How seller can recover unjustifiable charges from Amazon | Learn from Josh

How seller can recover unjustifiable charges from Amazon | Learn from Josh

Today my guest is Josh Naude. He is head of marketing and sales at Chargeguard. Chargeguard helps e-commerce sellers recover unjustifiable charges from Amazon.

In today’s episode, Josh will talk about his company, what they are doing and the process of how they help recover these fees, how much they recover, and the relationship with Amazon, amongst other topics. But let's hear from him more. 

  • Josh, let's talk about your company.
  • Don’t you think this is against Amazon, as you’re recovering money from them for the sellers?  How much did you recover in the year 2022? 
  • Literally, when I read an email that you guys help the seller recover charges/ fees from Amazon, I was surpassed, and I can’t believe this can be done. So what kind of fees/changes that you recover from Amazon? 
  • What is the process to recover these charges/deductions/fees? 
  • Do you have any collaboration with Amazon, or are you guys doing this legally? 
  • How do you get customers? What is the focus when it comes to marketing? 
  • Do you think ecommerce is going to boom in 2023? Because I have read many news and people are not expecting that much response from e-commerce.

Let’s hear from him 

Sam Suthar 

 All right, fine. So, welcome to the Show, Josh. Please talk more about you, your company and your purpose for learning.


Josh Naude

All right. Cool. Do you want me to just go for it across the board? Yeah. . All right, cool. So I've been with Charge Guard since July, 2020 in the heat of Covid. Right. Okay. This was originally a company that was part of a full-service Amazon agency. Mm-hmm.  and my CEO, John Collins, and the co-founder Rick Stalls saw how big of a problem Amazon fees were for all of our full services.


Right. And that is initially what started off, um, to spark what is now charge guard because when they see how erroneous the fees were becoming and how much was hurting the profit margins of these companies, right? Obviously it, it begs the question, why is no one trying to solve this and how do we go about solving this in the best way possible?


Because if you're trying to run a business, your bottom line is extremely important. Right? Without profits, you can't keep on going, so Got it. When we moved into 2021, we started seeing that there was more and more opportunity to build this bigger and bigger as opposed to just servicing our existing clients and a few others that we had.


And that's when Charge Guard became a separate entity. So it is now listeners own, um, own and operates independently omnix. The full-service agency has been taken over by an aggregator, so we are no longer by that, and this is solely what we focus on. Now, obviously, when it comes to disputing. You've gotta walk the walk.


You've gotta talk the talk. You've gotta eat, sleep, and breathe Amazon, because on the third party side, for all those involved in fba, you've got technology and APIs that help get those fees down. On top of that, you're averaging one to 3% when it comes to the bigger vendors. Right? You're talking about major enterprises and all of that.


None of this technology. There's no clear cut way of how to do it, um, and what to follow. And heck, Amazon keeps on pushing their Amazon vendor managers and a few other roles, but at the end of the day, we need to consider that these people still work for Amazon. So yeah, they might be able to help a bit, but they're far from getting the result that you want.


So with that being said, we've had to bolster our, our team. And privately developed technology to help with this because the scale of these fees, when they're coming in each and every single day, and Amazon strength, huge amounts of information at you, as well as limiting you to be able to see 12 months of your fees on vendor central.


Right? This becomes a, an almost insurmountable task. Mm-hmm. , if you don't have a specific team, Trying to mitigate those fees. Cause you can't eliminate them. Right. I wanna make that extremely clear. These fees cannot be eliminated entirely, but if you don't have a team that is specifically focusing on this, they'll stack up hard and fast.


Now with chargebacks, you've got 30 days to dispute it. Right. Okay. And then on top of that, you've got three strikes per charge. So you have that initial 30 day window to dispute. So then the 30 day resets, and then after that it goes into a more open timeline. But I mean, regardless to say you don't wanna be on that third strike and fourth month.


