Podcast Guest
Robert Ferreira
Robert Ferreira
Co-founder and Business Development at Seller Investigators
Podcast host
Martin Zerrudo
Martin Zerrudo
SUEG logo mark.
Martin Zerrudo
Martin Zerrudo
Seller Universe logo.
July 1, 2022

What Does Amazon Owe You? With Robert Ferreira

July 1, 2022

What Does Amazon Owe You? With Robert Ferreira

Robert FerreiraRobert Ferreira is the Co-founder and Business Development at Seller Investigators, a company that provides global FBA auditing and reimbursement services. An entrepreneur since 1998, Robert created his first ecommerce business in 2001 and was an early adopter of bringing products to market on the Amazon platform. 

Robert is the President at Atlantic Horizon Inc., Chief Revenue Officer at Evotech Software Solutions Inc., Co-founder at Food For Thought Philippines, and the VP of Sales at Verseo Inc. Robert splits time between Asia and New York and is happiest when his wife and four kids are all together.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Robert Ferreira talks about how selling on Amazon fueled the success of his wholesale business
  • How can you find out if Amazon owes you a reimbursement?
  • Robert explains the opportunity cost to recover missing funds from Amazon
  • How Robert’s due diligence helped a client get back $80,000 in reimbursements 
  • How Seller Investigators helps speed up your audits on FBA reimbursement claims
  • Robert emphasizes the importance of organizing your tracking numbers for each purchase
  • The support and community found in the ecommerce world
  • Robert discusses using monitoring tools to optimize your product listings

In this episode…

Are you finding and tracking your reimbursements from your FBA Amazon account? To better position yourself for reimbursements, you must advocate on behalf of your brand. What if there was an easier way to find out if Amazon owes you money?

Robert Ferreira and his team at Seller Investigators have helped recover over $15 million on behalf of their clients. Keeping up with the grind of running a business can be challenging — organizing spreadsheets, receipts, shipping, and skews. But Robert suggests that with appropriate account management, it’s an attainable goal for brands to get back what they earned. So, how can you start your Amazon FBA claims process?

In this episode of What Do You Do Next?, Martin Zerrudo sits down with Robert Ferreira, Co-founder and Business Development at Seller Investigators, to discuss unlocking your brand’s reimbursement potential. Robert talks about why you need to advocate for your own reimbursements, ways to improve your audits, and the importance of inventory management to improve your reimbursement recovery.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Seller Universe Ecommerce Group. 

We provide essential Amazon and NetSuite service solutions for brand growth. 

Seller Universe Ecommerce Group provides essential service solutions for brand growth and scale. We position brands for success through cost-effective growth initiatives and operational efficiencies. Our synchronized approach allows brands to dominate in today's complex, multiplatform ecommerce marketplace and ecosystem.

Our team at Seller Universe not only helps your brand on Amazon, but we also do Netsuite implementation and anything that gives you a headache around inventory management.

To learn more about what we can do for you and your brand, visit seller universe.agency.

Episode Transcript:

Intro  0:00  

Welcome to the What Do You Do Next? podcast brought to you by Seller Universe Ecommerce Group. Whether you're just starting your ecommerce journey, finding ways to grow your online brand or can't seem to find the right tool or partner to help you break through. We're here to help. We interview experienced sellers, strategic service providers and other ecommerce experts who will help you answer the question. What do you do next?

Martin Zerrudo 0:25

Hi, Martin Zerrudo, I'm the host of the What Do You Do Next? podcast. Whether you're just starting your ecommerce journey, finding ways to grow your online brand or can't seem to find the right tool or partner to help you break through. We're here to help we interview experienced sellers, top strategic service providers and other seasons ecommerce experts who will help you answer the question, what do you do next? This episode is brought to you by Seller Universe Ecommerce Group or a global ecommerce agency providing essential Amazon NetSuite and Shopify Plus services for your brand growth. So let me give you an example. We had one client manufacturing, they sold on Amazon but they weren't doing so well in terms of sales. So we introduced something called DSP demand side platform Ad Management. And essentially what that means is we took them from A to ro s to a point three, and in layman's terms, basically they spent 300k in ad spend, and we brought it 2.4 million product sales. That sounds interesting, please visit us at selleruniverse.io. Now to the star of the show. Today. I'm talking to Robert Ferreira. Did I pronounce that correctly? Ferreira Ferreira, however, all right. Okay, today I'm talking to Robert Ferreira. Robert is the co founder at Seller Investigators who provides global FBA reimbursement services. Robert success is established by ensuring his customers own success comes before his he's been an entrepreneur since 1998, created his first ecommerce business in 2001. And was an early adopter of the Amazon platform bringing products to mark is Robert splits his time between Asia and New York, and is happiest when his with his wife and four kids all together. Hey, Robert, how are you? Thank you so much for joining us today.

