Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Turnover Tuesdays - Using Amazon Chat and the Importance of Organization

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

This particular week is a little different, but I learned a lot and I hope you do too.

Week 1 - First attempt at reselling
Week 2 - My second straight fail
Week 3 - My iPad mini collection
Week 4 - Bed Bath and Beyond
Week 5 - An iPad Idea for Your Staples Gift Card Collection

The Item - iPod Touch

On August 7th, I posted a deal for an iPod Touch 5th Generation Yellow version from Best Buy.  The price was $149.99 before an AmEx offer.  I was hoping for 20% margins, but things got a little derailed.  Let's see what happened.


If you are going to resell (merchandise or gift cards) organization is extremely important.  It's too easy to have a gift card get lost in your inbox, a portal doesn't payout and you don't realize or something like that.  Those are margin killers and you don't even know about them.

I have more spreadsheets than I know what to do with.  It can be a bit tedious to update, but I always have new motivation to keep it going when something goes wrong that I only detect because of my spreadsheets.

I was trying to reconcile my spreadsheet and I noticed that I had no selling price for the iPods.  Then I looked at my FBA inventory and I had no iPods in my inventory.  That's weird.  I usually check at least once a day and I wouldn't have missed 4 iPods in the reserved column.

Tracking Shipments - Wrong Item Sent in

I knew that I sent in the iPods so I went to track the shipment and I clicked on reconcile and this is what I saw:

Apparently, I said that I was sending 4 iPod Touch 64GB Black versions instead of 4 iPod Touch 16GB yellow versions.  I clicked on replenish from a previous sale and didn't realize my mistake.

No big deal, they recognize the error I made so 4 Yellow iPods should make their way into my inventory.  The problem is that it was more than 2 weeks later and they weren't there.  What happened?

Amazon Chat

If you are a reseller and you take away nothing else from this post, learn about Amazon Chat for Fulfillment by Amazon if you don't know about it already.

I didn't know about it for a while until my friend @MilesWhip introduced me to it and now I use Amazon Chat for all of my issues.  They are usually very knowledgeable and quick to respond.

Here is how to get to Amazon chat (not as straightforward as it should be):

1) Click on "Help" in the top right corner

2) Click on "Contact Us" in the bottom right corner from the menu that appears

3) Click on Fulfillment by Amazon
4) Click on "other FBA issue" and it will finally take you to the menu for the chat session.

Once you are there you can ask any question you want.

I asked the chat specialist what happened and they told me that Amazon determined that the iPods were not related to my shipments and removed them from my inventory (and then presumably sold them for themselves).  I was almost in shock.

I asked what would happen?  I was told that she will forward my request to the credit department and that I should be receiving a credit since Amazon took my inventory.

Meanwhile it has been a few weeks and I keep getting emails from Amazon that my reimbursement isn't ready but is coming.

One time they even asked me to confirm that they are lost and I want reimbursement after I had already gone through the whole chat session.

I do fully expect to be reimbursed, though I don't know how much that will be and how long it will take.

  If I hadn't a good spreadsheet system I may never have noticed that it was missing to begin with.  Use spreadsheets, they will help you.