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This article applies to selling in: Japan

Using FBA virtual tracking

Virtual tracking allows Amazon to fulfill orders using identical products from different suppliers. Doing so enables us to process a customer order more efficiently and expedite delivery from the fulfillment center that is closest to the buyer.

Virtual tracking traces the source of products throughout the fulfillment process. Identical items from different suppliers are not physically stored together in a fulfillment center.

Used by default for eligible products, virtual tracking relies on the manufacturer barcode that is already on each unit, such as the UPC or EAN, instead of the Amazon barcode sticker.

Virtual tracking is sometimes referred to as "commingling" and the inventory that uses it as "stickerless inventory."

Benefits of virtual tracking

Using virtual tracking can help do the following:

  • Save you the cost of creating and applying unique barcodes for each unit
  • Improve customer service by delivering items to buyers faster, using a more distributed fulfillment network
  • Minimize fees by lowering fulfillment costs
  • Reduce carbon emissions and packaging waste

Example

Suppose a customer in Fukuoka orders a product, and only two units are available. One unit is in a fulfillment center in Tokyo and one unit is in a fulfillment center in Osaka. The seller who owns the Tokyo unit is the one who makes the sale.

To provide faster delivery for the buyer, we will send the unit from the closer fulfillment center in Osaka. We will credit the money to the seller who made the sale, and credit the unit back to the seller who did not make the sale by virtually transferring ownership of the identical unit in Tokyo.

Product eligibility

For a product to qualify for virtual tracking, it must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be in new condition
  • Have a single, scannable UPC, EAN, ISBN, or JAN barcode matching a single ASIN in the Amazon catalog
  • Not be an FBA restricted product or a dangerous good
  • Not be an expiration-dated product
  • Not be a consumable or topical product (such as grocery items, skin creams, cosmetics, or soaps)
  • Not be a product related to children or infants (such as toys or baby clothes)
  • Not be a DVD
  • Not be a fashion product
  • Not be a software and video games
  • Not be an automotive product
  • Not be a memory product (specific *1)
  • Not be a product classified in this list of browse node and browse node IDs in Camera category
  • Not be a medical device (specific *2)
  • Not be a parallel import product (specific *3)

Important:
  • If the manufacturer barcode matches more than one ASIN, an Amazon barcode is required.
  • Not all products are eligible for virtual tracking and Amazon updates which products are eligible for this service periodically. Sellers are charged for a labeling fee if ineligible products are sent to fulfillment centers with only the manufacturer barcode.

For an overview of which categories require standard IDs for major brands, visit Product ID (GTIN) requirements by category.

*1 Any of memory products in the Computer category cannot be eligible for virtual tracking, and need a sticker. Original inkjet printer ink cartridge, compatible inkjet printer ink cartridge, original projection lamps, compatible projection lamps, memory products include USB, memory cards, SD cards, Mini/Micro SD cards, memory sticks, CF/XD cards, memory card readers, built-in memory and other memory devices

*2 Medical devices are not eligible for virtual tracking regardless of categories from the legal compliance point of view. If any medical devices that are shipped or stored as virtual tracking inventory are detected, Amazon will immediately change the status of the inventory to unsellable. For more information, see Medical devices and accessories.

*3 Parallel import products in the following categories, bulk products (white box, simplified package) or OEM products (off-brands) also need to have Amazon barcode stickers. Amazon cannot receive your product if no Amazon barcode sticker is attached.

  • Electronics
  • Office Products
  • Musical Instruments
  • Home & Kitchen
  • Major Appliances
  • Computers
  • Sporting Goods
  • Tools & Home Improvement

Changing your barcode preferences

The default account level setting is for the manufacturer barcode, but you can change your preference at any time (section A). You also can change your barcode preference for new FBA offers that you create (section B).

You can change your preference at any time (section A). You also can change your barcode preference for new FBA offers that you create (section B).

A. Change the barcode preference for your account

There are two options under barcode preference:

  • Manufacturer barcode: If you choose this as your preference, all eligible offers that you create thereafter will have the default option to be sent in with the manufacturer barcode and participate in virtual tracking.
  • Amazon barcode: If you choose this as your preference, all the offers that you create thereafter will display the Amazon barcode as the default option and require you to place an additional label on individual units. Units labeled with an Amazon barcode will not participate in virtual tracking.

To change your account barcode preference:

  1. Go to Fulfillment by Amazon settings.
  2. Scroll down to FBA product barcode preference and click Edit.
  3. Select Manufacturer barcode or Amazon barcode, then click Update.

It will take about 24 hours for the new preference to take effect, and it will apply only to new offers. You cannot change the barcode preference for existing offers or for shipments that have already been created.

To use the new barcode preference, you must create a new offer or change the barcode setting for each existing offer, and then it will be in effect for new shipments.

B. Change the barcode preference for your new offers

When you create a new offer, you may have the option to select your barcode preference. For all new offers that are eligible for virtual tracking, you will have the option to use either the manufacturer barcode or an Amazon barcode. If your new offer is not eligible for virtual tracking, only the Amazon barcode option will be available.

If you choose to send the eligible inventory with the manufacturer barcode, you won’t be prompted to place additional labels on each individual unit. To learn more, go to Create a new listing that uses virtual tracking.

Note: When you change a listing from Fulfilled by Merchant to Fulfilled by Amazon, you will also be able to select your barcode preference.

Opt out of virtual tracking

If you don’t want to participate in virtual tracking any longer, you can change your preferences to use an Amazon barcode by following the instructions above. You would then be required to print Amazon barcodes from your seller account and apply them on the products yourself, or have Amazon print and apply them for a per-item fee. For more information, go to FBA Label Service.

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