Robert Ferreira  1:56  

Pleasure, Martin. Thanks for having me, I really appreciate it.

Martin Zerrudo  1:58  

So we're definitely going to dig into Seller Investigators, why for our listeners, reimbursement is super critical. When it comes to, you know, understanding some of the errors that Amazon might be doing that they're not aware of a certain timeline that they have to file these case logs to get any kind of that reimbursement back, and who's the best partner to provide that service. But before all of that, I want to ask, you've been an entrepreneur since 1998. How did all of that get started? What was your first business? And what was that? Like?

Robert Ferreira  2:24  

Oh, sure, yeah, no question. I guess I come. My father and his father were entrepreneurs, and I kind of had ingrained in me that maybe, I don't know, maybe I'm just not good at taking directions from others or something. But I will, I wanted to get something started. I wanted to control my time, you know, and you're only accountable to, you know, my customers. And I thought, like having my own business would be that. So I kind of felt the pressure to as quickly I was in corporate world for two and a half years before I started on my own. So I think it was good, just to kind of family sort of seeing my family's lifestyle and wanting to pursue that lifestyle. And the first business was, you know, wholesale business to catalogs, which are kind of going the way of the dinosaur. I still service some of them. You know, there's still a few around, but when I, when I came out, I would I would get products in Asia, you know, I had, you know, put together brand names and what have you, and would service all sorts of catalog shopping channels. As you know, TV folks, that's that sort of thing.

Martin Zerrudo  3:34  

Even when I was a little bit younger. I was first introduced I guess what you I guess, you know, correct me from wrong, what I would consider catalog. Like the Ikea catalog would come out and you're like, Oh man, here's the new season furniture. I remember as a kid there was like the Scholastic like book casting America. Yeah. Oh, man. And it's like, I only have $20 Which book Can I buy? Oh, none of them are only one. Yeah. So So I remember those catalogs very, very fondly. It's something you know, look through aspire to still

Robert Ferreira  4:03  

have them on my desk. That wasn't a prop that was put there. But Oh, nice. Yeah, well, I still I still do sell some product to them and others. You know, it's one of the it's one of the business that can you know, they're there. They do have a lot of challenges ahead of them catalogs with the cost of postage going up so much. So I do still still have a one little toe in the product side of my former life, and then still supply them with some items from Asia.

Martin Zerrudo  4:33  

For sure. For sure. So catalog business is going well. 112 somebody introduced Amazon in July, was it a friend who was like, Hey, you gotta get on to this thing. They're selling books, but it might go crazy. You know,

Robert Ferreira  4:44  

I was just, you know, I wish I could say like I saw it all and I was a smart one. But I really wasn't I did change the best I could with the times and but I would say I was not the earliest adopter but early enough, you know, I started in catalogs, and then that kind of went into shopping channels that kind of went into, you know, pop up ads on AOL, and then to the internet standalone websites quite successful. And then I did hear about Amazon, but Amazon was kind of like 2% of my business, you know, online with my standalone site being 98%. And, and, you know, forward to now that's completely reversed. You know, it's 2%, to my standalone site. Yeah. And I did have some, some hard times when I didn't realize why, you know, the complexity of Google, it was harder to get attention on my standalone site, Amazon was taking a lot of my market share. I was the people I was wholesaling to the catalogs of the world were wholesaling on Amazon. But my kind of one aha moment was like a lightning bolts was I was I was driving in my car. And I was taking the kids to tutoring or something. And an ad was coming on the radio for this. This book that I knew my mother would love, you know, cookbook that I knew she would love. And I was just so like, this made us listen to NPR, like, I'm gonna forget the name of this author, by the time I get. And I was like, Wait a second, my bookkeeper, just put Amazon on my phone, because we just got an account for the office. I said, let me see if this worked, I had never ordered on it. And on my phone, while I'm at a traffic light, I was like, tick, tick, tick, tick. And the book was gonna be there on Tuesday. And I'm sitting in the car, my jaw was on the ground. I'm like, I have to change everything. Like, why would anyone buy from me, like, as a standalone website, there's absolutely zero reason to, I have to commit to Amazon and right there. Like, you know, it's not as romantic as where you first met your wife. But that's where I first kind of met like, Amazon is the future. Yeah. And so I was, you know, I'd say I was about three years later than I probably should have been. But we got there and became, you know, successful sellers on Amazon. And so,

Martin Zerrudo  6:57  

from that aha moment, in your car, today, when did Seller Investigators come about? Seller Investigators came around,

Robert Ferreira  7:05  

and we're gonna be starting coding it, and excuse me, 1717. September, yeah, 2017. We started, we started coding it in September, because I was actually living in the Philippines at that time. So I had always had my back office support for my standalone side, and my Amazon, in the Philippines. And from 17 to 18, June to June, we decided to go live back there for a year, so our kids could see, you know, where their mom is from and, and just we could, you know, kind of just, they were, you know, they were old enough to remember it, but not old enough where they said, Dad, I don't want to go so that year. And while I was there, you know, I got to really know the, you know, the team better. And in my, my, my CTO, Richie, who is now my co founder and partner. You know, I was just going over pain points and Amazon and this being one of them. And he's like, you know, let's build it and not being technical like that. We can do that. And, and yeah, we've, we've been at it since then I got back in June of 2018. And started to reach out to originally some of the people I knew in the industry to see if I could help them and then, you know, onward from there and a few years later, were also very much on the service side.

