Amazon’s complex terms, conditions, and fines have hindered brands’ financial clarity, and the consistent influx of Vendor Central chargebacks and shortages compromises account profitability. While many sellers believe they have low chargeback and shortage rates, they often lack the appropriate data to identify and report errors and claim refunds. Moreover, there is a significant disconnect between Vendor Central finance and Amazon Direct teams, as neither party communicates about financial discrepancies and the associated dispute opportunities.

How can you verify overcharges to your Vendor Central account and manage your finances to ensure optimal profitability?

Discovering Amazon Fees and Incentives

Amazon charges are separated into three distinct categories: chargebacks, shortages, and excess trading terms. Amazon reports shortages and chargebacks under the belief that you made a shipping error, and excess trading terms are undisclosed fines that brands often overlook. Trading terms fees occur when Amazon bills product units they claim not to have received or charges trading terms on orders never placed. Hannah Blackburn, Co-founder and Director of The Hawkers Club, explains Amazon’s systematic accounting errors, stating, “So even if you deliver right; even if you do everything right, there are glitches in their accounting system, which means they’re overcharging you on trading terms accidentally…there hasn’t been a single Vendor Central account…that I haven’t found this issue.”

Sellers should also acknowledge the SIOC (ships in own container) incentive program, where Amazon allows you to claim incentives for each SIOC unit. However, these are not granted automatically, so you must contact Amazon within 9-12 months to request these rewards. Similarly, Amazon monitors and fines errors made when fulfilling SIOC deliveries, making the incentive pivotal to your annual revenue.

How to Dispute Overcharges and Claim Refunds

Before filing disputes with Amazon, sellers should conduct quarterly meetings with internal teams. This ensures you remain informed of upcoming incentives, trading terms, and expenses. For instance, Amazon no longer allows sellers to reject returns, despite prior no-return agreements. Consequently, the platform invoices brands that don’t adhere to these guidelines. Yet by referencing previous no-return contracts, Amazon will fully refund these charges. Collaborating with departments empowers you and your teams to take the appropriate actions to recover funds.

Sellers may avoid disputes based on the false but common belief that Amazon allows only 60 days to file claims. Rather, you have 24 months to address overcharges on trading terms which can be extended another year for excessive fines. Conversely, the time limit on shortage disputes is not specified. Amazon is also likely to reject claims, further disincentivizing brands from addressing unnecessary expenses. But even if the time limit has expired, you can still request rejection evidence from Amazon since the statute of limitations only applies to shortages that have not been disputed yet. This evidence may prove that Amazon didn’t review your disputes, permitting you to resubmit them for additional consideration.

Final Considerations for Disputing Amazon

When preparing for disputes, compiling data and documentation is critical for maximizing returns. During team meetings, you should prepare a gross margin agreement to ensure Amazon doesn’t overcharge on guaranteed profitability. It’s ideal to address this with Amazon monthly to demonstrate that you’ve met the platform’s required profit margin. Accounting and finance teams should also understand drop shipping trading terms and establish price-per-vendor code requirements. Ultimately, sellers should comprehensively examine Amazon’s audit claims to mitigate oversights.

Hannah Blackburn

Hannah Blackburn is the Co-founder and Director of The Hawkers Club, a company that helps vendors and sellers solve their most pressing challenges and navigate eCommerce marketplaces, including Amazon and Target. In her role, Hannah advises online sellers and vendors on how to directly position their brands and value offerings as Amazon partners to increase profitability and revenue. 

Before co-founding The Hawkers Club, she joined Amazon as a brand specialist with an initial focus on vendor excellence and marketing before transitioning to stock management and profitability. Since she’s written the business logic powering some of the algorithms that run Amazon, Hannah knows how you can systematically make profitable decisions that Amazon’s algorithms reward.

 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

In this episode…

As brands seek to maximize profitability on Amazon, hidden fees, overcharges, and shortages remain a prevailing concern within the platform. How can you identify and address these chargebacks to structure your account spending?

Although you may have a plan in place to mitigate chargebacks and shortages, Amazon expert and accounting veteran Hannah Blackburn says you can leverage additional strategies to safeguard your vendor central account. Amazon places fines and claims on each of its services that brands must recover. These include cost price claims, shipping costs for returns, unjustified provisional rates, overcharges on trading terms, and high direct fulfillment freight costs. When disputing these oversights, it’s essential to prepare invoices and present precise account data to prove your claims. You can also leverage Amazon’s various incentives to facilitate the dispute process.

In today’s episode of The Digital Deep Dive, Aaron Conant sits down with Hannah Blackburn, the Co-founder and Director of The Hawkers Club, to discuss how to dispute Amazon fines. Hannah explains how to identify chargebacks, shortages, and fees on Amazon, considerations for fulfillment-related charges and shortages, and how to use automation to monitor purchase orders.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

About BWG Connect...

BWG Connect provides executive strategy and networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. We network and knowledge share together to better understand and adapt to the newest trends, strategies, and pain points shaping growth in the digital space. BWG Connect, in conjunction with BWG Strategy, has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

In addition, we have had 1x1 conversations with over 5,000 brands and have a real-time pulse on what digital strategies are successful and why. This in-depth knowledge allows our team to operate on the cutting-edge and provide our clients with best-in-class guidance on how to win in the digital world. We have provided free consultations and strategy sessions for companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune-100, to enable growth, resolve issues and make curated service provider introductions that can impact your digital footprint.

We have held to the philosophy of providing high-level insights and actionable knowledge with no sales pitches in order to provide to our network the ability to listen, learn and act to improve themselves as well as their organizations. Our ultimate goal is to be the resource out there to help digital executives find the research they need to excel in the modern marketplace.

