Yes, you can get a refund or replacement from Amazon if your package goes missing, whether you are the buyer or seller. However, certain requirements must be met based on Amazon‘s policies around reimbursements for lost inventory and delivery issues.
This detailed guide will walk through exactly when and how buyers and sellers can get compensated by Amazon when packages are lost.
Key Statistics on Lost Packages
- Up to 1.9% of all e-commerce orders in the U.S. are reported lost, according to surveys. This equals billions in missing packages annually.
15% of consumers had a package lost in delivery in 2021, per Pitney Bowes research.
Nearly 40% of lost package claims are denied, often due to lack of required documentation according to claims services.
Amazon lost 0.08% of shipments from their fulfillment centers in 2020, per an Amazon executive. Still, this resulted in millions of missing packages.
Top Reasons for Lost Amazon Packages
There are a handful of common reasons packages may get lost or fail to reach the buyer as intended:
- Incorrect address – Wrong shipping address entered or package delivered to the wrong home. This accounts for 15-20% of lost packages.
Porch piracy – Thieves stealing packages left unattended at homes. Up to 5 million packages are estimated stolen annually.
Carrier mishandling – Misdeliveries, sorting errors, improper scanning or other mistakes result in packages dumped, destroyed or lost.
Inventory issues – Errors in Amazon‘s fulfillment centers lead to missing inventory.
Severe weather – Storms, floods or extreme heat/cold causing delivery disruptions.
Damages – A damaged shipping label, torn box or compromised packaging can cause a parcel to be considered lost if the address is unreadable.
Steps for Buyers if Package Shows Delivered But Can‘t Find It
If tracking shows the package delivered, but you cannot find it:
- Check thoroughly around the delivery location – front porch, back door, under mats, with neighbors, leasing office, etc. Packages can end up in strange spots.
Review the carrier‘s delivery photo or GPS coordinates, if available, to validate if delivered to the correct address.
Contact the seller and carrier to see if they have any additional tracking scans or information available.
Report a missing package claim to Amazon within 2 days of the estimated delivery date. Provide your order details. Amazon may be able to locate it or determine next steps.
For suspected porch piracy, file a police report to have official documentation and encourage investigation.
If deemed lost in transit, Amazon will work with the carrier to attempt to locate it. If unsuccessful, they will process a refund or replacement.
What Sellers Should Do If Inventory Goes Missing from an Amazon Warehouse
If FBA items you shipped to Amazon‘s warehouses go missing or unavailable:
- Check the Inventory Adjustments and Manage FBA Inventory reports for shortages. Look under Damaged, Missing, and Loss explanations.
Review the Reimbursements report to confirm if you already received compensation from Amazon for the discrepancy.
Compare your original item and unit count on the Shipment Confirmations report to the Receiving report to identify differences signaling missing inventory.
If unreimbursed after 2 weeks, file an A-to-Z Guarantee claim within 9 months of the shipment date for the unaccounted inventory.
Provide shipment IDs, proof of inventory ownership like invoices, and original carrier delivery confirmations.
Appeal initially denied claims with help from Amazon Account Managers to receive owed reimbursement.
Appealing Wrongful Refunds Issued to Amazon Customers
If Amazon mistakenly refunds a customer for an item that tracking confirms was properly delivered:
- Retrieve the refund details from the Orders report showing reversed charges.
Submit an A-to-Z Guarantee claim to dispute the refund decision and provide documentation.
Include tracking proof showing successful delivery, carrier GPS coordinates, and delivery date stamps if available.
For misdeliveries, provide address details confirming wrong location.
Request removal of reimbursement fees charged to your seller account for invalid refunds.
If approved after review, Amazon will reverse the refund to the buyer and reimburse your seller account.
Amazon Requirements for Seller Reimbursement Eligibility
To qualify for reimbursement from Amazon for lost or damaged FBA inventory, sellers must meet the following:
- Items are enrolled in Fulfillment by Amazon. Merchandise sent to vendors or self-fulfilled orders are generally not eligible.
Products and shipment complied fully with Amazon‘s terms, policies, and restrictions.
Submitted shipping plan matched precisely with what was physically sent to Amazon‘s warehouses. Any discrepancies can cause claim denial.
Items are not prohibited, hazardous, recalled, or intended for disposal or destruction.
Seller account status is in good standing without major issues or violations.
A-to-Z Guarantee claim submitted within the allowed timeframe – 9 months for inbound shipments, 18 months for fulfillment losses.