Okay. When it comes to shortages, there's no specific timeline on how to dispute with that. We've created technology that allows us to go back as far as five. Versus the one year that a vendor can see on Vendor Central, right? So that on itself is a huge, huge thing that we can help with. We also have something called the SIR Audit, the Charge Guard Evaluation and Recovery Analysis Audit.


It brings your fees into clarity so you can really see what the playing field looks like for the past two. Well, one year for chargebacks, two years for shortages, and we'll show you the percentages, what's a recoverable amount, and then we'll show you what we believe we can recover based on our expertise and knowledge.


And we have been averaging 70% of the piece that we can show. Okay? So the audit is two years, but we can see five years back. Obviously. It also depends how long someone's been a vendor with Amazon. Does that all make sense? So, Okay. Okay. 


Sam Suthar

Yeah, I got it. Alright, fine. So, I think, you cover a lot of things in a single line.


That's great. so now next the question is definitely, since you are recovering the cost for Amazon, right? So don’t you feel that this is against Amazon because they also wanted to earn money, right? So why do they want to give a return fee? 


Do you have any kind of collaboration with them, or it is something that you legally working with them to solve this problem? 


Josh Naude

Look, that is a very good question. I mean, obviously these fees exist because Amazon is in expansion mode and automation and technology is far from purpose, right? So everyone acknowledges there's operational compliance issues both for vendors and from Amazon.


Mm-hmm. . So it is a two-sided thing, but we never want this to be seen as we are in combat with Amazon. In fact, we've had talks a few times with teams at Amazon to create better collaboration. We want this to be something that levels the unfair playing field, right? Because if it's just Amazon operating on their own, it's hard for vendors to keep up and with no real clarity on how to dispute these fees, because Amazon also keeps changing, right?


It's extremely unfair on the. So we are essentially coming in as a middleman to create collaboration on both sides. Therefore mitigate the fees as much as possible for the vendors and keep both sides as strict as possible. Well as possible with the specific operational compliance rules that Amazon sets in.


Because a lot of companies also look at this and they see it as a pay-to-play arena and the cost of doing business with Amazon because a lot of them aren't just selling on Amazon, they're also selling on Walmart, Kroger, Shopify, wherever it may be, right? There could even be some people in Ali. There are various retailers that they could choose from, and each retail platform has its own operational compliance.


So there are instances where it's erroneous and is Amazon's fault. There are also instances where the vendor is at fault, so it's definitely not one-sided. Okay. Okay. So it's like 


Sam Suthar

So, it's a kind of coordination job where you coordinate the seller as well as Amazon. Am I right? 


Josh Naude

Yeah. And there's always gonna be negotiations between the two sides, and that's fair enough.


It's part of doing business. 


Sam Suthar 

So when it comes to negotiations, do you pay Amazon as well? Because I'm sure you're charging from the seller? There are certain discounts or certain amounts that you're charging from the sellers, right? So whatever, let's say you recover $10, right?


So out of $10, I'm sure you will be charging maybe 5%, 2%, whatever you charge, right? So do you charge from Amazon as well? 


Josh Naude

We don't charge from Amazon as well. When we show someone the zero audit, as discussed earlier, right? We also discuss a blended fee rate with the various clients.


Mm-hmm. , right? Because we still want them to get the majority of their money back and into their pockets. At the same time, obviously our human and technology resources. Need to be paid; there needs to be bolstered. You need to keep building and adapting as fast as Amazon does because otherwise, you get left behind.


So yes, got it. We absolutely do take fees, but those fees will come directly from the recovery we get for our clients because we wanna show them. We also have skin in the game. We're not taking any other fees. It just comes from recovery. Okay. 


Sam Suthar 

Okay, got it. 


Since you are dominating in sales and marketing, right?


So how do you get to customers? Like how do you connect with the sellers? because I have seen your website a little bit, but it's not something that you're getting organically. So, I just wanted to understand how you get customers, how will you reach out to the sellers and, you know, uh, to offer their service?


