Dealing with Amazon FBA Lost Inventory
As an Amazon seller, you’ve probably heard of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This program lets you store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and Amazon takes care of the picking, packing, and shipping of your orders. It’s a pretty sweet deal, but there’s a catch. One of the biggest challenges FBA sellers face is lost inventory. In this article, we’ll explain what Amazon FBA lost inventory is, why it’s a problem, and how you can deal with it. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to learn!
What is Lost Inventory?
Have you ever lost inventory? It happens when products go missing from your FBA inventory, and it can be due to various reasons, such as damaged or misplaced items, inventory discrepancies, or theft. However, the impact of lost inventory can be significant. It not only results in financial losses but also damages your reputation as a seller, leading to negative customer experiences.
That’s why it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to prevent lost inventory and ensure your business runs smoothly.
Why Does Lost Inventory Happen?
There are several reasons why inventory can go missing in the FBA process. Some of the most common causes include:
- Damaged items: During the fulfillment process, items can get damaged, making them unsellable. These items may be removed from your inventory without your knowledge, resulting in lost inventory.
- Misplaced items: With thousands of products being stored in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, it’s not uncommon for items to be misplaced or lost in the shuffle. This can result in inventory discrepancies and lost inventory.
- Inventory reconciliation issues: Amazon’s inventory reconciliation process can also lead to lost inventory. This process involves comparing the number of units you sent to Amazon with the number they received. If there are any discrepancies, it can result in lost inventory.
Theft: Unfortunately, theft can also occur in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, leading to lost inventory. While Amazon has security measures in place, items can be stolen.
How to Deal with Lost Inventory
As an FBA seller, it’s essential to have a plan to deal with lost inventory. Here are some steps to manage lost inventory and minimize its impact on your business.
1. Monitor Your Inventory Regularly
The first step in dealing with lost inventory is to monitor your inventory regularly. This means keeping track of your inventory levels and sales to ensure that everything is accounted for. By regularly checking your inventory, you can catch any discrepancies early on and take action to resolve them.
2. Use Inventory Reconciliation Reports
Amazon provides inventory reconciliation reports that can help you identify any discrepancies in your inventory. These reports compare the number of units you sent to Amazon with the number they received. If you find any differences, use this report to figure out which things are not there and do something to fix the problem.
3. File a Reimbursement Claim
If you believe your inventory has been lost or damaged due to Amazon’s error, you can file a reimbursement claim. This process involves submitting a request to Amazon for reimbursement for lost or damaged items. Remember that Amazon has strict guidelines for reimbursement claims, so it’s essential to provide as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
4. Conduct Your Own Inventory Reconciliation
In addition to using Amazon’s inventory reconciliation reports, it’s a good idea to conduct your inventory reconciliation. This involves comparing your records with Amazon’s to identify any discrepancies. If you find any, you can then take action to resolve the issue.
5. Consider Using Inventory Management Software
To help prevent lost inventory and make inventory management easier, consider using inventory management software. These tools can help you keep track of your inventory levels, sales, and shipments, making it easier to identify any discrepancies and take action to resolve them.
Preventing Lost Inventory in the Future
While it’s impossible to eliminate the risk of lost inventory, there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of it happening in the future. Here are some tips for preventing lost inventory as an FBA seller.
1. Properly Label Your Inventory
One of the most common causes of lost inventory is improper labeling. Make sure to properly label all of your products before sending them to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. This will help ensure that your inventory is accurately tracked and accounted for.
2. Use Amazon’s Inventory Placement Service
Amazon’s Inventory Placement Service allows you to send all of your inventory to one fulfillment center, rather than having it split up among multiple centers. This can help reduce the chances of lost inventory, as all of your products will be in one location.
3. Conduct Regular Inventory Audits
In addition to monitoring your inventory regularly, it’s also a good idea to conduct regular inventory audits. This involves physically counting your inventory to ensure that it matches up with your records. If you find any discrepancies, you can then take action to resolve them.
4. Use Inventory Management Software
As mentioned earlier, inventory management software can be a valuable tool for preventing lost inventory. These tools can help you keep track of your inventory levels, sales, and shipments, making it easier to identify any discrepancies and take action to resolve them.
As an FBA seller, it’s common to face the issue of lost inventory. However, it doesn’t have to be a major setback for your business. There are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of lost inventory and keep your business running smoothly. Regularly monitoring your inventory, using Amazon’s inventory reconciliation reports, and taking preventative measures can help you avoid this issue. But if you do experience lost inventory, be sure to take quick action to resolve the issue and get back on track.