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…currently from Amazon that they were withholding that I didn’t even know about. Okay, now you going to also hear how at the time that I was doing the interview with him, which was a couple weeks ago now doing this intro two weeks after I did the interview, that’s about how far usually I’m out with my interviews, but at that time that I was recording it and I was telling him this live on that interview that I had $605 that was credited back to my account.
Well currently, since that time that that interview was done and then now, it’s $958.05. Every single day it goes up just a little bit and I am not going to go into exactly how this is happening but just understand that Amazon has money from us as sellers that’s kind of held in, kind of like an Escrow or like a holding tank in a sense and until we ask for it back, we don’t get it back. All right, so he’s going to share exactly how he figured this out, also how I got introduced to it and how I’m using it now, super easy, you only pay if you get money back and I’ll let him explain everything it’s really awesome. I’m loving it. It’s kind like an autopilot type thing.
His name is Jacob Heinz, again, he is an Amazon seller and he also figured this thing out and now created a software tool which he’s going to share with you if you want to use it. Now you can do this manually and he’s going to explain exactly how you can do it manually and it won’t cost you anything at all. All right, so really, really awesome interview, I’m really excited to share this with you. It’s really awesome to be able to get money back that you didn’t know it was there like free money right coming back to you.
All right guys I’m going to stop talking now so that you guys can listen to this awesome, amazing interview I did with Jacob Heinz so enjoy and get ready to be blown away.
[00:02:12] SV: Hey Jacob thank you so much for hanging out with the TAS community how is it going man?
[00:02:18]JH: It’s going great, I appreciate you inviting us on.
[00:02:20] SV: Yeah, I’m excited to have you on and just to let people know a little bit more about what we’re going to be talking about. I discovered you… I think a couple of listeners might have given me a link to your software that actually does a recovery and kind of like the inventory salvager and all that stuff which we’ll talk about, but really what we’re talking about is and this is what really intrigued me was being able to recover money back from Amazon that you not necessarily would’ve known you had coming back to you.
[00:02:50] JH: Mm-hmm.
[00:02:50] SV: Right, is that pretty much what we’re talking about?
[00:02:53] JH: Yeah, the big thing is letting people know that that money is out there and then also how to actually recover that money.
[00:03:01] SV: I think that’s going to be great to kind of dig into because I had no idea I got to be honest, I had no idea that this was even possible. Then once I said, “You know what? I’m going to go ahead and give this software a try” before we even talked about getting you on the show. I said before I even mention it or talk about it, “I want to see how this thing works.” Before we talk about the software and how I can automate it, why don’t we talk a little bit about what’s happening and how this is even possible?
[00:03:30] JH: Yeah, no problem. There are a lot of ways that Amazon… Amazon has all these automated systems in place when it comes to the accounting and the inventory and the refunds. What we found though was overtime little slippage occurs and when that slippage occurs over time it can turn into big money for your average salary. We started selling online with Amazon a few years ago and we didn’t even know this was a thing.
A couple of years had gone by and we’re buying and selling in the pet space and I’d come across a few articles about how to reconcile your refunds and how to ask for reimbursements for damage inventory and at the time I didn’t even know it was a thing. I just assumed Amazon’s system was bulletproof and everything was working the way it should. I started going through these guides and I started realizing like wow there’s a lot of money left over. Just on our personal account we recovered over $7000 in reimbursements as money we wouldn’t have even known that we were missing,
[00:04:31] SV: That’s crazy, that’s crazy. Okay, so what are we talking about? Let’s talk about like your first step in this that you’re figuring this thing out. What did you do? Did you just manually email them on certain … What did you look for?
[00:04:45] JH: Yeah. Let’s go over an average scenario,
[00:04:47] SV: Yeah, let’s do that, that’s great.
[00:04:48] JH: An average scenario is you’ve sold your widget to a customer. Customer for whatever reason they decide, “I don’t want this anymore.” They contact Amazon and ask for a refund. Amazon takes that money from your account and puts it into a holding account waiting for the customer to ship their product back into Amazon. Once Amazon receives the product, the refund is given to the customer. Now a lot of times that, and it happened to me as an Amazon shopper. I asked for a refund, then the idea of having to put it in a box, do the labeling and bring it down to the post office… It’s in my closet.
