Today, I’m going to break down every single line on the Amazon Payout Report to help you understand it so you can better understand your money.
I have built dozens of successful Amazon stores. And I would not be where I am today without knowing how to read this report and understand the different items on it. We at Just One Dime have put in the work to make sense of all of the different accounting functions that go into selling on Amazon so you don’t have to.
Understand the main sections.
Your Amazon Payout Report (which we show you how to download here) is divided into four main sections. Each one is listed and totaled for you in the “Summaries” section at the top of the report. “Summaries” is a summary of each of the four quadrants below. And the amounts for each line item in “Summaries” matches the corresponding quadrant’s total.
You can view your total income, total expenses, total transfers, and total taxes.
Before we get into each of these quadrants and their respective line items, notice one thing:
Every single line item on this report is either a debit or a credit.
Debits are money going out of your Amazon account. Credits are money going into your Amazon account.
Also, understand that whenever we refer to “account”, that is your Amazon Seller Central account. Not your bank account. This report specifically deals with the money moving in and out of your Seller Central account.
The income quadrant of your Amazon Payout Report includes all the revenue that your store accrued during the selected date range. For example, this store’s income for the selected date range is $455,235.28.
Your total income as listed here is your gross net revenue, your total revenue minus customer reimbursements. This is the total amount of gains that your store gets to keep 👍.
Product sales non-FBA (credit) is the revenue your store has made from FBM—fulfilled by merchant—orders that you packaged and shipped to the customer yourself.
Product sale refunds (non-FBA) (debit) are refunds you issued to customers for returned and/or damaged items for any FBM fulfilled products.
FBA product sales (credit) is the revenue your store has made from FBA—fulfilled by Amazon—orders.
FBA product sale refunds (debit) are refunds Amazon has issued to customers for returned and/or damaged FBA items.
FBA inventory credit (credit) is when Amazon reimburses you for any non-sellable inventory that has been damaged or lost by Amazon. For example if you send 1,000 units of your product to an Amazon fulfillment center, but Amazon loses 200 of them, only 800 units would be available for sale and Amazon would credit your account for the 200 lost units.
Shipping credits (credit) are the costs of shipping customers pay when they purchase an FBM product. This payment is credited to your account so you can purchase shipping when you fulfill the order.
Shipping credit refunds (debit) are given to the customer when they receive a refund for an FBM product. The cost of the product is included in the Product sale refunds (non-FBA) line, however the refunded cost of shipping appears here.
Gift wrap credits (credit) are credits you receive if a customer orders an FBM product with gift wrap. In this case, you as the merchant gift wrap the product yourself. For FBA orders, Amazon takes care of gift wrapping, so these fees are not tracked in this report because they don’t touch your account.
Gift wrap credit refunds (debit) are issued to customers who purchased a gift wrapped FBM product and received a refund for a returned and/or damaged item.
Promotional rebates (debit) are charged to your account when you offer a product promotion. Amazon credits you the full price of the product and “charges” you for the promotional amount. For example, if a shopper buys your $40 product with your $5 off coupon, Amazon credits your account for the regular sale price ($40) but then removes the promotional value ($5) from your account since the customer only pays $35. Your account value increases by $35, regardless; this is just how Amazon tracks the transaction for their own accounting.
Promotional rebate refunds (credit) are the opposite of promotional rebates. If a customer purchases a product with a rebate and then returns it (or otherwise receives a refund), Amazon credits the promotional amount to your account. For example, if a customer returned the $40 product they received for $5 off, Amazon will debit your account for the original sale price ($40) of the product, but issue you a $5 credit back for the coupon. Either way, you lose the $35 the customer initially paid, not the full $40 price tag.
A-to-Z Guarantee claims (debit) only occur with FBM orders. If you sell FBM and fail to ship the product on time, to the correct place, or in the correct condition, customers can file an A-to-Z Guarantee claim. If the customer wins that claim, Amazon charges your account for the price of the product and refunds that amount to the customer. A-to-Z Guarantee claims can hurt your seller account’s health, so avoid these at all costs. And we can teach you how to handle these claims.
