If you want to maximize your income potential, it is important that you learn how to do market research. This means that you have to do everything in your power to determine what people are interested in buying and what they need before launching any product. To the uninitiated, this may seem like a complicated process but it’s not really as difficult as it sounds. In fact, there are several ways that you can get information about this so that you can meet the needs of consumers and increase sales volume when selling on Amazon FBA or any other ecommerce platform
In this post, we find out What Does Researching Mean On Amazon Fba, what does reserved mean in fba inventory, product damaged or defective prior to shipping, and how to get your product back from amazon fba.
What Does Researching Mean On Amazon Fba
A lot of businesses, including Amazon FBA, depend on the customers’ needs and preferences.
As a business owner, you need to understand that customers want to buy products that are unique and useful in many ways. They do not just care about the quality of your product. If you want to earn good money from Amazon FBA and other online marketing strategies, you should not just focus on the price of your product and its quality. Instead, you have to spend time researching every detail related to it.
This means doing research on how people use an item before they buy it as well as what they think after they own one or more items like yours.
Most customers want to buy products that are unique and useful in many ways.
In most cases, you will not find identical products on Amazon. The unique factor is important and should be one of the top priorities when it comes to selling your FBA products.
The most important part of a successful business is finding something that no one else has. This will allow you to stand out from the crowd and make sure that your customers don’t have many options when it comes to searching for similar items on Amazon.
Examples of these can be:
- *books on cancer recovery by someone who has been through it themselves;
- *a steamer with multiple functions;
- *a gym bag with multiple compartments inside;
If you want to earn good money from Amazon FBA and other online marketing strategies, you should not just focus on the price of your product and its quality.
Research is a very important task for any business, especially if you want to make money with Amazon FBA and other online marketing strategies.
If you are just starting out in the business of private label products, it’s important that you know what does research mean on Amazon.
Researching means knowing what your target audience wants and needs before developing your product and launching it on the market.
It involves finding out how much money people spend on similar products, where these people live and how much time they spend online every day looking for solutions for their problems or simply browsing through videos or articles related to the topic at hand.
You also need to learn how to do market research so you will know what people are looking for and what they need.
Researching means you have to know your target audience, what your competitors are doing, and what people are searching for. You also need to learn how to do market research so you will know what people are looking for and what they need.
Another thing that you should do to research is finding out about trends. There may be some new type of trend that you may not know about or think of before someone else does so it’s best if you look into the topic in order to stay ahead of your competition as well as keep up with what consumers want so they will buy items from your company instead of buying them somewhere else.
There is no doubt that when people look for a product or service online, they will see a multitude of options to choose from.
There is no doubt that when people look for a product or service online, they will see a multitude of options to choose from.
They will be looking for something that meets their needs. The customer has many choices and he can easily find what he wants using the search engine on Amazon or Google.
There are also lots of different ways to market your products on Amazon FBA in order to increase your sales and make more money. One thing you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot of competition out there so it’s important not only to have an amazing product but also know how you are going to market your product better than others so people buy it instead of theirs!
They may not be interested in your product if it does not meet their expectations.
The research stage is when you are researching the products that Amazon offers. This involves looking at many different types of products, such as books and electronics. You can also look at clothing, food items and even home furnishings!
This step is important because it helps you to decide which type of product will be right for your business and also helps with pricing decisions.
Product research is vital for maximizing income potential
Research is a key part of the FBA process. Without it, you’re simply throwing money away by purchasing products that people don’t want to buy or have already seen. You need to know what people want and how they want it so that you can improve your product and make more money.
what does reserved mean in fba inventory
E-commerce companies who sell through Amazon need to know where their products are at all times. Are they in the warehouse awaiting shipment? Have they made it to the customer? Are there bottlenecks that are causing delays?
One of the key metrics for tracking all of this is your Amazon FBA reserved inventory. Understanding what reserved inventory is and tracking it is important for fine-tuning your company strategy.
This guide will help you understand reserved inventory and why your products are ending up there.
What Does Reserved Inventory Mean in Amazon?
So what is Amazon reserved inventory? Reserved inventory are any products an Amazon seller has in their inventory that are unavailable for fulfillment for a number of reasons, ranging from a recent customer order to a pending investigation. In some cases, they may still be available for purchase, but their delivery date may be delayed.