Required Documentation and Timeframes When Filing Claims
To successfully file a lost inventory reimbursement claim with Amazon, ensure you have:
For lost shipments in transit to Amazon:
- Submit the claim no more than 9 months from the original shipment date to Amazon‘s facilities.
Provide the shipment ID number assigned by Amazon, documentation proving your ownership of the inventory, and original carrier delivery receipts showing successful delivery to Amazon.
For fulfillment center losses:
- File the claim within 18 months of the inventory loss date, as recorded in your Inventory Adjustments or FBA Monthly Inventory reports.
Confirm the missing inventory was never returned or located – check your Inventory Details page.
Specify the exact date or date range and fulfillment center location where the loss occurred, like "Arlington, Texas – May 5-7, 2022".
Input the unique FNSKU or ASIN number associated with each missing item.
For customer returns:
- Claim must be filed within 18 months but after 60 days from the date of refund to your buyer.
Verify the return was not reimbursed or replaced into your available FBA inventory already.
Provide the Amazon customer order ID associated with the missing return.
Attach return tracking data showing return was initiated but never received back to Amazon if possible.
Step-by-Step Guide for Reporting Lost Packages as an Amazon Buyer
Follow these instructions if your Amazon order goes missing:
- Sign into your Amazon account and locate the affected order under Your Orders.
Select Problem with Order and choose "Where‘s My Stuff?".
Provide details – expected delivery date, actual arrival, carrier, shipment and order IDs, etc.
Pick your contact method – email, call, or chat support. Calls tend to get quickest resolution.
Clearly state if marked delivered but remain unable to locate it after careful check.
If porch piracy is suspected, share this for investigation.
Share any shipment facts or tracking updates showing stalled, delayed or lost in transit.
Cooperate with any additional info Amazon requests to locate the package.
Amazon will determine if a replacement or refund will be issued once deemed unrecoverable.
Step-by-Step Guide for Amazon Sellers to File for Reimbursement
Follow these steps as a seller to file for a lost inventory reimbursement:
- Compile required order details – FBA shipment ID, FNSKU/ASIN, date of loss, claim amount etc.
Go to Amazon Seller Central and locate Contact Us under Help.
Select topic as "Reimbursement for missing/damaged inventory".
Input shipment ID or FNSKU associated with missing inventory.
Provide date range or exact date for shipment or loss event.
Explain reason for claim – shipment discrepancy, warehouse damage etc.
Attach all supporting documentation – delivery receipts, inventory reports, invoices etc.
Carefully review for accuracy and submit for Amazon‘s review.
Follow up if your claim is initially denied or more information requested.
Once approved, reimbursement will be credited within 1 billing cycle.
Pros and Cons of Using FBA for Delivery vs. Seller Fulfillment
Fulfillment by Amazon has some advantages when it comes to lost packages:
- Eligible for Amazon‘s A-to-Z protection and reimbursements
Greater delivery success rates with Amazon‘s carrier relations
Ability to appeal unwarranted refunds issued to buyers
Less liability for seller if Amazon loses inventory
- Must follow strict prep and labeling requirements
Amazon can run out of inventory without seller knowledge
Must file claims for reimbursement instead of replacing yourself
Fees for pick/pack, shipping and storage
With seller fulfillment, the accountability falls more on the seller:
- More control over packaging, carriers, inventory
No additional Amazon fees
Can send replacements immediately if needed
- No A-to-Z protection from Amazon
Must refund buyers and file claims with carriers
Higher risk of delays, damages, and losses
Common Reasons for Denied Reimbursement Claims
Amazon routinely denies claims when sellers don‘t meet the requirements. Common reasons include:
- Missed submission deadlines – claims must be filed within 9 months (shipments) or 18 months (warehouse losses).
Insufficient or missing documentation like invoices, shipping plans, tracking data etc.
Items prohibited by Amazon‘s policies like weapons, drugs, hazardous materials etc.
Shipment issues like incorrect item counts or addresses on the shipping plan.
Pre-existing inventory issues like storage limits, expiration, pending removal orders etc.
Poor seller performance history – too many claims, late shipments, quality issues etc.
Amazon‘s Liability Policies on Lost FBA Inventory
Amazon accepts full liability for inventory lost or damaged once received within their fulfillment centers, as long as sellers follow proper procedures.
They do not accept liability for losses during inbound shipping to warehouses unless enrolled in optional protections like Shipment Coverage.
