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. This happens regardless of which seller actually receives a customer’s order.
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."
Using virtual tracking can help:
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.
Not all products are eligible for virtual tracking and Amazon updates product eligibility periodically to ensure that we provide the best service for customers and sellers.
When your product is not eligible for virtual tracking, you may get an exemption by applying with Amazon Brand Registry and enrolling your ASIN in the program. Non-brand-registered sellers would be required to apply Amazon barcodes for the ineligible product. An Amazon barcode is required in place of the manufacturer barcode when product don’t meet the requirements and no exemption is approved. Additionally, if you send in ineligible products to fulfillment centers with only the manufacturer barcode, Amazon may charge Unplanned prep service fees and apply an Amazon barcode for you.
For a product to qualify for virtual tracking, it must meet all of the following requirements:
Amazon updates product eligibility from time to time to ensure that we provide the best service for customers and sellers. If your product is not eligible for virtual tracking, an Amazon barcode is required in place of the manufacturer barcode.
If products that are not eligible for virtual tracking are sent to fulfillment centers with only the manufacturer barcode, Amazon may charge an unplanned-service fee for applying an Amazon barcode.For more information, go to Unplanned prep services.
If your product doesn’t meet the virtual-tracking eligibility requirements, you may be able to get an exemption to use the manufacturer barcode by applying with Amazon Brand Registryand enrolling your ASIN in the program. Non-brand-registered sellers would be required to apply Amazon barcodes for the ineligible product.
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.
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).
There are two options under barcode preference:
To change your account barcode preference, follow these steps:
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.
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.
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.