How to Get Amazon to Refund the Thousands of Dollars That They Might Owe You
It doesn’t matter how much of an Amazon veteran you are, eventually you will find yourself making an embarrassing rookie mistake. That’s exactly what recently happened to me, and it was a mistake that initially cost Helium 10 $3,000 dollars!
Thankfully, I was able to get most of that money back from Amazon.
If it could happen to me, it could happen to you too!
What Did I Do Wrong?
Keep reading to see what the heck I did wrong, and how with just a couple of messages received a nice $2,500, “my bad” reimbursement from Amazon. In addition, I’ll outline how you can avoid making the same mistake, as well as other ways that you can protect your account and get money back from Amazon.
Let me first set the scene. It’s really crazy how I even realized I made the mistake in the first place. As you might have noticed, over the last couple of months, ALL of the Helium 10 Pro Training Videos, (the videos that show up when you hit “Learn” in any of the tools), have been redone. These videos are for the most part, recorded live. I did not prepare them nor practice beforehand.
As I was doing the Profitability Calculator video, you’ll notice at the 1:17 mark of that video that I start talking about why Amazon is charging the Helium 10 Project X account for an 8 pound package.
Now, since I recorded it live, you’ll hear me do a double take as I say, “and uh…I actually want to take a look at that because I think Amazon is charging too much! I need to look at my alerts to see if they changed my dimensions on this.”
As soon as I stopped recording that video, I went directly to Helium 10 Alerts. (More on what this tool does later) What I found in the history was, sure enough, WAY back when I launched the product, in November, Amazon changed my dimensions!
What Amazon Did Wrong
They increased the height by almost double, from 4 inches to 7.59 inches, and they increased the width from 7.5 inches to 9.89 inches.
I went back to the profitability calculator in Helium 10 to check to see if that made a difference with the FBA fees.
First, I checked what Amazon was charging me at the time:
I was being charged an FBA fee of $7.32 per unit. Next, I put the original dimensions into the same profitability calculator.
The fee would have been only $5.80! Since November we have sold 2000 coffin shelves. If you multiply that out, that means that Amazon was charging me $1.52 more per unit on shipping, for a whopping total of $3,000!!!
Before I tell you how I got money back, allow me to bring attention to more of my stupidity.
Helium 10’s Alerts Saves the Day
When I saw the Alerts notification above in the history of the product in Helium 10, I had a weird sense of deja vu. I swore I had seen that before. So, I went digging into the archives and wound up at Project X Episode 13. Sure enough, again, live as I recorded it (guys, like I told you before, I don’t practice things I do…I record it all live!), I was surprised to see the alert showing that Amazon had in fact, changed the size. Click here to see the video.
Right there, as I recorded the video live, I said, “I need to check that out to see what happened.” But did I? NOPE! Not until months later when I first discovered my rookie mistake!
So, how did I rectify this situation? Well the first thing I did was get a tape measure and measure the coffin shelf box to make sure I had the right dimensions and to take a picture of it for Amazon.
I then composed the following message in a case to Amazon Seller Support, and I included these images.
Thanks to Helium 10 Alerts, I was able to give them the exact time they made that change. Alerts is our tool that monitors the critical parts of your listings, and lets you know via email or text message if something fishy happens, such as if someone changes your DIMENSIONS, title, images, price, or if someone hijacks your listing,
They got back to me the following week with this awesome message:
That SAME day, the money showed up in the payments section of Seller Central.
Now, you might be wondering, why only 2300 dollars instead of 3000? Well, as it turns out, you have to report this kind of thing within 90 days. So I couldn’t get all of the money back.
If you won’t tell my bosses, I won’t! I don’t want 700 dollars taken out of my paycheck!
I spent these last 2 months filming over 60 new Pro Training Videos for the website, and occasionally cursing to myself. It’s a lot of hard, sometimes tedious work. But thanks to that exercise, I was able to come across this error and get this money back. Who knows how long and how much more money I would have lost if I hadn’t done that.
Ultimately, this whole process was totally unnecessary.
Helium 10 literally alerted me the SAME DAY that Amazon changed these dimensions. I could have taken action then and there. That mistake of not heeding the alert COULD have cost me $3,000, and DID cost me $700.
I’ll never forget when I did the live webinar first announcing Alerts, one of the attendees said that if we would have had that tool the previous year, it would have saved him $10,000. Something similar had happened to him, but his issue was over thousands more units than my case with the coffin shelf.
Next Step; Refund Genie
What you should do RIGHT NOW, is an audit on all of your products’ dimensions as they appear in Amazon, and make sure that it matches what you know the dimensions to be.
If you see any differences, report them ASAP like I did. And if you haven’t done so already, turn on Alerts for all of your items, so that you’ll know immediately if Amazon changes your dimensions.
There are other ways to get money back from Amazon. If you are a member of Helium 10’s Facebook group, you’ll see a large number of messages like this:
They are all talking about money that Helium 10’s Refund Genie has found for them.
Here’s how it works. If Amazon loses or damages your products, they usually refund you right away. But sometimes, things fall through the cracks, and they never send you the money they should.
Helium 10 checks your account every month to see if you are due money from Amazon. If so, we will generate reports that you can submit to Seller Central so that they can check it, and if they agree with the reports, they will reimburse you, just like they did to me above.
For many Helium 10 Users, the money they receive from Amazon that Refund Genie has found for them more than covers their cost of Helium 10 itself! If you want to see how much money Amazon potentially owes you, sign up for a free account now, and connect Helium 10 to your Amazon account. Then, activate Refund Genie, and check back in 24 hours for the estimated amount that you can get back.
What have we learned today?
First of all; everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, experienced sellers like myself make the mistake of not staying vigilant on things that affect my products.
Sometimes Amazon makes mistakes that can cost you thousands of dollars.
Using the tools that Helium 10 provides you, you can make sure that you’re paid back every cent you deserve. Use Alerts to inform you if something changes on your account that will immediately impact your bottom line. Use Refund Genie to keep tabs on what Amazon owes you for lost and damaged products.
Whatever you find, make sure to act on it right away. Don’t wait months like I did! Protect your hard earned Amazon Income!
I also have a little homework for everyone out there.
Follow my instructions above on auditing your account for the dimensions on your products. Then, run Refund Genie on your account and submit your reports on what money Amazon owes you. Next, report back here and let me know how much money you got back. $300? $3,000? More?