Running an e-commerce business, you face new challenges every day: How do I prevent an out-of-stock event, who is liable for damaged goods, or what to do if Amazon billing is incorrect - these are just a few. Problems that e-commerce sellers we work with tell us about again and again, we will address in this series and present solutions. Today: 4 immediate measures for lost goods after shipping.
Case 1: The shipping service provider has lost the goods
If the shipping service provider has lost the goods (or part of them), the question of liability quickly arises. Whether the shipping service provider is liable depends, on the one hand, on the form of the contract between the parties and, on the other hand, on whether the shipping service provider is a forwarder or carrier.
On contract drafting:
If Incoterms (voluntary clauses) are included in the contract, they regulate the transfer of risk and costs and clarify liability claims. It is therefore always advisable to insist on the inclusion of Incoterms for reasons of clarity.
On the difference in liability between the forwarder and the carrier:
In contrast to the freight forwarder, the freight forwarder acts as an agent for the benefit of third parties. He is only obliged to organise the shipment of goods. He is therefore obliged to transport the goods himself and is not subject to classic freight law. When transporting goods, it is therefore necessary to pay close attention to whether the goods are being delivered using the company's own or third-party transport vehicles, so that no misunderstandings arise with regard to the applicable law (freight law). If you want to be sure that lost goods will be compensated, you can also take out freight insurance. Such insurance is offered by various providers (DSV, TELS Group, AIG).
Case 2: Lost goods after shipping through the Amazon FBA warehouse
Even if this case occurs less frequently than the (partial) loss by the shipping service provider, it can happen that after the arrival of the goods, these or a part of them is lost in the Amazon warehouse. The seller's goal is then to be reimbursed by Amazon for the damage caused. The following is a step-by-step guide to the measures that need to be taken:
Preparation of all documents
The most important proof in this case is the delivery note. This must be kept and presented to Amazon in the event of loss. The delivery note shows that Amazon has received the goods in the correct quantity after the goods have arrived at the Amazon warehouse.
Contact Amazon Customer Service
Even if the Amazon goods are not correctly recorded in the system, this does not necessarily mean that the products have been lost. It is possible that only a part of the batches is recorded in the merchant system or that the goods have arrived in the warehouse but were not fully recorded. In order to be able to classify the situation, it is advisable to contact Amazon customer service. They can then check how many units of goods are actually in the warehouse. The Amazon customer service can be reached either by phone or via chat function.
As soon as Amazon confirms that the stock is indeed missing, the supplier should be contacted immediately. If necessary, the previously placed order (or parts thereof) must be ordered again. If the manufacturer is forewarned, he can react more flexibly and, if possible, even bring forward the new order.
Prepare invoice to Amazon
If the goods have actually been lost in the Amazon warehouse, a product invoice can be prepared and submitted directly to Amazon as a final step. Amazon will then refund compensation for the lost products. If no exact cost breakdown of the products is available, this can often be requested from the supplier.