Martin Zerrudo  8:28  

If you want to take it it's okay we can always cut

Robert Ferreira  8:31  

Yeah, no, it's it's Sorry. Yeah. I don't know how I

Martin Zerrudo  8:37  

scholastic calling it scholastic

Robert Ferreira  8:41  

National Geographics on the phone. They want their they want their book back? Yeah.

Martin Zerrudo  8:45  

So for those who are listening, you'd be surprised. Maybe you won't be surprised, actually, which I spoke to a client earlier this week. We speak to clients all the time. And when we say hey, do you know what FBA reimbursements? are? Are you aware of some of the things that sometimes Amazon gets wrong? And that they may owe you some money back and and sometimes for the most part, they they have no idea what that is? Can you explain to our listeners, what is FBA reimbursements? And what are some of those things that Amazon can get wrong? And why is it so important for us to be aware of it as FBA sellers?

Robert Ferreira  9:15  

Yeah, to to? I mean, I speak to 1000s of people about it. And quite often, you're absolutely right. They don't even know it's an issue, to be honest with you. They occasionally, you know, Amazon will send you a note, hey, we refunded you for this or that. And so people see those who whatever it is once or twice a month, and they're like, Oh, I know it's an issue, but they're taking care of it. I saw one last week, you know, what they don't know is that for that one that was sent back. There's, you know, 567 10 others that were missed by Amazon, not by really any malicious intent. It's just, they're running at 1000 miles an hour with their hair on fire the way we are, you know, we're in an exploding segment. And, you know, it's just the normal wear and tear of warehousing. It's stuff is just gets, you know, lost and and things happen. And you know, you really have to advocate for yourself in order to get these reimbursements back.

Martin Zerrudo  10:10  

So can you talk to us a little bit about what are some of those mistakes Amazon could be making that maybe they're not aware of as FBA sellers.

Robert Ferreira  10:16  

Yeah. So, you know, the very common one is inbound shipments that go missing, both to the original DC and then into DC once it once it's in transit within the system. So, you know, it's super common that, you know, shipping 48 units and 36 that are received, and where those 12 have gone. You know, it's kind of anybody's guess, they're quite often never never found, occasionally we'll find something things will turn up later. But the big one is, is inbound shipments, we often, you know, see things that have been gone for 689 months, you know, never been received, you know, overcharging for FBA fees for weights and dimensions is another very common one. Our system has an automatic we scrape once a week to check that your weights and dims haven't changed. Often they change your weights and dims and that affects your, you know, you're moving forward on how much the package costs you and that segment actually can cost you the most money out of everything. Lost and damaged inventory in the warehouse, you know, refunds issued with goods have never been returned. Because another common one, a lot of prime sellers can say I intend to return this, they automatically deduct the vendor who sold the goods, goods never come back. You have to advocate to get that that money back and get that credit corrected? So I mean, those are, you know, absolutely, you know, kind of some of the things is about 20 Different reasons, you know, that we find as to why, you know, why? Why credits weren't issued properly?

Martin Zerrudo  11:52  

Is it possible for someone to do it on their own? Like, hey, I'm just gonna Google what these errors could be. I'll just, you know, finally this case on my own. Sure,