What happens is after 45 days, Amazon is supposed to release that money that they took from you, they’re supposed to release it back to you, but a decent percentage of time it just gets stuck in that holding account. Amazon’s happy to give it back to you because it is not Amazon’s money, it’s the customer’s money, they’re happy to give it back to you but if it slips through the cracks, the other burden’s put on the seller to figure out what’s missing. The first step, if you wanted to find this missing money is you need to download your refunds report and you have to look for refunds are over 45 days old because that’s the window in which the customer has to send the items back.
You need to download your refund report and look for orders that are over 45 days old and then there is a separate report that will show the inventory where the refunds that are being returned. So what you are looking for is the discrepancies between those two reports. Let’s say it’s around 10 to 12% right? From that 10 to 12% you need to check your reimbursement reports, which you can actually search by like the transaction IDs from your refunds and see what’s been reimbursed, what hasn’t been reimbursed.
Now if you come across one that wasn’t reimbursed and it’s been over 45 days and the customer hasn’t returned the product, you just have to open a case with Amazon sellers support tell them, “Hey, it’s been over 45 days, here’s the order ID, I’d like to request a reimbursement,” and over like 85% of the time they will reimburse you right there no questions asked.
[00:07:09] SV: Now that’s for refunding okay right? And we’re not talking about inventory at that’s been damaged or any of that stuff, you’re talking more of the refund okay. That’s like a refund like you’re saying that money goes into like a third-party, not third-party, like a holding tank and then from there if that item is sent back, then that money is refunded, if not, then you get it you’re supposed to get back but a lot of times it doesn’t come back to you, it just sits there. What you’re saying is you find that in your reports and then from there you figure out which ones have not been reimbursed back to you and then you have to send in a request to support request to Seller Central or Support to actually tell them that they need to basically give that back to you.
[00:07:48] JH: Correct, exactly.
[00:07:50] SV: To find these reports, where do we find these reports, our refund report? Do you know? In the seller central?
[00:07:59] JH: Yeah, they’re all in the seller central, if you go under your reports and then go under fulfillment.
[00:08:05] SV: Okay, fulfillment.
[00:08:07] JH: They’re pretty much there, you’re going to see things like… That’s where you find your reimbursements under the payment section you’ll see the returns under the customer concessions and then those are the two reports that you really need to look for. Then you check your returns against your transactions, so if you take the order ID from a return, you search for it in the transaction section, it will show you if it has been returned or not.
[00:08:38] SV: Okay, and if it hasn’t been returned then that’s when you can get your money back.
[00:08:42] JH: Yeah,
[00:08:42] SV: Got you.
[00:08:44] JH: It’s actually three steps. So you take the order ID from your return and search for it in your transaction history. If you see that it hasn’t been returned, then you want to take that order ID and look for it under reimbursements. As long as they haven’t automatically been reimbursed then you want to open a case.
[00:09:03] SV: Got you, got you. To open a case, is that pretty much as simple as just going there and sending them a support ticket?
[00:09:11] JH: Yeah, you just go to the help, you do the contact us and then you’re submitted under your selling on Amazon, I believe it’s customers and orders, you put in the order ID and then you can request a refund right there.
[00:09:28] SV: Got you, okay cool, so that the refund side of things now let’s talk about the inventory kind of like opened or damaged inventory so what’s that part of this?
[00:09:39] JH: The real simple thing is that Amazon is huge. They have these huge warehouses and it’s very common for them to damage inventory. Now what we found is that the warehouse employees are terrific about noting when something is damaged but the automated reimbursement, getting payback for that damaged inventory doesn’t work as well as it should. What you have to do is go in and… There is a report specifically for like damaged inventory right?
The inventory is a little bit harder than the refunds only because the reports don’t necessarily tie together. So, when you download your damage inventory report, you get… each damage inventory has like a warehouse case number and it’s is not a number that as a seller you can search for under your reimbursements. It’s kind of interesting, Amazon Support has it on their end but as a seller you can’t search for it. We even reached out to Amazon Support when we originally got started like, “Hey, I’ve got this number what do I do with it?” and they’re like, “You can’t do anything with it. It is an internal number.”
That’s where it’s a little trickier so what we do is, we look at like a week at a time. Let’s say the first week of March, we look for any damaged inventory right? Let’s say we had two units that were damaged the first week of March. What we then look for is warehouse damage reimbursements 10 days later. They have up to 10 days to reimburse you for any warehouse damage inventory so what we’re looking for is 10 days after the first week of March did we receive any reimbursements? If we didn’t receive any damaged warehouse reimbursements, we go ahead and open a case and say, “Hey, it’s been after 10 days, we had two units damaged that first week of March. I believe that we haven’t been reimbursed.” We usually went around about 80% of the cases using this methodology but it is kind of taking an educated guess because you don’t have the reporting that you really need like you do with the refunds to know okay, this was returned, this was reimbursed, this wasn’t.
