I have just finished a rather heated and lengthy conversation with Klaas Schippers (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Linnworks. The conversation came about because in October of this year I noticed that some UK FBA orders where missing from Linnworks, I noticed because a customer contacted me for a copy invoice, which we generate from Linnworks.
I opened a ticket with Linnworks staff giving some examples of orders known to be missing from Linnworks. The response from Linnworks was pretty typical not answering the question as presented and not providing resolution to the problem;
"I am afraid that would not be possible. When it comes to FBA orders, or orders in general, Linnworks downloads the currently open orders. As for the FBA Linnworks does not control those orders either but simply displays in the system what has been sent from FBA themselves to it. These orders also get processed by FBA and so on. What you could do in order to obtain the missing information for your previous FBA orders is that you could contact your FBA and ask them to provide with the invoices for those customers, as I am sure that they should be storing the information on their end since they are the ones dealing with the orders in the first place."
At this point panic has set in for us internally, since we output a spreadsheet like other Linnworks users which we then pass onto our accountant to produce our VAT returns with HMRC. In short this means that our past filings to HMRC are incorrect and the severity of the problem is unknown, since we do not know which orders are missing from the Linnworks system.
I bring this to everyones attention for because you like us might be relying on this information to prepare your accounts. Furthermore you may well have paid an external developer to export and import this data into Xero, Sage or Quickbooks. Well if you have then you have just wasted a load of money like us, because the data in Linnworks YOUR "Order Management" tool IS WRONG, VERY, VERY WRONG.
Klaas Schippers (email@example.com) at Linnworks does not see this to be a problem for concern, moreover it seems that Linnworks ARE fully aware of the problem and it is NOT ISOLATED, all customers have the same problem. This is buried nicely in their documentation, more specifically here: https://www.linnworks.com/support/settings/channel-integration/channels/amazon-channel-integration/fba/fba-orders#missingOrder. Of course if you have read every single page in the Linnworks documentation, you would know this (that is a joke in itself).
Yes, FBA integration has been goosed for sometime, some of the things that can/have happen...
1.. Random Blank fields within Linnworks (SKU, order ID, prices - take your pick)
2. Multi item / multi dispatch ...Linnworks doesn't capture all the items in the order (Linnworks have recently given up on this one, simply instructing FBA sellers to use other methos to work out the order value - there's thread on this new forum somewhere or other!)
3. Unit price for a quantity of more than 1 *way* out (now fixed)
3. The BIGGIE - Linnworks has no notion of an Amazon Promo rebate... this leads to a huge amount of discrepancy.
That said, I'm surpsied it has taken you so long to establish this - don't you reconcile every two weeks? ....if you did, you'd have picked up on all of those issues as & when they happened (I notified Linnworks over 18-24 months ago on the old forum for some of the above issues - the problems are still prevalent!)
Linnworks say they're presently re-coding the Amazon FBA orders aspect for release in 2017....it badly needs it.
Thank you for your input Rob,
Interestingly, I discovered that Veeqo (who advertise Xero Integration) have the same problems that you mention in your post. Basic inability to deal with promo fees etc etc.
For us we trusted in the technology. We created exports of returns and processed orders for our accountant. To find that items are missing from that report is a massive kick in the nuts. I have talked extensively with Linn Systems about the problem, it seems that if you Sell on Amazon UK,DE,FR,ES,IT and have stock in ANY one of the mentioned FBA Prime locations you MUST enable the FBA option ON ALL CHANNELS, even if you have no stock in some of them.
It appears that Amazon do internal bulk transfers of orders from FBA UK to DE, then pass for delivery locally from the German distribution centre. This then becomes a FBA DE fulfilment and so if you do not have all the FBA options checked the orders are missed. NIGHTMARE situation for us and something that Linn Systems appear to be fully aware of.
Linn Systems are defending it, blaming Amazons reporting and the imports. I am no programming expert, but SURELY a pop up box informing the customer about this would be very easy to implement? It certainly should be brought to the attention of all Linn Systems customers as a priority. I accept that there is always going to be technological limitations with whatever your implementation. What I do not accept is that it has taken Linn Systems 3 months to get to this point, we still do not have the missing data and no effort has still been taken to inform their client base.
Resolving the financial problem has been a costly exercise, we have appointed a specialist Xero accountant, subscribed to the Multi-Currency option of Xero, Subscribed to A2x for Amazon and OneSaas (for FleaBay). Which has allowed us to start retrieving historic information as well. I don't imagine this historically reconciliation is going to bee cheep or quick.
My advice to other sellers, check your data. Take a serious look at Xero, A2x and OneSaas.
Hope this helps someone else
"It appears that Amazon do internal bulk transfers of orders from FBA UK to DE, then pass for delivery locally from the German distribution centre. This then becomes a FBA DE fulfilment and so if you do not have all the FBA options checked the orders are missed. "
It's worse than probably you even imagine...as soon as Amazon do this (& they won't by default unless you've ticked a box in your seller central), you are liable for German VAT from the get go...there is no threshold when you fulfill from withion Germany .....i.e. that first item costing £1.00 that they fulfilled for you from a DE fulfilment centre obliges you to register & pay German VAT. This is another reason that LW isn't 'match fit' ...it doesn't capture the fulfilment centre Amazon have used....therefore you have no visibility on where your VAT is due (HMRC of the German VAT authorities!)
"Resolving the financial problem has been a costly exercise, we have appointed a specialist Xero accountant, subscribed to the Multi-Currency option of Xero, Subscribed to A2x for Amazon and OneSaas (for FleaBay). Which has allowed us to start retrieving historic information as well. I don't imagine this historically reconciliation is going to bee cheep or quick."
I wouldn't fancy that task at all....I've been very careful to reconcile my Amazon disbrusements every two weeks....& even with the numerous workarounds that I've lashed together to help (i.e. when I realised the problem with LW data & that LW weren't addressing quickly enough)...every two weeks sees a lot of errors. Therefore you are certainly on the hook for a huge amount of sorting your books out!! Ouch.
The Xero Integration for Linnworks will be fully live soon.
We want to make sure everything is perfect before we roll it out!
Here's a sneak peak: http://bit.ly/2i9ifBt
Has anyone used any of the apps to connect Linnworks and Xero yet? Any feedback?
Don't Try! Integrate Amazon and eBay directly with Xero. Forget about Linnworks integration.
I do more business selling wholesale than online and I want to avoid double keying orders and creating customers in linnworks and Xero if poss.. that why i wonder if the app would do the trick.
Consider reversing your process. Enter the order into Xero and Push for processing in Linnworks.