A more straightforward way to understand what is reserved inventory on Amazon is to think of them as products that have been pulled by Amazon and are temporarily unavailable for shipping to customers.
Amazon FC Processing and FC Transfer
FC stands for “fulfillment center”. FC transfer and FC processing refers to a specific status of your reserved inventory, or the units that are in the status “processing”. Amazon FC processing means that your units are at one of the company’s many fulfillment centers around the world. Your FBA inventory arrives for FC processing at an Amazon warehouse, the fulfillment center processes it, and then distributes some of it to other warehouses in order for the company to ship as efficiently as possible and therefore lower costs.
This constant flow of inventory between warehouses is FC processing and FC transferring. We’ll get into the differences between the two terms more in the next section.
Why Is My Amazon Inventory Reserved?
There are several reasons why your inventory may have been placed in reserve status. Amazon divides them into three categories: customer orders, FC transfer, and FC processing.
In this scenario, the product has been ordered by customers. Once the customer orders an item, that item goes into your reserved Amazon inventory. These units have been sold, so you can’t sell them again.
If you’ve run out of your stock of that item, an “out of stock” message would accompany the item until you replenish that stock.
what is FC Transfer
These items are being transferred from one fulfillment center to another. This is when Amazon sends a product from one fulfillment center to another to place your Amazon seller reserved inventory closer to customers, and as a result they are available for sale but they can’t be shipped just yet. It may be listed as back-ordered and the shipment date may get pushed.
As Amazon states within Seller Central: “Units in FC Transfer status are available for customers to buy. Customers may be shown a future ship date if no units are available for immediate fulfillment.”
what is FC Processing
Items in this category are undergoing verification or are pending an investigation at the fulfillment center. This would be similar to the out-of-stock scenario with a customer order. These are going through product check-in, verification of item dimensions and weight, and pending investigations. They’re not available at the time, but once they make it through the process, they will become available for sale.
How Do I See Which Products Are in the Reserved Inventory?
You can view your Amazon Seller Central reserved inventory by logging into Seller Central, clicking on the “Inventory” drop-down menu at the top, and then clicking on “manage FBA inventory.” This will show your inventory in the FBA system, which are the products you’ve bought from a supplier, sent to Amazon, and are now sitting on Amazon shelves.
On the right side, you will see a “Reserved” column — 11 reserved of one product, four of another, and so on. Click on that number and it will break down the number of reserved items into the three categories listed above.
Want To Better Track Reserved Inventory and Other Amazon Seller Data? You Have Options
Many Amazon sellers have difficult accessing data that tracks reserved inventory, and other important business metrics. Our free whitepaper download below provides a handy guide on what options you have for better accessing that data.
product damaged or defective prior to shipping
Accidents happen, and anyone who’s ever received a broken product that was damaged in transit knows this all too well. In 2018, the three leading U.S. couriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx) delivered approximately 13.5 billion packages; of those, 11% were damaged or not delivered at all.
Not only does this hurt the seller, who must replace or refund the order and deal with potential damage to their brand’s reputation, it also becomes a hassle for the buyer, who must then take steps to ensure they are properly taken care of.
Who’s at Fault for Damaged Product?
Thankfully, the question of who’s at fault for damaged merchandise is an easy one to answer. Unless a prior arrangement between the buyer and seller has been agreed upon or some fine print excuses them of damages, the seller is responsible—at least initially—for the damaged item.
What a Buyer Should Do about Damaged Product
First and foremost, you should always be sure to read return policies before ordering anything. This can be especially important for large items, such as furniture, which can be a pain to deal with and a logistical nightmare to send back.
Now, let’s say you’ve received damaged merchandise. After you’ve gotten over the initial disappointment, you’ll want to take a few steps to ensure you’re properly refunded or taken care of.
1. Accept the Package
If an item is presented to you instead of being left on your porch and you can see right away that it has been damaged in transit, your first inclination may be to refuse the package. After all, it was broken before it got to you, right?
However, this could ultimately cost you more, putting you on the line for return shipping charges (some carriers’ insurance policies nullify their responsibility to pay if you refuse the package) or storage fees acquired while holding the product while claims are processed. In addition, if you don’t accept the package, you won’t be able to properly document the damage for your claim.