It’s vague. I don’t know why they don’t give you access to that transaction ID searching feature but it is what it is, so we make our best educated guess using this methodology.
[00:12:20] SV: Okay, that’s interesting so okay, we’re talking… This is stuff that is kind of happening that again because Amazon is so large, there’s things that are happening there that we could just be… Not even being aware of it and losing money because it’s money that’s actually ours but it’s just kind of sitting there and what you’re saying is if we went and we were being I guess conscious of this, we can go out there and submit tickets ourselves manually. Now you guys were kind of doing this in the beginning before you decided to create a solution, which I think is brilliant. Why don’t you walk me through how that kind of happened because obviously it was probably a tedious task.
[00:12:59] JH: Yeah. There’s actually three modules in AMZSuite and every module is to automate tedious tasks. We we’re doing it on our own. We we’re going in and downloading the reports and doing the reconciliation and then having to manage the cases, making sure that you got reimbursements for the ones that you got reimbursed for. If you are a seller that’s doing under like $10,000 a month on Amazon, it’s pretty easy to do manually. You’ve got maybe 200 transactions, out of those 2/300 transactions you’ve know you’ve got a return rate of 2%, it’s something you can manage. But once you get over like $10,000 a month, it really starts accumulating. It’s tough to go in and try to reconcile 2000 transactions a month.
We started building out… As we grew, it became too large for us. We started out manually doing it and then it just became too tedious for us to do it consistently so we started building automated tools to do this. As our tools became better, we realized, “Wow, there’s probably a ton of Amazon sellers that could benefit from this.” We packed it up and gave it a really pretty website and rolled it out.
[00:14:19] SV: I got to be honest, it’s really cool. I was a little, I guess like anybody would be skeptical, like this is legal? Is this okay? Is Amazon going to get mad? But it’s really an automated tool of doing like you said those tedious tasks on your behalf and I think that’s what I really liked about it. Just to let everyone know, as we’re recording this, I have only been running it for about three and half weeks maybe four weeks tops and so far I’ve recovered $609.35 and that’s just from the Inventory Salvager. I guess my question would be here and I’ll go ahead and ask you here on the podcast maybe you can give me an answer, is like the Refund Rescuer like that hasn’t done anything as of right now, is there a reason for that or is there something I’m not doing correctly or is it just mine isn’t accepting that?
[00:15:13] JH: Yeah, I could actually look right now and see.
[00:15:18] SV: Because again, I didn’t know if it was because they were slowly dripping out the different tickets and they didn’t want too many tickets because you didn’t want to overload the amount that you’re sending in your company?
[00:15:32] JH: Well you do actually bring up to two good but different points. First, we do drip in tickets. One of the key things that we do to make sure that there is never any issues is, we only allow AMZSuite to have out three open cases at a time. It is a slow and steady process but you’ll eventually recover all your money and then once every… Actually we go back 365 days. From the date that you start up we’re actually going to go back a year and find all that missing money. Once you’re up to date you’re fully reconciled, then AMZSuite just continues to constantly monitor your account and anything new that pops out they open a case for it. What we do is we only allowed three open cases at a time so it is a slow and steady process.
[00:16:22] SV: I noticed that it is, it’s right there though. It’s like every couple of days I log in and refresh and it’s up 100 or something.
[00:16:31]JH: Yeah, yeah.
[00:16:33] SV: Which is kind of nice.
[00:16:34] JH: What we do too is… To answer your question about the refunds, a lot of sellers have communications with their customers and kind of work out arrangements and everything when they issue a refund, so we actually monitor for customer communication. If you as a seller have contacted with the customer, seller initiated the refund, we don’t open cases for those. That’s probably a part of why you haven’t seen many of the refund cases just because you’re probably on top of your customer support.
[00:17:13]SV: I totally am and I’ve got someone that does help with that as well, so I’m totally on board with that. Okay yeah, I was just wondering how that was kind of working and if they were both working side by side deal as far as… I did notice that like 3, 4 tickets at a time is max. Just to let people know the other thing that I really liked about this and I like how you structured this, because you didn’t do it like it’s a monthly fee or anything like that more less per ticket so it’s kind of like you only pay if you get if you get that claim successfully gotten your money back.
