Update: December 2018
From recent observations, it seems that either the changes have been reverted, or they vary from user to user. If you need to manually request a longer-than-7-days order report, our best suggestion is to try it; Tradebox will reject the order file if it proves to be in an incorrect format and write an error message to the log. If this happens, contact Tradebox support for guidance.
The remainder of this article covers the issues in detail for reference purposes.
Tradebox Finance Manager imports Amazon sales that are contained within the Amazon Order Report. This needs to be downloaded into a local folder on the user's PC or network prior to importing the sales into Tradebox. Tradebox can request and download a report automatically on your behalf using Amazon Marketplace Web Services (MWS) credentials; this automatic report request always contains the last 7 days worth of sales information. Our guide to setting up and using MWS is available here.
Known Issue March 2018 affecting merchant (seller-fulfilled) reports
Historically, the format of the two report types (automatic via MWS and manual via a user logging in to Amazon Seller Central) have followed the same format. On 27/03/2018 users started reporting a change in the format of reports they had requested manually, and new options on Amazon to customise these reports.
After comparing information from several users and testing both manual and automatic requests using their credentials we observed that:
- Manual report requests may or may not give the user the option to include the sales channel column, this varies from user to user.
- Where this option is present and chosen for inclusion, the column may be populated or the report may generate with that column blank, this varies from user to user.
- Manual report requests have new options to customise reports under the new add or remove order report columns option, including a column called order channel. This column seems to always be blank when it's included.
To our best knowledge:
- Automatic report requests via MWS are unaffected and always include the column correctly populated.
- Amazon FBA order reports are unaffacted.
Tradebox Finance Manager relies on the report including a column indicating which Amazon marketplace an order was placed through. This is the sales channel column referred to above. Without this column being present and populated, there is a risk of Tradebox duplicating orders or reading an order as being placed through an incorrect marketplace (e.g. reading an Amazon FR order as being through Amazon UK) and so assuming the wrong currency of an order.
With default settings Tradebox will reject any Amazon order report that where this column is present but unpopulated, with the error:
Order [Amazon Order number] item  was not imported as the Sales Channel Name in the file is blank.
Tradebox will read any Amazon order report where this column is not present; this is to accommodate single-marketplace Amazon sellers who have never had the option to include the column. If you have multiple Amazon sales channels, the first channel presented with the report will read the orders and assume the orders to have come through that Amazon marketplace and therefore be in the currency of that marketplace.
Our support team raised a case with Amazon's Seller Central support team as this change was undocumented and requested clarification. Their response took 4 weeks and is as follows:
Our technical team have advised that the sales channel attribute is currently not available for order reports.
As a result the same is true when using MWS.
I reported that you had a client with the option and our technical has stated that the feature is currently not available.
This does not tie in with our own observations and we have fed this back to Amazon.
How to tell if you're affected
If you only sell on a single Amazon regional marketplace (e.g. Amazon.co.uk; this still counts as a single marketplace if you process a mix of self-fulfilled and FBA orders through that region) then you are unaffected. If you only process through a single marketplace and you do need to request a manual report, leave the tickbox on Amazon to include a sales channel column unticked.
If you only ever have Tradebox automatically request your order reports via MWS and run your Tradebox download at least once every 7 days, you are unaffected. This describes the vast majority of our Amazon users.
If you both sell on more than one Amazon regional marketplace and ever manually request Amazon order reports by logging in to Seller Central and going to Orders > Order Reports, you may be affected. Tradebox may either: have been rejecting Amazon orders with the error Order was not imported as the Sales Channel Name in the file is blank or have downloaded orders through the wrong Amazon marketplace.
Actions if you're affected
You should review your Amazon orders downloaded since 27/03/2018 to check:
- Has Tradebox downloaded all the orders it should have? As you may have missed the error on previous download attempts.
- Has Tradebox downloaded orders through the correct sales channel and in the correct currency?
If you have been affected by the issue and have had orders mishandled by your Tradebox software, we'd like to take this opportunity to offer our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Going forward, if you sell on more than one Amazon regional marketplace you should not manually request order reports from Amazon Seller Central. As an alternative, you can:
- Provide Tradebox Finance Manager with your MWS credentials and have the program automatically request and download your reports. This will always be a 7 day order report, so you should ensure you're running an Amazon download at minimum once every 7 days. You should also ensure you don't have any other systems requesting Amazon order reports. Our guide to using MWS credentials in Tradebox Finance Manager is available here.
- Upgrade to Tradebox One, which uses a different mechanism to request Amazon sales and is completely unaffected by this issue. This does allow historic sales up to the last 60 days to be downloaded from Amazon. Our guide to upgrading from Finance Manager to Tradebox One is available here.
Known Issue July 2018 affecting FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) reports
Historically, the format of the two report types (automatic via MWS and manual via a user logging in to Amazon Seller Central) have followed the same format. On 27/03/2018, users began reporting a change in manually requested merchant reports and this was followed by users beginning to report a similar problem with Amazon FBA reports on 26/07/2018.
If you manually request FBA reports by logging into your Amazon account and going to Reports -> Fulfillment by Amazon -> Amazon Fulfilled Shipments then you will be affected by this change.
To our best knowledge, Amazon reports requested via MWS are unaffected by the change.
What to do if you're affected?
We encourage any affected users to start using MWS to request their reports rather than downloading them manually, or alternatively, upgrade to our new software, Tradebox One, which uses a different mechanism to connect to Amazon and is therefore completely unaffected by any changes they may make to their reports.
Our guide to using MWS credentials in Tradebox Finance Manager is available here. Setting this up may require some changes to your Tradebox set up and how often you process:
- If you are using Tradebox to download both Amazon FBA and Amazon merchant orders, you will now need two channels for each Amazon marketplace you sell on with both merchant and FBA, e.g. Amazon merchant UK, Amazon FBA UK, Amazon merchant DE, Amazon FBA DE, etc. This may impact on your licence with us if adding these channels will take you over your current channel limit for Tradebox. If that's the case, please call Tradebox Support on 0191 257 4707.
- Each Amazon report contains orders for the last 7 days. This means you will need to run Tradebox at least once per week to avoid missing sales.
- Because there's an inherent delay in the requests via MWS, Tradebox will need to be open on your PC for about 40 minutes prior to download.
If you choose instead to upgrade to Tradebox One, this also requires a separate merchant and FBA channel to be set up for each Amazon marketplace you sell on. Our guide to upgrading from Finance Manager to Tradebox One is available here.