How to Dispute Amazon Shortage Deductions on Vendor Central
Deductions are a necessary evil in the supply chain industry; however, these fines can create major revenue loss if all parties involved are not vigilant. Amazon suppliers working with SupplyPike have stated that 97% of their deductions are shortage-related, so that will be our focus here. Based on our conversations with suppliers on Amazon's Vendor Central, we've compiled this quick reference as a guide for disputing shortage deductions.
The first obstacle is understanding which deductions are valid and invalid. An Amazon Supplier can address a valid shortage deduction in three main ways:
Cancel the invoice.
Edit the invoice to reflect the items that were accounted for.
Submit a credit note for the amount of the shortage claim via EDI.
Deductions can be invalid and are disputable with Amazon. The first failsafe is to understand why these deductions happen and how to spot an invalid deduction. If you have spotted an invalid deduction, take action immediately.
Amazon will have already attempted to find and match the invoice in case of a shortage claim. Amazon notifies shortage claims five days before the invoice is due.
Shortage Dispute Walkthrough on Vendor Central
Navigating to the Invoices through Vendor Central
- Login to Vendor Central, click the Payments tab on the Navigation Bar, and scroll down to Invoices.
- Once you have clicked on Invoices, notice the actions presented to you. Based on the status of your invoices, tools and buttons populate when at least one invoice is affected.
Diving into the Invoices Application
Disputing an Amazon claim begins with selecting the Review/dispute shortages button.
By clicking the Review/dispute shortages button, the next page will direct the supplier to the invoices page detailing the shortages from the past month.
The Actions button populates the available selection on the far right-hand side of the invoices page.
The actions can include viewing a Printable Invoice, viewing Invoice Details, and Dispute shortage by ASIN.
Building Your Dispute Case
Selecting Dispute shortage by ASIN, the first stage of three Create Dispute pages will populate.
The first page requires additional information for each item deducted from the payment of the supplier's invoice. Select all or the individual lines you want to dispute.
Next, input the Dispute Quantity, Shipped Product, and Shipped Date.
Dispute Quantity - Amazon expects suppliers to enter the quantity they believe was delivered. In most cases, disputing the full quantity is the best option.
Shipped Product - enter the ASIN, EAN, UPC, or another barcode of the shipped product.
Shipped Date - enter the date transportation delivered the products to Amazon. For Collect/We Pay, enter the date the supplier handed off and delivered the product to the carrier.
On the same page, the table extends past the view of the screen. By scrolling to the right-hand side, the Comments column comes into view. By clicking the speech bubble in the comment column, a pop-up window appears for any additional information about your dispute.
This section is not for justification but rather for extraneous details relevant to your dispute. Depending on the type of dispute, ASNs or images of carton-level labels can bolster your claim. The second page is for adding dispute details.
- Assigning a Title - Make sure your title is based on details that distinguish the dispute from others, such as the invoice or PO numbers. This naming will be used by your team. - Dispute justification summary - enter any information about your dispute that would justify its invalidity. It may be wise to copy some of the information in the comments section. - Optional Items - this section is a catch-all for emails for other team members to receive updates about the dispute and attach supporting documents.
- The last step is to review the information from your dispute claim. Amazon only allows one chance to dispute in this process so ensure all the information is accurate and comprehensive.
The last unofficial step of disputing with any retailer is waiting for the resolution. At Amazon, suppliers have roughly 30 days after the invoice's due date to review for validity, gather the necessary documentation, submit the dispute, and receive their verdict. This tight turnaround is only a fraction of Amazon's biggest competitor, Walmart, which has a timeline of 2 years to dispute deductions.
To further complicate the Amazon disputing process, baseball rules don't apply, meaning each dispute is only allowed one attempt per invoice. Furthermore, escalating a claim brings about an even more manual disputing process.
Tips for Disputing
Keeping up with all the tips and tricks for disputing with each retailer can feel like cramming for a final exam. Below we've highlighted some helpful tips from master Amazon suppliers to help navigate disputes successfully.
You are no longer required to use a POD from Amazon. Amazon actually prefers data directly related to the unit-level receipt. Details like EAN codes, ASNs, and images of carton-level data are more likely to win your dispute claim.
Understanding your dispute timeline is half the battle. Check early and often for potential issues.
Find a solution to organize, save indefinitely, and easily find your shipping documents for a quicker dispute process.
Written by The SupplyPike Team
About The SupplyPike Team
SupplyPike builds software to help retail suppliers fight deductions, meet compliance standards, and dig down to root cause issues in their supply chain.
SupplyPike helps you fight deductions, increase in-stocks, and meet OTIF goals in the built-for-you platform, powered by machine learning.View SupplyPike's Website