It’s kind of like, you have these tickets or these coupon, I think you guys give away some credits as well but it’s based on a credit system. If you if you submit a credit and you get 20 bucks back you’re only going to take a very small portion of that on so it’s really like it doesn’t really cost anything.
[00:18:10] JH: When you sign up, we actually give you 20 credits so you don’t put a credit card in or anything, you just set up your AMZSuite account and then you’ll set up your Amazon seller… You’ll invite a user for AMZSuite to use to reconcile all of your accounts and everything and we give you 20 credits. Usually what users do is they’ll sign up, they’ll register, they get their 20 credits. You’ll receive money back and reimbursements before you ever even buy a credit from us.
[00:18:42] SV: No that’s a great way to do it because people are actually seeing that it’s working and then from there they can decide if they want to continue which I think anyone that has a business that’s having transactions go through and that has inventory in there, you’re probably smart if you do it. You’re losing money if you’re not.
[00:19:04] JH: We try to stay ahead of the curve, so you’ll get reimbursed say like $600 from Amazon, you’ll pay us like $60 in credit, sorry, you’ll buy like $60 in credit, so you’re always getting more money back than you would pay us anyway so it’s a win for everyone.
[00:19:21] SV: Now let me ask this on the inventory when you get it reimbursed is that is going directly back in a… You’ll see that reimbursement on your statement when you see the amount that’s been paid to you?
[00:19:33] JH: Yep, if you keep an eye open you’ll start seeing more of those FBA reimbursement notifications coming from Amazon.
[00:19:42] SV: I have noticed that.
[00:19:43] JH: Yeah, Amazon’s the one that actually reimburses it and it goes right back to your seller account.
[00:19:47] SV: Got you, okay cool. Just to let people know too. I signed up here totally like everyone else, I didn’t even get any a free account or anything like that and I ended up buying I believe it was 60 credits and those 60 credits, I still haven’t used them all, I’ve only used 46 and out of those 46 I’ve gotten $609.35 back, definitely worth the investment.
[00:20:14] JH: A lot of people ask us like “What percentage does it come out to? What’s the recovery percentage that you charge?” We charge a $1.50 for every successful reimbursement so you’ll get reimbursed for a unit for $30, $40 and it will cost you a $1.50. It’s between like 5% to 7% depending on your average ticket size, so we try to make it as inexpensive as possible so that it makes sense no matter what your average ticket size is and then you know we want to prove that the system works before you even have to pay us.
[00:20:50] SV: Yeah, I love it, it’s a great model on your guys end and talk a little bit now but the feedback century as well. That’s another element that in there on that people can use and that’s like the negative feedback removed. Can you kind of talk a little bit about that.
[00:21:05] JH: Yep. There was another tedious task that we felt like we should just automate. I’m sure most sellers are aware that if you’re using Amazon FBA, Amazon takes responsibility for the customer experience. If a product comes damaged or a product comes late and a customer leaves you a negative seller feedback, if you contact Amazon they’ll take responsibility for it and remove that feedback. As well, if someone leaves you a product review on your seller rating, that violates Amazon’s feedback terms of service, they’ll remove it.
What we did is we create a module that goes in and monitors your seller feedback for any negative feedback and if one pops up, it opens a case with Amazon to remove it. Most people do it on a weekly basis, like every couple of weeks, we were doing it like once a week but then I got thinking, “That’s a week that I’m losing out on the buy box because of negative feedback or somebody clicks on my seller profile and sees that negative feedback.” Our system goes in and checks like every three to four hours. At most you got a negative feedback on there for three to four hours versus a week.
[00:22:26] SV: Yeah, yeah that’s helpful for sure. That’s definitely helpful. Now this has been great, I mean it’s totally eye-opening and I think that there’s a lot of people out there that could use this service and again it’s kind of running in the background you don’t even know it’s happening other than you might get those occasional emails, unless you want to filter them into another folder because you might get a bunch of them at a time because they are coming in steadily. You can always filter them to another folder in your Gmail account or whatever but yeah, it just kind of runs, just have to make sure that your credits are up so it can continue to keep submitting the actual cases.
I like it too, the dashboard is really easy to kind of navigate now and also it shows you the cases that were submitted, the successful ones and then the cases pending and also show the unsuccessful cases and again those you aren’t charged for. It shows you how many credits you have remaining and all that stuff, so really, really good job, clean, simple. I like the interface of it and just really, really good job on that.
[00:23:27] JH: I appreciate it, thank you.