Robert Ferreira  12:02  

sure. Yeah. I mean, you could do it on your own. And, you know, I always kind of just, you know, you know, when I'm having that discussion on, can you do it your own? You absolutely can. And but the two things I do bring up is the the opportunity cost, you know, and the skill sets that one would possess. So, like the skill sets is, you know, would you do your own PPC, some people may want to dig in and do their own PPC? I wouldn't want to do it, I always had a professional do it, you know, yeah, I could do for them. Yes, exactly. I would I would go to you, if I, you know, if I want it done, do you do your own photography, you could do your own photography, I mean, heck, I could paint my own house, but it probably wouldn't look that good. You know, we a lot of smears all over. So I mean, you have the skill set issue, and then just the opportunity cost, grinding away the hours of the day, this is so time consuming this business. I mean, if I hear one more person, say passive income, you know, because Amazon to me is the furthest thing you can be from living income, and there's just so much it's a constant, it's a constant, you know, push, and of course, and you really, as an entrepreneur should be pushing on the things which are developing a better product, you know, you know, making sure your inventory is topped up, and what what I find with refunds is, you know, quite often, we'll identify it, you know, there's $100 owed will identify 100 of the dollars are owed to you, if you're doing yourself quite often, they'll identify $50 of the 100. That are, they don't, they don't find all the monies on the on the one hand, and then when we go to recover the money, we recover about 85% of what we're looking to recover. And quite often, if somebody, you know, we're doing it themselves, you know, they will have found quite a bit less than 85% of the 5050 They started with. So that's generally how I phrase that you're gonna get, you're gonna get back less money, and you're going to consume a lot of time. If it's somebody who's on payroll, they're going to cost a lot of money. But certainly there are organizations, you know, that could, but it's, it's the grind of work.

Martin Zerrudo  14:08  

You know, what would you say is the typical timeframe? If somebody's going to do it on their own? How long does it take to file the log to hear back from Amazon, for them to do their due diligence, and then for that money to be reimbursed?

Robert Ferreira  14:21  

It generally is directly correlated to the amount of reimbursements for typically anything under $100. You can see that money in 24 hours, as you start. Yeah. From filing a case and our experience, you know, it's typically not a lot of pushback, if you're asking for $48 recovery. And it's not. But as you once you go over the $100 threshold, it has become more and more arduous as to you know, whether it be that they want supporting documents or or whether there's a back and forth as to we're investigating in our local distribution center to see if we can find that find the goods. So I as you get towards $500, and above, you know, you know, it takes at least 12 days is kind of an average. And then once you get, you know, above, above $1,000, it very much becomes like, you know, back and forth. Yeah, back and forth, and you have to kind of prove it to them, like, really prove it to them. So, it can be other than the really low hanging fruit can be, it can be time consuming.

Martin Zerrudo  15:23  

I mean, when you say we have to prove it to them, can you tell us a little bit about what that looks like? And what are some of the challenges in trying to advocate your case, to Amazon?

Robert Ferreira  15:31  

Sure. When you have to prove to them, it often can, you know, will consist of various documents, you know, so common documents that they ask for packing lists, sometimes they'll ask you for an invoice, sometimes tracking numbers, other times PLDs, you know, that they were actually signed for, and oftentimes, many people won't know where to find some of those documents, because they kind of get lost in the ether. And over our experience, we've kind of come to know a lot of the carriers, some of the hacks that you can get around to like, how do you get a UPS tracking number when it's, you know, when it's past, you know, 90 days, and they've scrubbed their systems know of there, there are ways we can do it. But those are some of the common common things that they they want proof that you did send them the goods. And then thereafter, a lot of times they'll ask for an invoice so they can apply the right credits, or what they see as the right credits to to what the amount of money we're asking for.

Martin Zerrudo  16:22  

It sounds like Robert, it's, it can also almost be like death by 1000 cuts, like you said, if it's only like $100 or less, no real need to engage with anybody, you know, hey, Amazon, you owe me 40 bucks. Great. Yeah. But as the amount increases, the due diligence requirement increases and then you multiply that not just by one product, but maybe multiple products, sure catalog, multiplied by maybe one or two brands, then you're really dealing with the giant beast here have a task? Is there a timeline like, Hey, okay, I have all these reimbursements that I have to deal with. I'll maybe do two a day, three a day. And then I'll get all this back after a year or after two years? Or is there a certain timeline that you have to file these cases with Amazon? Or else? Those reimbursements are gone?

Robert Ferreira  17:07  

Yeah, I always, you know, ask people, because quite often, we can see what has fallen off. So when when we get granted access, we have 18 month look back. So But in regards to inbound shipments, it's only a nine month window in which to claim so I can look in and I can see 18 months, and I can tell you exactly everything I sell in the nine to 18 month window what you lost and you just can't get back. And I can show Hi, as you've seen, the last I remember was estimated to be around $80,000

Martin Zerrudo  17:40  

Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Yeah.

Robert Ferreira  17:43  

Yep, real money, real, real money that that gets lost. It's it, they fall off at that point. So I always encourage sign up as soon as you can, because as soon as you file it, it doesn't matter that you go over the nine month, you know, timeframe, once it's filed, you're okay. Everything thereafter, you know, miss, you know, last damage. Any other issue is 18 month clawback. So, the sooner you sign up, the sooner we can grab that data, the sooner we can try to you know, advocate, you know, on your behalf to get it. And as you say, I like some of the small ones. Yeah, they can be quite easy. And incense, you get it back in 24 hours, but they're much harder to like, identify, because they're so small, like, it's so small to try to find them. And then in the larger ones, those are maybe sometimes easier to identify because like, like, you know, but some people don't like the one I just referenced, they lost $80,000. They, they're much harder to get back. So in both cases, you know, we, you know, the talented people that I work with, luckily, you know, are certainly the ones who can advocate best for for, for the sellers.