2. Document the Damage
Upon accepting damaged merchandise, you want to immediately take detailed notes and snap photos of both the compromised packaging and the broken products; this may help to determine whether the package was improperly packed by the seller, or improperly handled and damaged in transit.
By documenting your damaged goods, you can present proof to the seller or retailer that the item was damaged (most are going to want proof; even if they don’t want the item returned to them, they can use these photos as evidence if they decide to file a claim against the carrier).
3. Contact the Seller
Most retailers have their return policies on their websites, which includes a section on damaged or defective items. Even small ecommerce businesses will typically include this information on their website or product listing. So, as previously stated, you should always check this before placing an order.
Things you should look for prior to ordering, and what you should understand when contracting the seller, include:
Always remember to report damaged goods to the seller as soon a possible so that they don’t think you’re responsible for the damage.
Buyer Tips for Dealing with Damaged Merchandise
What a Seller Should Do about Damaged Product
The seller, upon being notified by the buyer that the product arrived damaged, can do one of the following:
Although the seller must make the situation right, it’s not necessarily their fault the product arrived damaged. Sure, they may have improperly packaged the product, but there’s also a good chance the blame resides with the carrier. For example, a driver may have improperly stacked boxes, the item may have fallen off a conveyor belt in transit, or poor warehousing or weather conditions may have compromised it. All are valid reasons for returning goods.
To recoup their losses from the refund, the seller should then make a claim against the carrier service, generally through their website or by calling them directly. Here are direct links to the claims pages of “The Big Three”: UPS | FedEx | USPS
Seller Tips for Dealing with Damaged Merchandise
It’s in the best interests of an ecommerce retailer or seller to make good on damaged merchandise if the claim is legitimate and falls within fair and posted return policies. This will help ensure that customers continue to come back (89% of respondents in a consumer survey say that businesses can regain their trust if they take the steps necessary to resolve a problem) and keep them from posting negative feedback that can dissuade others from making a purchase.
Another way to avoid dealing with returns in retail is to work with a reputable fulfillment center like The Fulfillment Lab. At TFL, we pride ourselves on our ongoing record of safe package arrivals. The professionals in our fulfillment centers take the utmost care when packing your goods, and we have many different styles and sizes of boxes, along with a variety of custom packing materials to ensure their safekeeping. And, if something should happen in transit, we’ll take care of the return and replacement process, and deal with the shipping provider as necessary. This allows you to focus on what’s really important—growing your business!
how to get your product back from amazon fba
Returns are part of the eCommerce and FBA Amazon business so in this post, I’ve painstakingly curated how to manage FBA returns and what to do about it so you can reduce returns, and get more back via reimbursements.
No matter what you sell on Amazon, a common problem that all sellers have to deal with is processing customer returns. As a seller, it is disheartening and frustrating to receive a return from a customer. It’s not just losing money from the sale, but highly likely the customer is angry even though it’s their fault, but will leave a negative review about your brand and product.
Why are Amazon FBA returns a problem and what you can do?
Unfortunately, returns are a part of doing business and Amazon FBA has one of the highest return rates in all of e-commerce because of Amazon’s very lenient and super customer-friendly terms to shoppers. In the clothing category, return rates easily exceed 10%. This means that 1 in every item sold is sent back.
This will vary depending on the category, but from our experience, compared to other platforms like Walmart, Etsy, Ebay where returns rates are less than 1% and closer to 0%, our Amazon return rate percentage is 2.5%. A massive difference compared to other platforms where the customers are not picky and honestly – “spoiled”.
So the best solution is to deal with FBA returns as smartly as possible. By reduce returns as much as possible as well as making sure you can get reimbursed as much as possible.
FBM returns are easier to deal with because they come back straight to you. FBA is more involved and you need to check different reports to make sure it’s come back, the refund was only provided once, and other mistakes weren’t made by Amazon.
FBA will refund the customer under ideal circumstances and inform them they have up to 45 days return period to return the item. However, if the product never makes it to the unsellable inventory, Amazon will reimburse the sales price of the item. More on this later in the post.
How Amazon classifies FBA returns
These are the condition codes you’ll find in your reports and how Amazon classifies it.