[00:23:28] SV: Yeah no problem. If anyone wants to check this out, number one, it’s totally free to check it out, you can just head over to theamazingseller.com/recover and that is a pretty link that is an affiliate link that actually… If you go through that link, I will be able to buy some more coffee which you guys know I love and again, I would not be saying to go use this if I did not believe in this. Again, I’m showing you right here on my dashboard and I’m looking at $609.35 and every single day it seems it goes up a little bit which is which is kind of cool.
Jacob, you also said that you’re going to give the TAS listeners a 10% discount on their credits purchase if they use coupon code what was that, TAS?
[00:24:15] JH: TAS, correct.
[00:24:19] SV: Yes, just use TAS but remember, you can go there actually free right now and get 20 credits by just going to theamazingseller.com/recover and again I’ll leave the link in the show notes to this episode. Then when you’re ready to buy those credits, which I’m sure you will because you’re going to start seeing that it’s making you money or getting your money back I should say, just use the coupon code TAS and you’ll get 10% on all of your credits when you purchase them, so that’s pretty cool. Jacob, I want to thank you for coming on and giving us the insight I guess and actually going through in building this thing because it makes life a lot easier and really I’m not sure if somebody would go through the trouble to submit those tickets.
[00:25:00] JH: Yeah, once your volumes start increasing, it’s one of those things you’re always like, “Oh, I should do that. I really need to go do that,” and it just kind of always falls by the wayside.
[00:25:11] SV: Yeah it’s totally true and it’s almost like that refund you said it’s sitting in your closet, it’s like you don’t send it back when you don’t send any open tickets for this just a lot of work and you have to hire a VA to go and do it all.
[00:25:23] JH: That is exactly it. Yeah.
[00:25:24] SV: That’s awesome. All right. Well hey, I want to thank you so much. I appreciate it and again they anyone wants to check it out head over to theamazingseller.com/recover and when you are ready to purchase your credits just use coupon code TAS and you can get 10% off those future credit so Jacob once again, I want to thank you appreciate sharing this and I appreciate you building this software.
[00:25:47] JH: That was great, I appreciate it, thank you.
[00:25:48] SV: No problem. Okay so that’s pretty awesome right I mean you have to agree. That’s amazing that this is money again that I had no idea was out there and here’s the thing, it goes back 362 or 65 I think it is days I forget what he said it was exactly but it goes back over 300 days. If you’ve been selling for 300 days or even six months, it doesn’t have to be 300 days, I’m just saying, it will go back and then start dripping out these different support tickets really is what you’re doing is you’re putting in these support tickets and you’re automating the process to where you’re doing three or four a day and then it just slowly drips back in and then once you finally get caught up with all of the money that’s been paid back to you then it’s going to be again just always sending out these tickets and kind of analyzing your account. That’s what I love about it.
The only time that I’m paying, is if a ticket is brought through and if I get 15 bucks back they get a portion of it, a very small portion like $1.50. I would pay someone $1.50 to go out and find $15 for me every day of the week rather than me having to go through. I’m really, really a huge fan of this software and the other thing I’ve to say is he has created just a really easy to use software as well so again I tip my hat to Jacob great job on making it just so easy and really, really simple to use so this way here, you don’t have to really think. You just kind of set it up and let it run and also to look at your numbers in the backend is really easy as well.
If you guys are interested again I’m going to remind you, head over to theamazingseller.com/recover. That’s R-E-C-O-V-E-R or you can just go to the show notes of this page which is episode 198, so that’s theamazingseller.com/198, the link will be there and also all of the show notes and the transcripts will be there as well on episode 198. I would say go over there and check those out if you’re interested in downloading this episode. I do think it was pretty valuable and he also walked you through if you wanted to do it manually, how you would do that so you can actually see that in the show notes as well.
All right, so that is going to wrap up this episode I mean I’m still blown away by this every day or two I go in, I login and boom! There’s a little bit more money that’s brought back to me that I didn’t even know was out there so it’s crazy. You can use this for more inventory, you can use it for your Pay Per Click. It’s money that you didn’t know was out there. I am going to stop talking about this because I get excited about it every single time that I think about it. All right guys, that is going to wrap it up, I wanted to say thank you to everyone that has been listening, that has been giving iTunes reviews, if you guys have done that, great, that you so much. If you guys have shared the podcast, you guys are awesome, I appreciate you and just everyone that’s listening all over the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Remember this, remember this, you guys know what I’m going to say, the longtime listeners remember that I’m here for you, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to … Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you where? Right back here on the next episode.
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