Martin Zerrudo  18:50  

So essentially that 80,000 had they had been working with someone like you guys that seller investigators that would have been recouped, because that nine month window has expired. Amazon legally doesn't owe that money back to them. Correct? Yeah, right. Wow, there's no appeal process, there's nothing else that you can do. The appeal processes

Robert Ferreira  19:07  

needs to happen within the windows of time, it's in the contract that you sign. So you are allowed to they specify that you are allowed to file for reimbursements, but there's timelines on it.

Martin Zerrudo  19:20  

And they're aware that they're not going to I'm not saying there's somebody like, you know, maliciously in an Amazon office like, oh, eight months and 29 days, you know, one more day and then that 80,000 is Rs, but they're not actively pursuing and going through this due diligence for you. Right, it's like it's on the onus is on the seller to do that within the nine month timeframe or else it's gone. Yeah,

Robert Ferreira  19:43  

yeah. No, I mean, I, I, you know, I would never claim to know what's going on in Amazon's mind and again, they're running like maniacs as well. But, you know, their focus, you know, I mean, it's right, you know, in there for guiding principles that they are Just, you know, customer obsessed, it's the way they put it in their guiding principles. And we're not the customer. You know, we're the vendors. So everything, you know, it seems like they can do all the thing that customer side, they've really got nailed down. And you know, I mean, certainly they want the best systems possible, because that's also part of their guiding principles. Yeah. But sometimes the systems just don't work in our favor, you know, and it's just, you know, I'm not a technical guy, but whether it's the way the systems were built back when they are I know, it's an old architecture, and perhaps that leads to some of it. But yeah, it's a story of kind of retail since the beginning of time. I mean, I went back, you know, to the two years, I did work for somebody, and when we were working with federated and Robinson Mae, and there was loss and shrinkage, they had different names, where it was kind of always been the retail story, that what gets lost around the edges is theirs and theirs alone, you know, sort of thing. So,

Martin Zerrudo  20:56  

man, okay, so if somebody's listening in to like, you know what, okay, I like what Robert is saying, I get it probably can't do this on my own, I may or may not be sitting on $80,000 or more in reimbursements. How quickly can somebody get on boarded onto your system? Walk us through from today? How they get partnered up with Seller Investigators, and what are you providing in the reimbursement space, that's different from maybe others who can provide this kind of service? Sure.

Robert Ferreira  21:22  

Well, it's really, it's as easy as going to our website and, and signing up. We have been early adopters on the new API. And some of our other friends in this space have yet to think it's, I think, at the end of the summer, in which everyone needs to have it adopted by, but we were kind of an early adopter, and the new signup process is quite a quite a lot easier. There's no more copying tokens and all that sort of stuff. So I mean, it's literally just going to Seller Investigators signing up. If you do need help, this is help windows, one of our customer success managers can reach out to you and, and walk through you on a zoom or however you'd like to communicate. Once you're signed up, and you give us you know, the login and the user permissions, we do a completely free audit, no commitments, no, nothing at all, you don't have to give us a credit card or anything. We, depending if it's a weekend or not within 24 to 72 hours, we will have a number back to you as to what we see. So we'll say, Okay, we see this, this, this many cases is 100 cases for this many dollars in these sorts of categories as to what what's missing. And then at that point, you're free to say thanks for the information and go try to get the money yourself or do whatever you're going to do, or, you know, sign up, you know, with a credit card and leave it to us to handle it. And cases will begin, you know, files, the moment you put it in a credit card, they'll start filing them immediately. That's a human process of filing of the cases, initial dig into the reports, there's about five reports that we pull from, that's all done via the API, and that's just algorithms comparing, you know, shipping, you know, shipping manifests to what they received and, and looking for discrepancies, whatever, it then goes over to our human capital, which, as you ask kind of what maybe separates us, I mean, I would put our, our human capital, our, our partners who work with us up against anybody as far as the skill sets that they have. We've put together you know, Philippine based, you know, and, and, and the talent that we have, they're at, at very, you know, cost effective rates, frankly, you know, it just, they're, they're able to, they're able to work at a at a rate that gives us the ability to chase a $2 recovery just as hard as we chase a $2,000 as a $20,000 recovery, you know, for our for our partners or our customers. I think a lot of our other friends in the industry, they very much would both like to focus on the low hanging fruit, you know, like, this is good enough, you know, it just just like in so many industries, when you're when you're stretched too thin, or maybe you don't have all the resources you wish you had like, okay, you can just bid on these keywords and forget about longtail ones, you know, we're able to really dig in there and advocate for every single dollar. We're constantly audited by Amazon themselves. We're approved Amazon partner, we're in the Amazon partner network, you can find us there. And we are all of our data resides on their servers. They audit us for best practices once a year. They kind of ask for our feedback. How are we doing? How are you doing? And, and so I we're very much a white hat shop, you know, we don't want $1 more than our customers out or we try not to get $1 less than they're out. But it's a very fast process to sign up. We have people to help. And then thereafter we're in constant communication, our reporting is, is quite unique in the industry as well. We're we we actually like to give more data than anyone could possibly want, you know, like we can we show you every which way possible, you can look at every report as to why was it last added? You know, what did you maybe do wrong look for ways to improve where I think sometimes other other other other places, it's maybe just kind of some Google Sheets as to how much money they got your back. We'd like to really be super, super informative, because a better a better seller is better for us. They're doing better. They're selling more there. That's that's what we want.