Amazon is not liable if inventory goes missing or damaged due to improper packaging, prep, or unsellable condition. Reimbursements will be denied.
If Amazon refunds buyers due to late delivery or lost items that tracking shows were successfully delivered, they may still hold the seller responsible if policies were followed. Sellers can appeal.
Amazon will ban sellers with excessive lost package claims or deception. Their investigators look for patterns of fraud across the network.
Real-World Examples of Lost Amazon Packages and Outcomes
Case 1 – Seller ships 200 textbooks to Amazon FBA. Receiving report shows only 190 arrived. Amazon confirms 10 missing in transit and reimburses seller.
Case 2 – Customer reports an undelivered lost package. Amazon investigates and locates package damaged at the fulfillment center. They issue refund to buyer and reimbursement to seller.
Case 3 – Seller‘s appeal approved after providing delivery confirmation showing customer‘s lost package claim was invalid. Amazon reverses refund deducted from seller account.
Case 4 – Customer never received $500 camera from third-party seller via Amazon. Seller unwilling to replace. Amazon refunds buyer after claim approved and collection attempt begins against seller.
Case 5 – Seasonal seller‘s peak inventory runs out quicker than projected. Buyers report missing products. Seller failed to replenish stock adequately. Claims denied.
Best Practices for Customer Communication About Lost Packages
If a buyer reports a lost or missing item:
- Respond promptly and kindly thanking them for their patience and understanding.
Explain that you will look into what might have happened with the order and get back to them ASAP.
Check for shipping or carrier delays first before assuming a package is lost for good.
If a replacement can be sent, offer to ship on your own dime to provide good service.
If irretrievable, apologize for the inconvenience and direct them to the proper channels (Amazon for FBA, police for theft).
Follow up with status updates until the case is resolved. Communication and perceived empathy are key.
How Amazon‘s Reimbursement compares to other major retailers
|Retailer||Reimbursement Policy||Time Limit||Notable Exclusions|
|Amazon||A-to-Z guarantee. Must prove proper delivery or damages caused by Amazon.||18 months – warehouse|
9 months – shipments
|Seller errors, prohibited/expired goods, customer returns not received back.|
|Walmart||Covers items damaged, lost or stolen during fulfillment process.||180 days||Damages must be reported within 3 days. Theft/missing items require police report.|
|eBay||Money Back Guarantee. Refunds buyer and seller if lost by carrier.||30 days||Intangible goods, seized items, seller fraud.|
|Etsy||Case-by-case. Requires shipping proof.||100 days||Handmade nature means less coverage.|
Tips to Minimize Lost Packages and Optimize Delivery
- Use Fulfillment by Amazon so Amazon handles delivery with their resources.
Perfect preparation – clean warehouse space, ensure items are shelf-ready per Amazon‘s requirements.
Ship test packages first to confirm process before sending full inventory.
Insure high-value merchandise in case it gets lost or stolen.
Pack carefully and consider professional packaging for fragile goods.
Print labels clearly. Use shipping labels from Amazon – don‘t cover with additional labels.
Confirm shipment contents match exactly what is provided to Amazon on the shipping plan.
Use Amazon‘s recommended carriers unless exceptions approved.
Enable shipment notifications to monitor progress in real-time.
- Provide the correct shipping address and opt for delivery alerts.
Pick up packages quickly after delivery or use secure pickup points.
Require signature confirmation for high-value items.
Use security cameras doorbell cameras to deter and document porch piracy.
Temporarily hold packages at carrier facility if traveling.
Getting Help as a Buyer or Seller with Lost Amazon Packages
Hopefully this guide has equipped you to deal with lost packages or inventory as an Amazon buyer or seller. Some final recommendations on where to get additional help:
- For buyers, contact Amazon Customer Service via phone, chat or email to report issues and request replacements or refunds.
Sellers can find in-depth policies and claim forms in Amazon Seller Central‘s Help pages.
Consider hiring an Amazon Account Manager to handle claims and inventory issues for you at larger scale.
Join Amazon seller forums to connect with others managing lost packages.
For delivery issues, contact carrier support teams directly (USPS, UPS, FedEx etc.) for help locating stuck packages.
Recovery services like Seller Interactive can provide professional assistance with Amazon reimbursements and inventory management.
With the proper diligence around tracking, documentation, and claims procedures, Amazon buyers and sellers have strong options for recourse when the occasional package does go astray.