Well, here we go. Earlier this month, I was texting with a friend (Anthony Coombs of Splendies), recapping a chain of events regarding Carnivore Club, Amazon, and an email to Jeff Bezos when he suggested I should write a blog post about it. I had wanted to write for a while and hearing it from someone else made me decide it was time. Here we go, the first entry…
Carnivore Club is a monthly subscription box and marketplace for premium artisanal meats in which I serve as the Managing Partner. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day both see a nice uptick in sales on both our website and on Amazon. In preparation for this uptick, in the U.S., we send a lot of meats (including this amazing product, Exotic Jerky Bouquet) into Amazon to sell in their FBA Program.
If you have ever sold on Amazon in the FBA program, you know you have to account for some major lead time from sending them a product to getting it LIVE and FOR SALE on their platform.
With Mother’s Day in May, we shipped $32,000 worth of those delicious meat bouquets into Amazon for a mid-March delivery. Great news, it was delivered. Now, we simply wait for the product to go through the process on Amazon’s side of getting listed.
On April 6th, Curtis (leads Amazon on our side for all brands) felt enough time had passed and opened up a ticket requesting status on the shipment of meats. We had confirmation that it was delivered, but literally nothing afterward. For the rest of April, we continued to reach out to Amazon regarding this, providing multiple documents along the way when requested, yet we were not getting anywhere. It was as if the product was lost (how do you lose that much meat?!?).
Occasionally in the past, when we have pulled a product out of FBA and it comes in multiple shipments back to us (from all of the different warehouses it was likely stored in). A couple of times one of the products we received back would not be one of our products and something completely random. We figured that’s what had happened here. In reality, our mouthwatering meat was not lost, and probably categorized/scanned as an incorrect product and was probably for sale on the platform as something else.
At the end of April, I could not believe that no progress had been made. We had no meat to sell and needed some sort of next steps or action plan. We were already missing the beginning of the Amazon Mother’s Day rush so this was impacting revenue. I sent messages in some slack communities I belong to as well as about a dozen emails to people that I thought might be able to help or provide guidance. Nobody I spoke with had ever dealt with that large of a shipment missing.
Stuart Crane of Incredible Unboxing had seen my post in the Subta Slack group and offered some advice…”You have probably thought of this, and maybe even already done it, but have you emailed Jeff Bezos?” I remember when I first read it, I chuckled a little bit. I had not thought about this and was actually semi dismissive of the idea when I first read it. However, the more and more I thought about it, there was no downside to doing this. Would the richest man in the world actually read my email? Probably not, but surely one of his assistants or team members would. Curtis and I jumped on a screen share and attempted to put together a very concise, attention-grabbing email. One that if was forwarded to the proper department would not need any further context. This was what we came up with (customer info redacted):
Subject: $32,400 worth of our product lost (after delivered to you)
This is a longshot, but cannot think of what else to do.
We sent into Amazon a shipment of our meat products ($32,400 worth of product, so a decent amount) which delivered in mid-March.
FBA Shipment ID: XXXXXXXXX
You guys seemed to have lost it (assuming more likely it was just improperly put as a different product in someone else’s inventory).
This was for expected sales via Mother’s Day / Father’s Day.
We opened up a ticket on April 6th, case ID:XXXXXXX, have provided all requested documentation, yet we still do not have a resolution.
This has caused a major cash flow issue with our business as we already had to pay the meat supplier for the product.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Our seller account email address is: XXXXXX@carnivoreclub.co.
Our seller account name is: XXXXXXX
Thanks in advance,
We pressed the send button at 9:39am EST on May 1st and went on our way. After only a few minutes there was some activity on the email (pixel tracker) and some continued activity over the next hour. About mid-day, our meat had been located and live in our Amazon store to sell.
We never got an official response from Jeff or on the ticket as to what happened but it did not matter. I sent another email to “Jeff and team” on Monday simply thanking them for whatever they did to get same-day resolution on something that had been an issue for almost 6 weeks.