Update: On 9/9 I received an email from Amazon. You can read about it here.
It’s been a month now, and it still feels like a surreal nightmare come to life.
It started at the beginning of August when we were charged $91, 645.83 for an FBA “Inventory Storage Overage Fee.” The thing is, we have zero inventory at an Amazon fulfillment center. I figured we could get this resolved fairly easily. I say “fairly” because Seller Support is kind of a nightmare, but, regardless, I was confident we could figure this out.
I submitted a case stating that we have no inventory at an Amazon warehouse because we used to participate in FBA Onsite. As a result, we shouldn’t be getting charged for ANY storage fees. Since all FBA Onsite inventory was stored by us, and not Amazon, we were assured at the beginning of the Onsite program that no storage fees would apply to us.
A seller support representative confirmed that no storage fees would apply to FBA Onsite on August 25: “I would like to inform you that all FBA fees are charged with FBA Onsite, except Inventory storage fees and FBA long-term storage fees.”
Sometime in 2019 we stopped participating in FBA Onsite and we turned it off. We can no longer log in. The inventory that was once in that system must still be in there, albeit inactive. I can see it as “pending” in my FBA view. I assume that is where the $91k fee is coming from. Again, I thought this was something that could be resolved with a case with Seller Support. I also sent an email to my contact at FBA Onsite from when we began the program. If he was no longer with that part of Amazon, I figured he could forward my email to someone who was.
- The email to the former Onsite representative was answered with something along the lines of, I don’t work there anymore. Submit a case.
- The case I submitted was answered with a stock message that said the fees were valid. I again tried to explain my situation and asked that it be escalated to a member of the FBA Onsite team. Again, I received a canned response that had little to do with what I was explaining.
All in all, over the past month, I have submitted five cases. Every single response has been a canned response and not once has a person actually read my message to try to understand what is going on. I have asked to be escalated to someone at the FBA Onsite department. I’ve asked for a member of the leadership team to review my case. I’ve asked for a call back. Every single request has been met with a pre-written response. Not one person has tried to actually help.
The closest I have come to someone reading what I wrote was a rep who responded with:
Hello from Amazon Selling Partner Support,
I am contacting you from the leadership team as per your request.
I understand that you are concerned about the charges for Inventory Storage Overage Fee and requesting a call from Amazon.
I would like to inform you that all FBA fees are charged with FBA Onsite, except Inventory storage fees and FBA long-term storage fees.
As you have been charged for the Inventory Storage Overage Fee, the charges made are correct.
So, let me get this straight…. Amazon is telling me that storage fees are not collected by FBA Onsite, yet I am getting charged $91k (a month) for a fee called the “Inventory Storage Overage Fee?”
This morning I was greeted with a new email from Amazon:
Hello from Fulfillment by Amazon,
We noticed that you incurred inventory storage overage fees on at least one of the days leading up to September 5, 2021. Your storage usage exceeded one or more of your allocated storage type limits.
If you don’t reduce and then maintain your storage usage at or below your allocated limits for the rest of the month, you will be charged an estimated overage fee of:
$ 91,641.21 for September
We encourage you to take immediate action to reduce any excess, stranded, or low sell-through inventory. By taking immediate action, you can minimize your potential overage fees and improve your Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.
To learn more about these fees, visit FBA overage fee FAQ.
You can see your current storage usage and estimated monthly overage fees by expanding the storage monitor at the bottom of your Inventory performance dashboard.
The Fulfillment by Amazon team
Now, I can’t “reduce” anything because I don’t have access to the system that would let me do that. But guess what else? That email, which sounds like a nice reminder, was anything but. This morning my Seller Central account balance was NEGATIVE $181,060.49.
I also received an email this morning asking me when we intend to pay up.
Hello, We are waiting to hear back from you regarding the balance due on your account. A review of your account shows that you have an unpaid balance of -181060.49 USD. In order to sell on Amazon.com, the balance must be paid on your account. A valid method of payment is required in order to settle any negative balance incurred by your account. If you need to update the charge method on file, select Account Info in the Settings section of Seller Central: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/hz/sc/account-information. Then click Charge Methods to update your payment information. To pay by wire transfer or check, please follow the instructions at the end of this message. ============== Wire Transfers ============== Please enter the reference code below into the additional information field of your wire transfer. Reference Code: NSB US A36I4EO8AIR0KD Account Name: Amazon Services, LLC. Account Number: 8926871354 ABA (Routing) Number: 121000248 TAX ID: 82-0544687 Street address: 410 Terry Avenue North City: Seattle State: WA Zip code: 98109 Bank Name: Wells Fargo Bank Address: 1300 SW Fifth Avenue P6101-076 City: Portland State: OR Zip code: 97201 Phone: 1-888-384-8400 ============== Check Payments ============== Please include reference code NSB US XXXXXXXX on the front of your check. Send checks made payable to Amazon Services, LLC to this address: Amazon Services, LLC ATTN: TRMS NSB US A36I4EO8AIR0KD P. O. Box 84837 Seattle, WA 98124
Merchant Credit Team Amazon.com
The worst part of all of this is we had to put our Amazon store on vacation when the first charge was added to our account. We filled the pending orders and then shut down. We simply can’t afford to fill orders knowing that we may never get paid for those orders. (They did, in fact, keep the money for the orders we did fill.) I’ve been selling on Amazon long enough to know that this type of issue could take months to resolve. We’ve now lost all our ranking and five weeks worth of income. In addition, what we “owe” has now doubled and will continue to go up every month until we get this resolved, or until they suspend us, which will probably happen soon. Once that happens, I know no one at Amazon will help us.
Let’s pretend they don’t suspend us and this goes on for 12 months. At that point we will owe Amazon $1,099,694.52. So we will owe over $1 million in “storage fees” for taking up NO space at a Fulfillment Center, not actually using FBA and not actually using any Amazon resources at all.
I still believe this can easily be resolved if an actual person were to look into the details. Charging a seller $91k a month for a “limit” that isn’t actually being used seems like a really easy problem to resolve. After almost 15 years and millions of dollars in fees, I believe we have earned five minutes of someone’s time.