Q: Who’s Valence?
A: Valence Services, or Valence for short, is a team of professionals who have been involved with selling on Amazon since 1999 and participating in the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program since 2009. Our passion is designing business processes, developing software and setting up our people to deliver the best results for our clients, Amazon sellers.
Q: What are Valence’s refunds management services?
A: Valence provides Amazon sellers participating in the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program the services of identifying, requesting and taking other steps to secure refunds for the up to 25 errors Amazon can make in handling FBA inventory and managing sales transactions.
How Does Your Service Work?
Q: How does Valence’s service work?
A: In managing your FBA inventory, Amazon’s fulfillment center systems and associates can damage or lose units, such as during the transfer of units between fulfillment centers. They also make errors in managing sales transactions, such as in processing customer returns. While Amazon automatically issues a refund to your seller account for some of these errors. In most cases, they don’t.
It’s not possible to discern all the errors Amazon makes by reviewing the reports provided on Amazon Seller Central individually. That’s why Valence has developed software to compile data from all the relevant reports, and analyze FBA inventory activity and sales transactions, to identify the refunds Amazon owes you. We also have a well-developed methodology for creating an Amazon Seller Support case to request and secure the highest possible refund amount for these errors.
Q: I already perform a thorough review and reconciliation of Amazon’s errors in receiving my shipments to Amazon fulfillment centers? Why do I need your services?
A: Amazon can make up to 25 errors in handling your FBA inventory and managing sales transactions such as customer returns. While you may be identifying and requesting refunds for some of these errors, you’re likely missing more than 90% of the refunds Amazon owes you. Even in reconciling shipments to Amazon fulfillment centers, you may be missing some of Amazon errors, including changes they can make to shipments after they’re closed.
If you would like to learn more about the many types of errors Amazon can make, ask us for details.
Q: Why should I hire a service like Valence to secure refunds from Amazon when I could do the work involved myself?
A: While you could identify some refunds Amazon owes you, without the combination of our software identifying the potential refund and team dedicated to relentlessly pursuing them, you’re unlikely to uncover all of refund opportunities or recognize the amount Amazon should be refunding you. The time and frustration involved in creating and managing Amazon Seller Support cases to request potential refunds, and then to secure the maximum refund amount, could be more profitably spent in doing what you do best for your business, whether that’s creating, sourcing or marketing products.
Q: Since I or another party may be making similar requests as Valence for refunds, is it possible that Valence will make duplicate requests for refunds to Amazon, violating Amazon’s terms of service?
A: No, before we request a refund, we check to confirm that it has not already been requested by you or another party so that we don’t duplicate requests.
Q: Can you limit the scope of refunds you secure for me while I or another party manage others?
A: Yes, we can secure refunds for some types of Amazon’s errors while you or another party secure refunds of others, such for the errors Amazon makes in receiving your shipments to Amazon fulfillment centers.
Q: Is it possible that your requests for refunds could get my Amazon seller account suspended?
A: No, Valence abides by Amazon’s terms of service in determining what refunds to request and in communicating with Amazon Seller Support. To ensure our full compliance with Amazon’s requirements, a member of the Valence team working in the U.S. submits and manages the communication about each Seller Support case. We submit no automated cases and involve no offshore contractors in performing our services.
How Do I Get Paid?
Q: What’s the amount in potential refunds that you can secure?
A: The amount of potential refunds depends of the type of inventory you maintain in the FBA program. For example, some products are more likely to become damaged, leading to higher potential refunds associated with Amazon’s handling of your inventory in the fulfillment centers and in processing custom returns. The potential refunds amount associated with Amazon inventory management activity alone ranges from 1-2% of your gross sales during the period. So, if you did $1,000,000 in sales during the last 12 months, we could secure $10,000-20,000 for this period.
Q: How far back can Valence go in securing refunds?