If you are interested in getting involved with any of our current or past events, you can find them here. If you are looking for help & would like to set up some time to chat with our team, you can schedule a time or reach out directly to Aaron@bwgconnect.com or Tiffany@bwgconnect.com.

Hannah Blackburn

Hannah Blackburn is the Co-founder and Director of The Hawkers Club, a company that helps vendors and sellers solve their most pressing challenges and navigate eCommerce marketplaces, including Amazon and Target. In her role, Hannah advises online sellers and vendors on how to directly position their brands and value offerings as Amazon partners to increase profitability and revenue. 

Before co-founding The Hawkers Club, she joined Amazon as a brand specialist with an initial focus on vendor excellence and marketing before transitioning to stock management and profitability. Since she’s written the business logic powering some of the algorithms that run Amazon, Hannah knows how you can systematically make profitable decisions that Amazon’s algorithms reward.

 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

In this episode…

As brands seek to maximize profitability on Amazon, hidden fees, overcharges, and shortages remain a prevailing concern within the platform. How can you identify and address these chargebacks to structure your account spending?

Although you may have a plan in place to mitigate chargebacks and shortages, Amazon expert and accounting veteran Hannah Blackburn says you can leverage additional strategies to safeguard your vendor central account. Amazon places fines and claims on each of its services that brands must recover. These include cost price claims, shipping costs for returns, unjustified provisional rates, overcharges on trading terms, and high direct fulfillment freight costs. When disputing these oversights, it’s essential to prepare invoices and present precise account data to prove your claims. You can also leverage Amazon’s various incentives to facilitate the dispute process.

In today’s episode of The Digital Deep Dive, Aaron Conant sits down with Hannah Blackburn, the Co-founder and Director of The Hawkers Club, to discuss how to dispute Amazon fines. Hannah explains how to identify chargebacks, shortages, and fees on Amazon, considerations for fulfillment-related charges and shortages, and how to use automation to monitor purchase orders.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

About BWG Connect...

BWG Connect provides executive strategy and networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. We network and knowledge share together to better understand and adapt to the newest trends, strategies, and pain points shaping growth in the digital space. BWG Connect, in conjunction with BWG Strategy, has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

In addition, we have had 1x1 conversations with over 5,000 brands and have a real-time pulse on what digital strategies are successful and why. This in-depth knowledge allows our team to operate on the cutting-edge and provide our clients with best-in-class guidance on how to win in the digital world. We have provided free consultations and strategy sessions for companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune-100, to enable growth, resolve issues and make curated service provider introductions that can impact your digital footprint.

We have held to the philosophy of providing high-level insights and actionable knowledge with no sales pitches in order to provide to our network the ability to listen, learn and act to improve themselves as well as their organizations. Our ultimate goal is to be the resource out there to help digital executives find the research they need to excel in the modern marketplace.

If you are interested in getting involved with any of our current or past events, you can find them here. If you are looking for help & would like to set up some time to chat with our team, you can schedule a time or reach out directly to Aaron@bwgconnect.com or Tiffany@bwgconnect.com.

Hannah Blackburn

Hannah Blackburn is the Co-founder and Director of The Hawkers Club, a company that helps vendors and sellers solve their most pressing challenges and navigate eCommerce marketplaces, including Amazon and Target. In her role, Hannah advises online sellers and vendors on how to directly position their brands and value offerings as Amazon partners to increase profitability and revenue. 

Before co-founding The Hawkers Club, she joined Amazon as a brand specialist with an initial focus on vendor excellence and marketing before transitioning to stock management and profitability. Since she’s written the business logic powering some of the algorithms that run Amazon, Hannah knows how you can systematically make profitable decisions that Amazon’s algorithms reward. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

In this episode…

Amazon’s direct import is an excellent opportunity for brands to sell their products internationally and expand their reach. But, utilizing this service requires strategic planning since there are many factors to consider, including pricing and inventory. So, how can you optimize direct import to drive growth and maximize revenue?

The first action vendors should take is to prepare their pricing structures. Brands must adjust their product value to coordinate with stock increases, so it’s essential to correlate pricing with profit margins. Hannah Blackburn suggests implementing a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) Policy to determine the most beneficial pricing. When assembling inventory, it’s crucial to consider lead times and establish production dates accordingly. With the right strategies in place, you can capitalize on direct import to amplify your impact.

In this episode of The Digital Deep Dive, Aaron Conant sits down with Hannah Blackburn, Co-founder and Director of The Hawkers Club, to discuss considerations surrounding Amazon’s direct import. Hannah explains the criteria for direct import, how brands can prepare their pricing and inventory, and best practices for optimizing the service.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

BWG Connect provides executive strategy and networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. We network and knowledge share together to better understand and adapt to the newest trends, strategies, and pain points shaping growth in the digital space. BWG Connect, in conjunction with BWG Strategy, has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

In addition, we have had 1x1 conversations with over 5,000 brands and have a real-time pulse on what digital strategies are successful and why. This in-depth knowledge allows our team to operate on the cutting-edge and provide our clients with best-in-class guidance on how to win in the digital world. We have provided free consultations and strategy sessions for companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune-100, to enable growth, resolve issues and make curated service provider introductions that can impact your digital footprint.

We have held to the philosophy of providing high-level insights and actionable knowledge with no sales pitches in order to provide to our network the ability to listen, learn and act to improve themselves as well as their organizations. Our ultimate goal is to be the resource out there to help digital executives find the research they need to excel in the modern marketplace.

If you are interested in getting involved with any of our current or past events, you can find them here. If you are looking for help & would like to set up some time to chat with our team, you can schedule a time or reach out directly to aaron@bwgconnect.com or Tiffany@bwgconnect.com.

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