Understanding Amazon Current Reserve or Unavailable Balance

Are you wondering what the current reserve or unavailable balance is on your settlement report?

Learn more about how the previous and current reserve balance and how they work in this article.

You may see these on your settlement reports as previous unavailable balance and unavailable balance. We’ll use previous reserve and current reserve instead.

The reserve balance is withheld from your account to cover potential issues like

  • A-to-z claims
  • Chargebacks
  • Low seller performance metrics
  • Account review
  • Pending order delivery

Previous Reserve Balance is the amount that was withheld from your previous settlement and released on your current one.

For instance, if your current reserve balance is $100 on January 1, then your Previous Reserve Balance (and your beginning balance) will be $100 on January 15 so long as there were no problems with orders.

Current Reserve Balance is the amount withheld from orders until 7 days after the latest estimated delivery date.

Using our example earlier, if your disbursement is on January 15 and you have an order that nets $100 on January 14 with a delivery window of January 16-20, then that $100 won’t be available to you until January 27.

For many sellers, this $100 will carry over to the next settlement period. Sellers who request transfers daily won’t be able to request the $100 until January 27.

In addition to recent orders, you’ll also see funds held in reserve for chargebacks and A-to-z claims.

This running reserve balance ensures that your account has enough to cover any claims from customers.

Amazon may also keep funds in reserve for other reasons.

New sellers have a longer reserve period, so they may not receive their first disbursement until a month after their first sale. This reserve balance may be withheld for a longer period from sellers who have a long delivery window.

Sellers with low seller performance metrics may also see a longer reserve period. That’s because low seller performance metrics can mean higher instances of returns and A-to-z claims.

A combination of chargebacks, A-to-z claims, and low seller performance metrics may mean that funds are held in reserve for longer than expected.

Even sellers who have a sudden increase in sales may be put under account review because of the sudden spike in account activity.

Why have any reserve balance?

One reason for a rolling reserve is fraud. In the past, fraudulent sellers took advantage of the absence of a rolling reserve to scam customers and Amazon.

This worked because they were able to upload a large amount of inventory at low prices, set long delivery windows, collect money from sales, and then disappear. Amazon would be left with angry customers and the cost of the refunds.

How can I change my reserve period?

There’s no really no way to change how Amazon handles your reserve balance. If you have low seller performance metrics, then work on improving those metrics.

See if you can reduce your shipping window by using FBA or improving fulfillment processes. Getting your orders to customers quickly means you’ll get your money sooner.

Not interested in FBA? Look through our list of third-party Amazon service providers to find another solution.

If you’re getting a large number of returns and A-to-z claims, then look into what’s causing the issues.

  • Do your products have a flaw or defect that can be fixed? Is this defect across all products or just some? Consider inspecting your products at the factory or upon arrival.
  • Are your products getting damaged during shipping? If so, then improve the packaging.
  • Getting a lot of return fraud? Consider implementing some security measures like tamper-evident seals on packaging

You’ll want to improve your performance metrics regardless of the reserve period since low metrics can lead to account suspensions. Taking some proactive steps to improve your metrics can save you from the stressful process of writing appeals and waiting.

Minimize any risk to your account by fulfilling orders on time, entering tracking information, and providing excellent customer support.

Learn more about these other Amazon topics below.