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Amazon Glossary - Essential Terms

Christopher Khoo
05 August 2022 11:05

Amazon Vendor contains terminology that is important to understand when training someone on your account. Here's a handy guide to bring them up to speed on common acronyms and buzzwords that can be used.

General Terms:




Electronic Data Interchange, a standardised format of transmissions typically used in Wholesale environments between suppliers, importers, retailers and distributors. See also: Amazon Vendor EDI vs API.


Enterprise Resource Planning. Typically refers to a system that monitors inventory, re-supply, profitability, orders, accounts and payments. Examples include Netsuite, Navision, SAP. See also: Integrate your ERP to Amazon Vendor.


Warehouse Management System. A programme that organises warehouse operations including booking stock in, out, picking, packing. See also: Shipping to Amazon Vendor - Streamlining the Warehouse.


File Transfer Protocol. Functions like a shared folder that businesses can access with a username and password, a bit like a shared Google Drive account.


Comma Separated Variable. A spreadsheet format like XLS and can be opened in Excel, but without any macros, formatting or extras.


Application Programming Interface. Like EDI but with more modern features and endpoints that can be called with specific requests. For example, you can make an API call to GET stock levels, POST orders, PUT (update) orders. See also: Amazon Vendor EDI vs API.

Vendor Central

Amazon’s Wholesale platform programme whereby Amazon purchases stock from a supplier. Subtypes are Warehouse orders, Direct Fulfilment, and Vendor Flex

Seller Central

Amazon’s marketplace model whereby a company lists products on Amazon – Amazon does not own the product. Subtypes are FBA and MFN.

Vendor Code

A code used to delimit a business unit for a supplier to Amazon. 5 Digits, such as ABC1D. There will be a Vendor code for each Vendor central account per country a company holds.


Order Management: 




Purchase Order(s). Amazon will place these regularly with Vendors, typically on a Monday and Wednesday morning (or late Sunday/Tuesday Evening). See also: Amazon Vendor PO management made easy.

Shipping Window

A property of a PO. Each PO must be delivered within defined timeframes, between the “delivery window start” and “delivery window end”. See also: PO management Analysis and Automation


Delivery Centre / Fulfilment Centre.  These are Amazon warehouses across the world. There are about 25 in each European Country, or about 200 in Europe total. The USA has ca. 500. This number is increasing as Amazon continues to expand into new territories and improve their fulfilment network.

A full list of locations can be found in the Amazon Support -> Resource Centre -> Operations

Price Discrepancy / Purchase price variance

Difference Between the price expected for an item and the actual price Amazon paid. For example you may expect to sell at $1.50 but Amazon buys for $1.40.






Advance Shipment Notification. A message sent from a supplier to the buyer to inform them of the inbound shipment that will arrive, detailing the cartons, contents, arrival time, method and usually weights, dimensions and formation. See also: ASN creation made easy.


Advance Routing Notification. An EDI message sent from a courier to a supplier to inform them of the means of transport for an upcoming shipment. Typically used in North America when scheduling freight from a supplier to a buyer; the courier will advise collection dates and times.


A freight model used by Vendors using ARNs whereby Amazon is responsible for the “Collection” of the goods. Also called “WePay”, as “Amazon” is “We” from their perspective. In this model, once the goods leave the vendor, they are the responsibility of Amazon and the courier. This is more common in North America compared to PrePaid.

-> Read more: USA Vendor uses EDI integration to streamline operations for Collect Shipments


A freight model used by Vendors when the Vendor organises the courier for delivery to Amazon. Also called “TheyPay” as the vendor is “Them” from Amazon’s perspective. In this model, the goods are the responsibility of the vendor and courier until they are received by Amazon. This is more common in Northern Europe compared to PrePaid. 

-> Read more: UK company using PrePaid shipments uses EDI to save hours each week in manual data entry.

Direct Fulfilment

A Vendor Central shipment model whereby the vendor dispatches the goods directly to the customer rather than going to a Fulfilment centre. This is similar to the MFN process. Typically used for bulky/heavy goods that are not economical to inbound to an Amazon FC.


Supplier Article Number. A number usually used in North America to designate a place as agreed between a Supplier and buyer, such as 01-1234567.


Global Location Number. A number to signify a place on earth, as registered with GS1, usually 14 digits long such as 50501234567890


Fulfilment by Amazon. A popular shipping Method on Seller Central whereby Stock is imported to an Amazon warehouse and fulfilled to the customer by Amazon. The stock is still owned by the supplier and is stored in an Amazon warehouse, so Amazon charges rent on the space occupied by stock. Amazon also charges for fulfilment.


Fulfilment by Merchant / Merchant Fulfilled Network. A seller central model where the supplier fulfils the order directly to the customer. This can include seller fulfilled prime, but a business will need to meet certain KPIs to maintain their prime status.


Serial Shipping Container Code. This is a GS1 Standard code implemented to track and mark logistics units. Amazon use this code to scan items when they are received by License Plate Receive. This means that an inbound team at Amazon can scan this barcode, and then receive all the goods inside the box in one scan. This can contribute to fewer shortages and increased accuracy. See more SSCCs, GTIN Receive and AMZNCC.


This is Amazon's internal version of the SSCC code. It functions in a similar way, but unlike an SSCC, it is created by Amazon and not dependent on your company number, nor is it a GS1 standard code.

GTIN Receive

This method of shipping that involves not labelling each carton. However each carton / shipment must also have the ASN label information on it, such as the PO, ship from/to, and any batch/expiry information attached. While initially attractive to not label each carton, it relies on careful carton mapping and can mean that cartons are not received correctly against the right PO. We recommend this method for large scale food and drink vendors with low SKU count and pallet shipments. If sending mixed boxes, or small parcel shipments, we recommend each-box labelling with SSCCs. See more SSCCs, GTIN Receive and AMZNCC.






A catch-all term referring to any deduction that Amazon makes to a supplier for non-compliance with standards pertaining to shipments, orders, invoices or other operational defect that incurred Amazon a loss. Deducted from Payments due to a vendor.

Shortage Claim

A claim by Amazon that what arrived at a FC was less than what the supplier claimed. This is usually seen as a “SC” suffix on the invoice remittance. Shortage claims can be disputed but this can be a lengthy process. Often prevention is better than cure. There are agencies that dispute these claims for companies. KhooCommerce helps to mitigate the root causes of shortages through high ASN accuracy compliance.

Po On Time Accuracy

A chargeback when a vendor makes mistakes on the PO management process. Subtypes:

1)    Not on Time; shipment arrived outside of delivery window

2)    Not filled; goods did not arrive at all and Amazon closed the order for the vendor. (typically 30 days after delivery window ends).

3)    Down Confirmed; goods to deliver were adjusted down too late after the delivery window started. Typically any adjustment >5 days after the delivery window opens.

Carton Information Compliance

A chargeback related to mismatch of carton contents and label descriptor, or lack of label descriptor. Usually £0.12 or $0.20 per unit in the affected cartons.  

No Carton Content Label 

 A carton was shipped to amazon with no label on it all - missing License Plate (LP) label. See also: ASN options - what you need to know.


ASN Accuracy 

Covers a range of issues with the ASN including: a shipment arrives at an Amazon FC with no ASN sent; PRO/BOL mismatch; missing expiry date; invalid expiry date; unit count mismatch.

Overweight Carton

Cartons weighing in excess of that allowed at the FC. Usually the limit for what one worker is legally allowed to lift in that country, eg 50lbs in USA. 

Oversized Carton

Cartons in excess dimension allowed at the FC shipped to. Typically 25 inches for any dimension. 


Did we miss any? Send us a message and we'll add them in!