Returned items in this category are still in good condition. Amazon will return these items into your active inventory so that you can resell them to other customers. You can decide to verify the items yourself if you are worried about their condition. To do this, fill out a removal order to personally inspect sellable items.
Items or products that are labeled damaged won’t be re-sold. However, you may receive reimbursement from Amazon if the company is responsible for the damage.
For instance, if during transit, the product got damaged because the employee didn’t seal it properly, then you are eligible for reimbursement because Amazon is accountable in such cases.
However, if the fault is from your end, then you won’t receive reimbursement. Therefore, always ensure you pack and seal all your products very well before shipping them to the Amazon warehouse.
Customer damage sounds as if a customer damaged the product after receiving the order – that’s far from it. In this context, customer damage is when a buyer returns a product in less than new condition after opening it.
While customer damaged items won’t be re-sold as a new product, there’s still a chance for Amazon to resell them in some ways. Your best bet is to create a removal order to personally inspect the product then decide whether or not it is worth reselling.
Be warned that allowing Amazon to resell customer damaged products will get your account banned. How? If another customer receives the item that looks used, they will return the product with the reason “used as new” which is one of the easiest ways to get your listing and account suspended. Look at our plan of action post to see what happened to us.
Carrier damaged products are those products that Amazon’s selected carriers (UPS, FedEx, USPS) failed to take care of while in transit. As a result, they got damaged. In some cases, FedEx says delivered but no package has been received by you. For this, you are eligible for reimbursement because the fault is not from your end. You entrusted Amazon to handle your products with utmost care.
This is one of the easiest reimbursements to win back which many sellers don’t do.
These are FBA returns that are not functioning properly or defective. Whenever a customer receives a defective product, he/she is entitled to a refund. The product will be considered unsellable and kept in your inventory. I have seen cases where customers file for returns, citing “defective products” even when the item is not defective. Most times, they do this to have free return shipping.
To be on the safe side, file a removal order to personally inspect the product. I can assure you that you will find that a lot of “defective” grocery items are in excellent condition. In such situations, to minimize losses and boost your profits, send the products back to the FBA warehouse for resale.
Remember, overwhelming negative reviews about your brand for selling defective products can hurt your metrics and thus compel Amazon to suspend your seller’s account. So, whenever a false allegation comes up, take action to protect your account and your brand.
Units that are within 50 days of the expiration date may be set aside as “unsellable.” and eventually removed for disposal by Amazon. Units that have been disposed will not be available for return. You may request to have expired units returned to you if they have not been disposed of. Learn more on creating Removal Orders.
If you sell food or other expiry related products, make sure your expiry dates are updated when you send in a new shipment. There have been many instances of people reselling old and expired food products which is dangerous.
Do customers abuse Amazon’s return policy?
The majority of shoppers are honest and mean well. But there are always a small number of shoppers who commit tons of return fraud and take advantage of Amazon’s lenient return policy.
Some of the ways shoppers are known to commit return fraud which is nicely summed up by RefundRetriever.
Regardless of your experience level as a seller on Amazon, you will always have customers trying to take advantage of you and sabotage the Amazon return policy.
Given that Amazon is customer-centric, you will even see customers threatening you with negative reviews. If you don’t refund them, they will leave a one-star review in order to get at you. This may not be a big issue for larger retailers, but beginners will certainly feel the pressure.
Amazon doesn’t protect its sellers. Therefore, whenever you encounter a false claim, feel free to contact Amazon for advice and how to deal with it. Include screenshots, any threats made, the shopper’s name, and other related information.
There is no reason why you as a seller should be abused for trying to sell and making a living selling on Amazon.
Customer return reasons
The following is a list of customer returns used to process all Amazon returns. You’ll find this in your reports.
How does Amazon’s return policy affect sellers?
Whether it is related to the FBM sellers or Amazon Prime, sellers can feel the impact of Amazon’s return policy. Those impacts provide greater ease of use for handling returns but aren’t always friendly to Amazon sellers on the platform.
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Amazon’s return policy:
Pros of Amazon FBA Returns
Charge restocking fee for returns outside of policy
Amazon return policy allows you to charge a restocking fee if the return falls outside of the standard return policy.