A: Per Amazon’s policy, we can secure refunds for Amazon’s errors in handling shipments to Amazon fulfillment centers for up to nine months and for inventory going back 18 months. For some error types, we can secure refunds from when as far back as you began operating your seller account. This means that a substantial amount in refunds Amazon owes you may be expiring every month. Ask us for details.
Q: How long does it take Valence to secure refunds for the prior 18 months of inventory activity?
A: We move quickly to secure the refunds for the prior 18 months of activity, specifically the potential refunds about to expire, and generally secure most of the refunds within 30 days and complete the process within 60 days.
Q: How soon can I expect to begin receiving refunds from Amazon?
A: Once we begin work, the initial refunds will arrive within days.
How Do You Get Paid?
Q: How much does Valence charge?
A: Our standard commission rate is 30% of the refunds amount that we secure for you in credits to your seller account or missing inventory that is recovered. There are no other fees. And so we only bill you for our commission as we succeed at securing refunds for you.
Q: Is your standard commision rate of 30% negotiable?
A: Yes, if your average monthly sales exceed $100,000, then we’ll quote an adjusted rate for you.
Q: How do you determine the refunds amount for which your commission is billed?
A: As the Amazon Seller Support case we create to request the refund is resolved and either 1) Amazon issues a credit to your account or 2) they recover your inventory and specify its credit value, we log this amount, then later confirm it was received through an automated review of the data that appears in the Payments report prior to billing you for our commission. In this way, we ensure that we only bill you for refunds that we’ve secured.
Q: How do we pay you?
A: We issue you an invoice for our commission for the prior period on a weekly to monthly basis, depending on the refunds activity level, and then charge your credit card the amount payable.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept all major credit cards as well as payment by ACH or direct debit to your checking account. We do not accept payment by paper check.
If the periodic invoice exceeds a certain amount, we may require that you pay by ACH on net 15 terms.
How Do We Get Started?
Q: I’m interested. How do we get started?
A: Let us know you’re ready to get started at [email protected] We’ll present you our services agreement and outline the next steps.
Q: I’m interested. How can I learn more more before getting started?
A: Let us know a convenient day and time for you to talk at [email protected] and we’ll arrange a call. In preparation, we’ll arrange to provide you Valence’s Amazon Refunds Opportunity Report detailing some of the refunds Amazon owes you.
Q: How do I receive Valence’s Amazon Refunds Opportunity Report?
A: Follow the instructions to providing the Valence team temporary, limited, guest access to your Amazon Seller Central account, so we can compile data from all the relevant reports and prepare our report.
Q: I understand you sometimes maintain a waiting list for new clients. How soon can you get started securing refunds for me?
A: As of July 2017 , we are beginning work for new clients right away. However, we may have to return to maintaining a waiting list.
Becoming a Valence Affiliate
Q: What’s a Valence Affiliate?
A: At Valence, we recognize that Amazon sellers often learn from one another and have a network of contacts involved in selling on Amazon. We also believe in word of mouth. So, if you have a positive experience partnering with us, we’d like to encourage you to refer us to Amazon sellers and service providers in your network, thereby making you a Valence Affiliate.
Q: How do I refer Valence to an Amazon seller?
A: To refer Valence to an Amazon seller who is or may be interested in our service, complete our referral form.
Q: What’s a Valence Affiliate’s reward for providing a referral?
A: If your referral leads to an initial conversation between Valence and a contact with the Amazon seller, we’ll send you a $100 Amazon gift card. And if the Amazon seller becomes a Valence client, we’ll send you a reward payment of 10% of Valence’s commission revenue — up to $1,000 — received during the first 90 days of our partnership with the client.
Q: How do you issue the reward payment?
A: We issue the reward payment as a cash payment to you. We can also issue the reward as an Amazon gift card or as a credit to a Valence client account, thus a payment toward a commission balance due.
Q: Can you issue the reward payment to me personally rather than my company or employer?
A: Yes, just let us know your preference.