Martin Zerrudo  25:46  

Absolutely. Just a couple more questions, Robert. But this has been fantastic. So far. Again, this is Robert Ferreira from Seller Investigators providing us with some awesome insight on getting reimbursements from Amazon. What are some of the things outside of obviously, signing up? Whether they're going to do it on their own or sign up through you guys? Definitely, you know, time is of the essence so outside of making sure that they engage in FBA reimbursement as soon as possible. Are there any kind of aches or pitfalls that FBA sellers might be making right now that you would say, hey, probably don't do this, don't do that, to better position themselves when they start doing these reimbursements

Robert Ferreira  26:23  

to try to avoid reimbursements in the first place. Yeah.

Martin Zerrudo  26:27  

And yeah, I can do Yeah, yeah,

Robert Ferreira  26:29  

you know, what I've kind of kind of a trick or whatever. But what I've seen is that that where we kind of find the most mistakes is when people bundle a lot of SK use on one on one on one shipment. And they they work up one order, and it's got, you know, 20 different skews on it if it's possible for you to do and you're you're in your warehouse and send out this 20 is one or this 20 is another order, I find that less stuff seems to go missing, a bit maybe time consuming and a bit of a hassle for some people to do but as you're, you know, running a, you know, a small shop and you have five, five aces to send out and you could just as easily send in 555 orders. You know, that's something that I, I know a lot a lot, a lot of shops seem to seem to lose less that way.

Martin Zerrudo  27:17  

So either send them individually, or if there are five different kinds, and you have a larger quantity of all five bins send those quantities separately, but as the same type of skew. Yeah,

Robert Ferreira  27:29  

yep, that's what I, I always encourage everyone to hold on to tracking numbers like that. That has been Amazon very much has been wanting to require documentation. So many assistants check with your carriers as to when do they scrub their servers for whether it be a UPS tracking number, whether it's a bill of lading try to keep the neatest files, you can you know, as far as because they quite often when you're working with third parties go away. Certainly, if you're using a third party fulfillment center, ask them how long do you keep this information? Where's tracking numbers? Where's the packing lists? Because all this information, the biggest thing, you know they they could do is whether they're doing it themselves or doing it with me is to prepare themselves to make the the filings and keep neat bookkeeping of your shipments. Put together an FTP site, I'll put a cloud site together. And while packing lists go in this folder, all tracking numbers go in that folder. Because when it comes up, and it's a big case, and you know, I've been a victim of it, like where do they put that tracking number? Where did I put that packing list? Where's the invoice? That I mean, I've seen millions of dollars go away by people not sending me documents, you know, literally millions of dollars, because they just don't have the documents to submit.

Martin Zerrudo  28:53  

No, that's, that's a scary thought millions just because they Yeah,

Robert Ferreira  28:57  

I mean, we've, yeah, we've recovered over $15 million for our customers so far. But we've watched watched a lot of millions of dollars go away just because they they're unable to provide us with the, with the information that they have. Whether it's you know, sometimes I kind of wonder why why can't you just send it to me, I'd love to get you $5,000 Back $5 Back, whatever. But yes, um, you know, people are, are busy. So all the more reasons to kind of, you know, use talented people, whether it's in our space or your space, you know, it sure. Really third parties are very helpful and in this business having been in the business. Yeah.