Minimal interaction with customers
Amazon handling all the customer interaction is still a plus in my mind. Most customers wanting returns are either upset, angry or annoyed. And it may have nothing to do with your product, but the fact that they didn’t read the listing or just assumed the wrong thing.
Would we want to deal with hundreds of messages from customers each day wanting to process a refund? No. We’d have to hire a dedicated person for that which is just as expensive.
Cons Of Amazon FBA Returns
#1. A Higher Return Rate Can Harm your Seller Rating
Amazon’s system is incredibly customer-centric, with a great deal of leeway in handling return shipping and addressing refunds in the customer’s favor often. However, this habit does not benefit Amazon sellers who offer items that don’t match their product descriptions. It is essential to focus on quality offerings with clear and concise definitions of what your product does. That way, you can reduce your return rate, which will negatively impact your ranking ability down the road.
#2. Proving Fraud Can Be Tricky
As a seller, you want to defend your product’s quality. You maintain that defense by ensuring nobody takes advantage of you. That applies to any Amazon business, as you don’t want to give anyone a “free meal” if you can help it. But proving fraud can be kind of tricky with products that have gone through one or two uses only being returned because they didn’t fit the bill. Because there are so many potential places where the product might be damaged, you will have to prove beyond any certainty of doubt that the product is in worse condition than when you shipped it out. That can be tricky.
How to Handle Amazon Returns as a Seller?
It is important to be aware of the best practices your account may need when dealing with Amazon returns. The following are some ways to handle Amazon returns as a seller:
Save the return notification email you get from Amazon
Amazon issues a notification when a buyer requests a return. Make sure you keep evidence of the statements in your email.
Know the cause for the return
The first step to take when a return occurs is to quickly identify what made the buyer return the item. If you can immediately handle the problem, it will save you a lot of trouble in the future. You can run a report under Seller Central to check the FBA customer returns report.
Examine the returned products
Amazon will accept returned items provided it wasn’t open and are still in new condition. They do this to protect your seller account. So, when you receive a return notification, examine the items even if it falls under a refund without a return policy. This will enable you to know whether or not the items have any defects. You can report the buyer by presenting all proofs to Amazon if the items are genuine.
Request reimbursements from Amazon
Check if the items are back to FBA for more details. If Amazon implements a refund without a return policy, you can at least request some compensation.
This is very time intensive and complicated process. If you sell millions of dollars worth, it is worth the effort. Otherwise, find a tool like Gorilla ROI reimbursement data or an agency to do the manual work for you.
This is what Amazon suggests you do to reconcile inventory.
To fully reconcile inventory balances, it helps to understand the various inventory events that contribute to your ending balance. There is a report for each inventory event to help you identify the key details. We recommend calculating your inventory balance in the following way:
Starting inventory balance + received inventory – customer orders + customer returns +/- adjustments – removals = ending inventory balance
Define your starting inventory balance:
Use the Monthly Inventory History report to determine the prior month’s ending inventory balance for a SKU or set of SKUs.
Use the Received Inventory report to identify inventory receipt credits to add to your starting inventory balance.
Customer orders generally lead to shipments reducing your overall inventory balance. Use the Customer Shipment Sales report to identify the shipped quantity of a SKU or set of SKUs in a given time period.
Customer returns can add items back into your inventory pool. Use the FBA Customer Returns report to learn how many units of a SKU or set of SKUs have been returned and credited to your inventory balance in a given time period.
Occasionally, adjustments are made to your inventory balance because of unexpected fulfillment center or customer issues. Use the Inventory Adjustments report to track those adjustments.
Adjustments sometimes lead to a reimbursement. Use the Reimbursements report to see the items for which you have been reimbursed.
Submitting an order to remove inventory from the fulfillment center will reduce your inventory balance. To see details about the quantity that was removed, use the Removal Shipment Detail report.
If you can’t dedicated 3 or 4 hours a week to do this, use an external provider and simplify the work.
Want more detailed Amazon guides and tactics to boost sales?
Be the first to know when a new guide is published and how we are implementing it into our business.
Maintain your seller feedback score
A buyer may leave feedback after requesting a refund. But, regardless of the buyer’s feedback, make sure you contact them to show that you care. You can find out about their experience and offer your regrets. And, sometimes. you may get the negative feedback removed.