No matter who tells you to “spiff up” those invoices, just say no.
As happens all-too-often at Riverbend, recently I was assigned a ticket for a new client who was suspended for forging documents.
During our call to discuss his account, he assured me that he had done nothing wrong.
“Did you ever edit an invoice?” I asked.
“Well, yes, but it was OK to do,” he answered.
I didn’t follow his reasoning and pushed for more details.
“I have an account manager at Amazon,” he explained. “They told me to edit the documents to fix the dates and quantities, so it should have been fine.”
This is pretty common in forged documents cases. Our clients feel justified in manipulating invoices because they believe they are somehow presenting the “spirit” of what actually occurred in their business. But Amazon doesn’t want an approximation. They want actual, true invoices.
Other circumstances where we’ve seen forged documents include:
- The seller has multiple accounts and ordered merchandise under one company name, while selling it under another company name.
- The seller bought items from a “friend,” rather than from a distributor, wholesaler or manufacturer.
- The seller failed to obtain proper invoices – ever – from their supplier.
- The seller sold more items than they have invoices to cover. This could be because they first conducted test buys or obtained samples.
- The seller is worried about their invoices being from more than 365 days ago.
- The seller is buying shady goods.
- The seller created a false invoice to get ungated because they didn’t want to buy the minimum for new inventory they may not be able to sell.
In any of these circumstances, do not give in to temptation and submit a faked invoice. Just don’t do it. You are much more likely to be successful with Amazon by explaining the circumstances of your less-than-ideal invoices.
On the other hand, if you forge invoices, it’s extremely difficult to convince Amazon to give you another chance. They will simply not trust you again. And for good reason.
By Lesley Hensell
Lesley is Partner at Riverbend Consulting, she offers practical know-how to improve retail performance. Lesley’s experience with Amazon compliance gets accounts back up fast.