How to Dispute Amazon Shortage Deductions on Vendor Central

8 min read

Learn about:

  • Navigating to Invoices through Vendor Central

  • Diving into the Invoices Application

  • Building a Dispute Case

  • Tips for Disputing


Deductions are a necessary evil in the supply chain industry. 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. Based on our conversations with suppliers on Amazon Vendor Central, we've compiled this quick reference as a guide for managing and disputing shortage deductions and claims.

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 shortage claim amount via EDI.

Deductions can be invalid and are disputable with Amazon. The first failsafe is understanding why these deductions happen and how to spot invalid deductions. 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 vendors shortage claims five days before the invoice is due.

Shortage Deductions Dispute Walkthrough on Vendor Central

Amazon recently updated its Vendor Central dashboard, introducing a new and improved user experience for suppliers. This update has brought about changes in how suppliers can navigate the platform and manage their operations, including the process for disputing shortages. The new dashboard aims to be more intuitive and efficient, but it also means suppliers need to familiarize themselves with the new layout and functionalities.

When submitting a shortage dispute on Vendor Central, suppliers have two main methods to choose from. The first is through Dispute Management, Menu > Payments > Dispute Management > Create a new dispute, and the second is through invoices.

Navigating to the Invoices through Amazon Vendor Central

  • Open Vendor Central and login with your credentials.

  • Click the three-lined Menu Tab on the left side of the screen.

Three-lined Menu Tab next to the Amazon Vendor Central Logo

  • Select the "Payments" tab from the Menu Bar and scroll down to "Invoices."

The menu tab has a list of options (i.e Orders, Merchandising, Reports, Payments, Intergration, Learn). When clicking on payments more options will arise, i.e CoOp, Invoices, Remittance, Product Returns, Dispute Management.

  • Once in the Invoices section, a variety of invoices with different statuses will be displayed. These statuses may include Paid, Pending, and Disputed. Each status indicates a different stage in the invoice processing cycle.

A variety of invoices with different statuses will be displayed. These statuses may include Paid, Pending, and Disputed. Each status indicates a different stage in the invoice processing cycle.

  • To manage disputes, review the statuses and associated next steps for each invoice. This could involve actions such as verifying received quantities, confirming payment amounts, or addressing discrepancies noted by Amazon.

  • If an invoice has a status that indicates a potential shortage, such as "Disputed" or "Pending Investigation," further steps can be taken to resolve these issues.

Use the Previous Experience to Dispute

  • For a more streamlined process, click "Return to the previous experience" at the top of the invoice page. This option reverts the interface to the previous version of Vendor Central, which some users might find more familiar and easier to navigate. Keep in mind that this feature may be temporary, as many websites eventually phase out older versions. Take advantage of this option while it's still available to simplify your navigation and dispute handling.

Invoices home page on Vendor Central has an option to return to the previous user experience.

  • Based on the status of your invoices, tools and buttons populate when at least one invoice is affected.

Available actions for invoices

Diving into the Invoices Application

  • Click the "Review/dispute shortages" button to begin the dispute process.

  • This will lead to a page detailing shortages from the past month, allowing a focused review of recent discrepancies.

Shortages, also known as Purchase Quantity Variance (PQVs) are where Amazon has not identified all shipped units. To dispute these deductions, ensure accurate purchase orders and verify shipping methods to avoid future fines.

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  • On the far right-hand side of the invoices page, click the "Actions" button. The available actions include viewing a Printable Invoice, viewing Invoice Details, and Disputing shortages by ASIN.

Building Your Dispute Case

  • Selecting Dispute shortage by ASIN, the first stage of three, Create Dispute pages will populate.

image 4.png

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • It is crucial to complete the resolution of a dispute with Amazon customer care within the specified timeframe to avoid any potential liabilities.

What Next? 

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. Providing transaction details when disputing a deduction is crucial as it can expedite the resolution process. This tight turnaround is only a fraction of Amazon's biggest competitor, Walmart, which has a timeline of 2 years to dispute deductions.

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 on how to 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.

Get Insight with SupplyPike's Software 

SupplyPike helps Amazon suppliers get paid and get better. SupplyPike tests the validity of deductions, collects proof documentation, and takes disputing a claim down to a few (or zero) clicks.

Our software also helps suppliers avoid fines by digging into root cause analysis and providing executive-level oversight into the supply chain. For further information or assistance with managing deductions and disputes, contact SupplyPike's support team.

Schedule a meeting with a team member to find out if SupplyPike is right for your retail business.

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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.

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The SupplyPike Team

About

SupplyPike

SupplyPike helps you fight deductions, increase in-stocks, and meet OTIF goals in the built-for-you platform, powered by machine learning.

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