How Tracking Dimensions Will Prevent Future Logistical Headaches
By Gina Soffian
While Amazon is an incredible gateway for sellers and brands in terms of sheer volume of sales and brand exposure, the logistics of selling successfully can often become a drain on any company.
Many of the companies that are most successful have a strong supply chain organizational structure that ensures that if something falls between the cracks, it is easily retrieved. However, not all sellers are able to create a massive infrastructure in which they won’t be exposed to human or technological errors.
Amazon FBA services have been a phenomenal way to boost sales, ease the logistical pressure, and benefit from the supply chain that Amazon has already built. In fact, many sellers will choose to sell on FBA because it allows easy fulfillment of Prime orders, customer refunds, and returns are managed by Amazon. FBA services intend to provide the seller with an all-encompassing experience, taking on the role of customer service and providing multi-channel Amazon fulfillment.
Amazon, however, is not immune to mistakes. Today, Amazon is able to identify and reimburse sellers for discrepancies in fulfillment and fees. However, Amazon’s reimbursement rate is usually about 33%. They even created a system of detailed reports, a claims department, and an 18-month retroactive window to identify the other ~66% of discrepancies that they do not reimburse.
As an Amazon FBA Seller, there are many proactive steps you can make that will ultimately benefit you. By simply tracking your dimensions your products, you may very well be preventing profit loss, as well as reducing the number of discrepancies that can appear in your inventory.
Track the Dimensions of your INDIVIDUAL Products
Potential profit loss can be eliminated by measuring your products accurately. The best way to do this to date is simply by taking photos of your products with a ruler or utilizing something to scale next to the item. This is a good practice to ensure you, as a seller, can prove the products’ size.
The reason the size of your product matters is because of the sales referral fee and other fees that are based on the dimensions of your individual products.
For instance, if you initially set your product to be shipped as a small standard size product for a fee of $2.41, and they happen to change the box the units are being shipped in, Amazon will measure it and may have a different outcome. Perhaps they begin charging you at $4.71 for a large standard package size, which tells you to revert back to a small standard size. Though many times Amazon will not remeasure these items and you are paying 95% more on every sale unless a claim is filed.
Amazon provides advice on how to avoid fees with smart packaging and they describe the process following the product after it is packed by the seller. After the package arrives at the fulfillment center, it is carefully weighed and measured by high-tech scanners and measurement tools. Amazon goes as far as to mention that having tape hanging off the box could lead to the scanner counting that as a part of your package. Providing tips such as packing soft items more tightly, or ensuring that packing material or tape is not interfering with the packages total area.
In some cases, companies may be charged double in FBA fees because of incorrect measurements. Images providing correct measurements will allow sellers to have an easier time communicating with Amazon. FBA Sellers are able to contact Amazon and request them to remeasure the items. This can result in the seller receiving reimbursement for the mistake.
By simply staying diligent with product dimensions, this will not only increase profitability but ensure your processes are running more smoothly. Varying costs and fees can be difficult to track, let alone attempting to file claims to retrieve lost fees. Having a service like GETIDA that can keep these records for you, being your eyes in identifying any discrepancies, and managing the claims process is key to ensuring that your profit margins are as high as possible.
Director of Marketing & Communications, Getida