So are you focusing on inbound and outbound, or what are the marketing strategies that you are looking at? 


Josh Naude

Look, those are all good questions, and we've got a variety of things in play at the moment. We have a system called Recovery Rush, in which we allow individual people to come on board. As independent contractors or in their own business capacity representing us so they can go forward with all the credibility and team like that, right?


And they can sell for us. They generally use methods such as email, LinkedIn, and networking. Obviously, since Covid has ended, we've also used live events that have started happening again. So that is one way with our team of certified recovery specialists who've come out of a recovery Rush.


Mm-hmm.  on top of that. Right. Our CEO, John Collins, is extremely connected in the e-commerce world. So we've also helped leverage that credibility getting on, um, various podcasts, PR articles, um, webinars with other companies because we knew other agencies prior to. And we've also made a point of building relationships with the entire Amazon ecosystem.


Right? So that could be anyone from logistics to aggregators, to various agencies or whatever kind. Okay. And they have helped us build our clientele fast than we could have ever hoped for. Okay. 


Sam Suthar 

Makes sense. I got it. 


How do you see this macroeconomic effect on the e-commerce market?


Because I have seen, especially in e-commerce and some different industries, it's impacting a lot. If you look after the pandemic, there was a surge in e-commerce, right? Everyone is going online, creating their own store, or creating a Shopify store or Amazon, whatever, right?


But, yeah, after that, there is a gap in the supply and demand like there are demand is less. If you, you considering the macroeconomic effect. So how, how do you see this macroeconomic effect on your company as well as, uh, you know, your revenue? Because, uh, I have seen other people facing these issues.


So, tell me more about yourself and how you look at it. 


Josh Naude

Yeah, absolutely. Right. If, if I'm being honest, we did an initial check on the size of the opportunity that we were in back in 2020. It was about 6 billion in fees that we were looking to get after. Right. Oh, decent enough. Size industry. Now we did a check, and it's closer to 13 billion.


So from the pandemic until now. I mean, there are more and more people working from home, starting e-commerce stores, and everything like that. As you mentioned, supply and dem demands changes. I think. We've just grown exponentially. We've grown NX in hundreds of percent year on year, right? So as far as this goes, we are trying to keep those other entrepreneurs, whether they're vendors or sellers going, because these fees mean extra profits, right?


They've already spent that. Obviously having more of that money helps them with marketing and advertising and whatever else they might need it for could be expansion and Okay. The, the fees we get back help fuel their companies more and more and it keeps the whole e-commerce ecosystem moving. I would also say with the pandemic, it's given the rise to more and more entrepreneurs.


So from a macroeconomic effect, I would say there's a lot of opportunity for growth. But on top of that, right, if someone isn't willing to adapt with probably the fastest change we're ever seeing to date, then it could be devastating on them. And look, I mean, it could, could make more and more rich people richer and, okay, yeah, hurt.


Hurt. Those who aren't willing to adapt. So, okay. I would say by and large. If someone's willing to adapt, if they're willing to learn new things and get involved with the changes that have come and what the pandemic has created, then it's gonna be amazing for them and they'll see incredible results and potentially earn more than they've ever earned before.


I can tell you we've personally helped people do that through our recovery rush. 


Sam Suthar

Okay. That's nice how do you see this market in the upcoming years, like 2023? 


Josh Naude

Look, I would say it's time to double down. Instead, any relationships that you have. I know there are a lot of people talking about the recession, but again, in 2020, a lot of people went through the recession as.


And quite honestly, we did nothing but expand. So if you are willing to connect with the right people, build relationships, there's still a lot of business done. And I can tell you factually from our side, for those contracted to us and connected to us in any way, we're definitely gonna be driving business harder than ever.


And I think it's more needed than ever. Should things turn down, should consumers spend? Right. So we need to ensure that everyone connected to us consistently gets their feedback and keeps the businesses moving forward. Okay. 