Chargebacks (debit) also only occur with FBM orders. Customers can dispute unauthorized charges to their credit/debit cards with their credit card company or bank. This might happen if their card was stolen and the thief makes unauthorized purchases with that card. If the customer wins the dispute, Amazon will deduct the contested amount from your account. It is then returned to the customer through their bank or credit card company.
Amazon shipping reimbursement (credit) is for FBA orders only. If Amazon makes a shipping error on an FBA product—such as shipping it to the wrong address—that results in the customer receiving a refund, Amazon will credit your account for the shipping fees you paid on that product.
Before we move onto the Expenses quadrant, you might have noticed we skipped the following line items:
- FBA liquidation proceeds
- FBA liquidations proceeds adjustments
- SAFE-T reimbursements
These are more advanced topics that new sellers do not have to deal with. To learn about these topics—or to learn more about any of the income line items—visit JOD.com/freedom.
Expenses include anything you pay to Amazon, such as FBA fees, product referral fees, etc. Visit JOD.com/fees to get a free guide of the different Amazon seller fees, what they’re for, how they’re measured, and what they might cost you for your product.
This store’s expense total is $207,785.58. It shows as a negative number because it is deducted from your account’s total revenue.
Rather than billing you for each individual expense, Amazon simply deducts the money from your Seller Central account, which is reflected in the expenses quadrant. If there is ever not enough money in your account to cover these costs, Amazon charges the debit or credit card on file with your account.
Seller fulfilled selling fees (debit) are referral fees for FBM products. Referral fees are the cost to sell in a particular product category. They’re typically 15% of the price of the product, but vary by category. And you pay referral fees on each individual transaction.
FBA selling fees (debit) are referral fees for FBA products. The referral fee is the same amount for a sale regardless of whether the product is sold FBA or FBM.
Selling fee refunds (credit) are referral fees returned to your account when a customer returns your product (whether it’s sold FBA or FBM). However, Amazon keeps 20% of that referral fee (up to $5), called the refund administration fee, for managing the refund.
FBA transaction fees (debit) are the fees you pay Amazon to have them fulfill your FBA orders. These fees are based on the size and weight of your product.
FBA transaction fee refunds (credit) are returned to you if Amazon makes a mistake when fulfilling an FBA order. This can be any part of order fulfillment: packaging, shipping, customer service, etc. For example, if a customer returns your product because it arrived damaged, and Amazon takes responsibility, Amazon will refund you the product’s FBA transaction fees.
Other transaction fees (debit) are miscellaneous fees. This line item might include the $0.99 per item fee Amazon charges sellers with an individual—rather than professional—seller account. It could also include closing fees for media items.
Other transaction fee refunds (credit) are credited to your account if a customer returns an item with an associated other transaction fee. If this item was a media item, Amazon will reimburse you the closing fee, minus 20%.
FBA inventory and inbound service fee (debit) is the cost to store your inventory in an Amazon fulfillment center. It also includes any associated fees, such as having Amazon affix FNSKU (fulfillment network stock keeping unit) labels to your products. This service will cost you around $0.20 per label. You can avoid this charge by having your FNSKU printed directly on your retail packaging. And we can teach you how to do that and more.
Shipping label purchases (debit) are fees for purchasing FBM shipping labels through Amazon’s “Buy Shipping” program.
Shipping label refunds (credit) are issued if you don’t end up using the shipping labels (or you accidentally printed extra labels) you purchased through Amazon’s “Buy Shipping” program.
Service fees (debit) are any kind of ongoing, subscription-type services Amazon provides. For example, this could include the $39.99 you pay Amazon each month for your professional seller account if you subscribe to that.
Refund administration fees (debit) is the amount Amazon keeps for all refunds. This amount is 20% of a product’s fees up to $5 per unit.