Martin Zerrudo  29:39  

You know, just to touch a little bit about that, you know, So full disclosure, obviously Seller Universe Ecomms Group or Amazon account management agency. What are the benefits for those who are listening have a relatively successful brand, they're thinking about, okay, I want to expand maybe I'm just like a one two person operation. I need some help with some reimbursement maybe need some help with account management. What are some of the The advantages that you've seen in going to an agency for some help on the Amazon Oh, it's, it's,

Robert Ferreira  30:07  

it to me with the complexity that's arisen in the last few years. It's an absolute necessity, you don't know what you don't know. And, and as a new Amazon seller, you don't know a lot. Now it's the end and any agency worth their salt, whether they're an individual proprietor or a big shop, you know, they got there for a reason, you know, I would certainly encourage everyone to align themselves with the right agency for the right, the right distance that they are, you know, some people may be at a very, at a very small phase, and maybe a very small boutique shop would be good for them, and grow into a larger one as you go. But I always, you know, to me, Amazon, I Grandfather, I never met because he passed away before I was born. He, he was a he was a janitor, but he was a businessman before, and he emigrated to America. And when he's a janitor, you he say, you know, about business, when you're cleaning a window, the important thing is to clean around the edges of the window, the middle of it will take care of itself. And, and because if a Windows got ugly, around the corners, your whole job was wasted. And, and I very much always think about that, when it comes to Amazon, it's always on the fringes where you're either going to have a business or you're not going to have a business. You're you're if you're not, you know, if you're not advertising with somebody who knows how to advertise, you're, you're just pushing water uphill, you're not gonna, you're not gonna get your you know, you're not gonna get the, the the A cos you need to make a business to make a go of it, you're gonna have the best product in the world. So unless you're willing to really, you know, dig in and your master of all trades. Absolutely. I would hire professionals. But absolutely the right ones, the right fit for you. And Seller Universe, I think is a is is a fit for a lot of people. And but maybe it's not a fit for all find, find that find the people that that that align with the business that you're doing. Right now, my recovery business might not be for everybody, you know, if you're, you know, find the one that that is, but I would absolutely not hesitate to go out there and seek out help. Whereas in other businesses that I've done, very much kind of rode my own boat, because, you know, was able to figure it out. For the most

Martin Zerrudo  32:23  

part, nobody knows catalogs like Robert, out there. Right. And last question, Robert, again, thank you so much. It's been a fantastic conversation. Hopefully not the last time we have you on the show. Any ecommerce experts, any mentors, anybody in the space? It's been really helpful in your professional journey in your career in the Amazon space? Anybody you want to give a shout out to?

Robert Ferreira  32:45  

Um, who are some of the people I hate? Yeah. I really friend was not enough. You guys know Thaddeus, hey, over the seasons, he's over a Buy Box experts now. Okay. He was one of the first guys were on when I came to this side who, who was he started promoting our our, you know, filler investigators. And he kind of it was somebody I would call when, because it's my first time on the service side, right. You know, I was always the product guy by the for this fella for that. And Thaddeus, he's, he was with no zani originally founded no Zani. And then went on to buy box experts. And they've since been bought by SP retail. I think most recently. He's a great guy. I can maybe I'll certainly somebody you could have on the show one day, for sure. But he he was somebody I would reach out to and ask a lot of questions as to, you know, how do I how do I have success on the service side? And then certainly on the product side, I have a lot of you know, more than not many that made the turnover to the, to the Amazon side, a lot of them stayed over on the on the product side, you know, where I came up? And a lot of them I've actually hired great companies like Seller Universe and whatever to take care of the thing. They've become more in line, you know, retailers and things like that.

Martin Zerrudo  34:08  

Don't know for sure. No, that's it's great because ecommerce is a small, tight knit community, you know, for those who really want to be major players, and even up and coming players, right? So long as the passion is there. Like it says, You're behind me, right? We share passionate ecommerce brands. Yeah, you know, like you said, we'd love to help everybody. But it all depends right on are we aligned with what we're trying to accomplish is the passion for really making some big money in a lot of different ways. And yeah, more power to you. But in the ecommerce space, I find the best partners are the ones who who can match you with that level of passion. Obviously, for somebody who's been an entrepreneur since 1998, who has been on the ground floor of Amazon maybe three years later than others. That's okay. You know, and then lastly, Robert, before we end any tools, so Seller Investigator obviously is a great service provides you with a dashboard. I think you guys have a proprietary search engine. So it's very, very robust as a tool. for your clients to us, any other tools out there that you would recommend outside of the reimbursement space that you think would be very helpful for those in the FBA space? That'd be sellers?

Robert Ferreira  35:09  

Um, yeah, no, I mean, a lot. I think a lot of the big shops are doing doing a great job and, you know, at building tools that the customers need, it's, it's monitoring, monitoring your products at all times. It's it. I mean, helium is of the 10s, jungle Scouts of the world. I mean, they all I mean, those are tools that I, you know, till, as a store, use them. So, I mean, it's all all these I mean, on a day to day, you have to know, you know, you know, what your competitors are doing in the space? What are, what are your listings going? I were we monitoring your map, a lot of these a lot of these tools are, are, are entirely necessary in order to have success. So I'm struggling to think of one specific one that I say, think has maybe changed fine. I think, you know, combination of all all of these tools to be aware of what your listing is doing is necessary, because it can change in the overnight, you know, congestion. And you're acting, and you have to, you have to course correct constantly,

Martin Zerrudo  36:19  

absolutely, no, we really appreciate that, Robert, and, you know, when it comes to the middle taking care of itself, and the edges is where, you know, the devils in the details, it's good to know that you guys are there to really provide that kind of service.

