expecting?
We got a lot of money back for inventory that I thought was gone forever. This was missing or damaged inventory. The first month that we turned the service on, Refunds Manager was able to go very far back. The first payment was huge. It was amazing. I signed up January 6 of 2018. On January 25th, I and received the first payment of $1854. In one year, I received a total of $4287. Great for one year of not having to do anything. I didn’t have to hire an employee. I’m still ahead. A lot of that would have slipped away from me just not doing that.
When I look at the reports, I can see that the account auditors are highly trained. They know how to talk to Amazon. They give Amazon the exact information and data that they want, and they’re speaking in Amazon’s terms very efficiently. There’s no way I could produce the quality of reports like the Refunds Manager team has. They’re talking in Amazon terms and it’s a completely different language. It’s great to read those reports and know that you’ve got an insider there helping you.
Would you recommend Refunds Managers to other sellers?
I’ve recommended it to two other Amazon sellers that I know and they have the same response that I had. They find that it’s well worth it. What we pay in commission for them to get that money back is very reasonable. It’s a lot less stress. I can save time for what I like to do in my business.
To learn more about Denise Craig’s Amazon seller coaching, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.