Adjustments (credit or debit) are any final, balancing adjustments Amazon makes to close out the books on that pay period.
Cost of advertising (debit) is the cost of your PPC (pay-per click) advertising.
Just as with income, we did not cover these less common line items:
- Carrier shipping label adjustments
- Refund for advertiser
- Liquidations brokerage fee
Get the full scoop on these topics—plus the line items we did cover—at JOD.com/freedom.
Now that we’ve covered the most expansive quadrants, it’s time to switch gears to the two smaller ones.
Your Amazon Seller Central account operates a lot like a bank account. Amazon puts money in and takes money out. And just like with any bank account, you can transfer money to other accounts.
The transfers quadrant of your Amazon Payout Report includes all deposits and withdrawals into your actual bank account.
This store’s transfer total amounts to $261,567.45. And because this amount is being transferred out of the Amazon account and into a bank account, the number is negative. It is leaving the Amazon account.
Every two weeks, Amazon transfers your revenue (the total from your income quadrant) to your bank account.
Transfers to bank account (debit) is your total revenue for that two week period minus fees, refunds, etc. It is a debit because it’s being removed from your Amazon Seller Central account as it’s transferred into your bank account.
Failed transfers to bank account (credit) shows that Amazon tried to deposit your income into your bank account, however the transaction failed for some reason. If you slipped up when you entered your bank account information, for example, this would happen. Regardless, because the transfer failed, that money remains in your Seller Central account.
Disburse to Amazon Gift Card balance (debit) will only be on your report if you choose to have your income transferred to an Amazon gift card instead of a bank account. If you do, this line item will reflect the amount credited to your gift card balance. It shows as a debit, much like transfers to bank account, because that amount is being removed from your Seller Central account and put onto a gift card.
Charges to credit card (credit) will occur if your account balance cannot cover certain costs or fees. In this case, Amazon will charge the credit card on your account. It shows as a credit because the amount is charged to your credit card, but is not removed from your Seller Central account.
Amazon lending is a more advanced topic that a lot of sellers don’t use. To learn about this program, visit JOD.com/freedom.
In the meantime, we have one final quadrant to cover.
Let’s make one thing clear: here, taxes refers to sales tax, not income tax.
When your customers purchase your product, the total amount they pay includes state sales tax. Amazon collects this tax on behalf of state governments and, in most cases, remits (pays) it to those governments on your behalf. Learn more about sales tax and your Amazon store here.
The total tax quadrant should equal $0 as you can see in this image:
This means that your customers’ sales tax was added to your account when they made a purchase and then removed when it was remitted to the appropriate states.
Product, shipping, and gift wrap taxes collected (credit) are state income taxes paid by your customers. Some states charge tax on shipping and gift wrapping in addition to the tax they collect on the product itself. This line item reflects the total in state income taxes that your customers have paid when they purchased your items. It’s a credit because Amazon has temporarily added this money to your account before it is remitted to the appropriate states.
Product, shipping, and gift wrap taxes refunded (debit) are taxes refunded to your customers when they return and/or receive a refund on your product. It’s a debit because Amazon returns the tax money, previously credited to your account, to the customers.
Amazon obligated tax withheld (debit) is an amount of tax Amazon is required to withhold from your bi-monthly payout. In this case, Amazon withholds it because they are remitting this tax to the appropriate states so you don’t have to.
Your Amazon Payout Reports are not glamorous. They’re not even fun. But if you can think of this report as a tool, it can help you a lot. If you understand this information, you will be better equipped to understand your revenue and how you can take actionable steps to increase your wealth.
Everything I’ve just covered has been surface level. However, some of these line items go deep. Get invaluable knowledge about every single topic at JOD.com/freedom. Our Amazon FBA membership is a complete how-to guide for building and running a successful Amazon store.
If you are dead serious about changing your future (and maybe even firing your boss someday), we can help.
Just one question: what about this payout report is most confusing to you? Let me know in the comments.