Robert Ferreira  36:31  

Yeah, so we always try to do because margin margin gets eaten up, just just an artist can represent, you know, can easily represent, you know, five to 8% of your net margin. Like, I mean, why why would you let you know, five to 8% of your net margin go away? You know, that's a difference.

Martin Zerrudo  36:51  

It's not even your fault. It's not?

Robert Ferreira  36:53  

Yeah, so it's like, it's very much, you know, it's very much the, the devils in details with Amazon, it's so and we've been able to, you know, continue to help people with wherever we can, and certainly very lucky to be, you know, friends with, you know, companies like yourself, who were able to, whenever someone engages with us, we're able to send them to our friends in the community, because it's this, this lots of talented people and lots of green grass, and we'd love nothing more than supporting our friends like Seller Universe and aligning them with the people who need to help them.

Martin Zerrudo  37:31  

No, we really appreciate that. Robert, likewise. So again, this is Robert Ferreira from Seller Investigators. How can our audience members find you?

Robert Ferreira  37:38  

Yeah, I mean, if they want to send me an email directly, you just send me Robert@sellerinvestigators.com. Happy to, to answer anyone's questions right there. And then the website is SellerInvestigators.com. And yeah, please feel free to reach out. We'd love to, you know, do a free audit and see if we can help you. Anytime, please. Perfect. Thank you so much, Robert. Okay, really appreciate it. Thanks so much. Thank you.

Martin Zerrudo  38:05  

Okay, so that was it. Fantastic. Fantastic. How do you feel about it?

Robert Ferreira  38:09  

I always feel like I'm babbling and no, I'm rambling on and on. But I never, you know, never kind of, like get used to your own voice as it were. Find my own voice. But, but, ya know, I that's, I appreciate the opportunity to say a little bit, you know, that what we do?

Martin Zerrudo  38:27  

Fantastic. I really, really appreciate it. And yeah, I think maybe not the last time, I hope.

Robert Ferreira  38:32  

Yeah, yeah, I will get you know, some people to you know, I'll send out some people I get some, for instance, fulfillment houses and some

Martin Zerrudo  38:41  

fantastic, we can get them on as well, please. Yeah,

Robert Ferreira  38:44  

I'll get you some oddball ones that maybe are aren't just, you know, kind of mainstream stuff like this, you know, so many places. And now we're really looking forward to working with, you know, a team up in Manila, you know, my whole crew is down in Cebu. But we have your landing pages all done and everything. And I look forward to onboarding people. So you just kind of let us know when you know, sir. We need to because it's it's yeah, we'll get the recoveries cranking we just, we just had a $95,000 recovery last week. Oh, wow. It's amazing app. Amazing how much money's been having record month after record month the last few months. So

Martin Zerrudo  39:21  

fantastic. Yeah, that's That's great news. And hopefully continued success for both. Yeah, yeah. Lunch on me next time.

Robert Ferreira  39:29  

Yeah. When I'm up in Scarborough. Oh, there you go. Oh, get up. I'll definitely I'll be up there. I think late summer something. Oh, yeah. Let me know. Yeah, my my kids are up in Ajax now. Oh, nice. They moved a bit out of the city.

Martin Zerrudo  39:45  

It's a little crazy. I'm in downtown Toronto. It's It's insanity.

Robert Ferreira  39:48  

Oh my god. I sold my apartment for I think I bought it for 160 and I sold it for 560 like, oh my gosh, it's I mean, I had it for 15 years or so but still I mean, it's, it's insane out there. I could have sold it for more too. But we had this, you know, this boy family that we really liked in it and, you know, kind of a little bit longer No, no yeah, we did write them we didn't want to like, you know, pull every dollar out of them. But yeah, now it's yeah, my daughter's house she's her next door neighbor just sold for over 900 You know, she paid 520 for her place and this is three years ago. Toronto is I don't know how you guys are, how it's sustainable. Just

Martin Zerrudo  40:29  

eat ramen every day is

Robert Ferreira  40:32  

everything else has to pay for your mortgage.

Martin Zerrudo  40:36  

Oh, holy moly, Robert again. Thank you so much. We'll keep in touch and please Yeah, send me those names and then we can get them on the show as well. Awesome. All right. All right, sir.

Robert Ferreira  40:44  

Yeah, you as well. Thanks.

Outro  40:49  

Thanks for listening to the What Do You Do Next? podcast Make sure to tune in again next time and make sure to click subscribe to get updates on future episodes. Take care.

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