Sam Suthar 

Yeah, because most of the companies are focusing on reducing operational costs, right?


And that's how you can definitely help them to reduce certain costs. That could be the charges fees or maybe anything, whatever they are charging. But that's, I think, great. And you can add some bucks to their revenue. Right. That's really great.


Okay. So. So tell me more about, how big your company is and how many people are working in total and in sales and marketing both.


Josh Naude 

Yeah, look, that's a really good question.


Internally, our team is predominantly made up of people involved in recovery, disputing, and the technology that we need to keep on building because it does, like I said earlier, take a huge amount of resources to make this happen considering there's nothing already in play. So we have a team of about 30 people internally and growing.


And that's to support that whole system of keeping that adapting to what Amazon's doing. Um, when it comes to sales and marketing internally, there's only myself, the director of sales and Shelby Owens, who's the director of business Development. Right. And then we have a host of people connected to us, and then those who have come out of the recovery rush training.


So, Most of our sales and marketing team is external. Right? Okay. External. So our relationships with agencies, aggregators, those who have come out of recovery, rush all help fuel the marketing machine now, right? That's where a lot of business development comes from, and it's also a way of working smarter, right?


You. One agency or one aggregator on board, you can get multiple clients all at once. Right? And it also helps you solidify various relationships along the way. Whereas internally, we know that our core focus is to make sure that we are the best at dispute management and recovery in the world, right? We started with a focus on the US and now we've expanded international.


We're looking at the uk, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, and I'm gonna keep on expanding, right? That's all on the roadmap and we are making moves literally now as we speak on top of that, okay? We've also created what's called charge guard insights, which is data analysis that gets everything Amazon's throwing at.


Rights, hundreds and thousands of lines of information at times for these vendors, and it's turning everything regarding your shortage, chargebacks, and disputes into a story format. So it's easy to understand and you can make much faster operational decisions based on that information instead of trying to decipher it on your own.


Sam Suthar 

Okay. Got it. That makes sense. Alright, so now, 


There will be five questions that I will ask and then you just need to answer in one line. Alright? 


Who inspires you most when it comes to this industry? 



Josh Naude 

100%. My current CEO, John Collins, he's a serial entrepreneur and man, one of the most motivating people I've ever dealt with in mine.


Uh, how cool is that? Okay. And, uh, and that's unbiased, I promise. . . Okay. Okay, 


Sam Suthar 

That's good. And what do you do when you are not at work? 


Josh Naude 

One of my biggest things is that I'm an adrenaline junkie, so I like to surf longboards. Um, but one of my dominant things is being electric. 


Sam Suthar 

Ah, good. Okay. That's nice. 


And, uh, how do you celebrate your success? Like your end? Uh, that's, it would be, uh, your personal and, company's success. 


Josh Naude 

Uh, personal success. How I celebrate, that's actually a good question. I haven't really thought about it. Uh, probably go traveling, right? I enjoy exploring them.


New places and getting to experience everything else that's out there in the world. As a company, I would say that by and large, we get everyone involved because we are all over the world. It's kind of hard to throw a party or anything like that, but we share wins and celebrate each other all the time, and we make sure that everyone gets recognition.


The sweat equity and everything that they put into what makes charge God function. So I would say there's a general culture of celebration across the board. Wow. That's nice. 


Sam Suthar 

Okay. And, uh, if somebody wants to reach out to you, what is the best ways to reach out? 


Josh Naude 

One of my best ways is to say someone can find me on LinkedIn, right?


Full name Joshua Naude. Otherwise, my email is josh n chargeguard.co. Okay. Alternatively, right, our website's always a good place. You can schedule meetings straight into my, Shelby's calendar. Wow. That's amazing. 


Sam Suthar

Alright, fine. So, thanks for joining us today. Really nice talking to you. Have a lovely day, 




Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Kip. Sure, sure. Cheer.