Virtual tracking allows Amazon to fulfil orders using identical products from different suppliers. Doing so enables us to process a customer order more efficiently and expedite delivery from the fulfilment centre 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 fulfilment process. Identical items from different suppliers are not physically stored together in a fulfilment centre.
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”.
Not all inventory is eligible for tracking with the manufacturer barcode. Amazon will, at its sole discretion, determine which products meet the eligibility requirements for using manufacturer barcodes. Products that do not qualify for virtual tracking must have Amazon barcodes to be received at Amazon fulfilment centres.
The following products cannot use virtual tracking:
* Certain product types within these categories may be eligible for virtual tracking. Confirm eligibility details on the Shipment creation page.
~ Any of the memory products in the Computer category are not eligible for tracking with the manufacturer barcode and need an Amazon barcode. This includes original inkjet printer ink cartridges, compatible inkjet printer ink cartridges, original projection lamps, compatible projection lamps, memory products including USB, memory cards, SD cards, mini/micro SD cards, memory sticks, CF/XD cards, memory card readers, built-in memory, and other memory devices.
^ Medical devices are not eligible for tracking with manufacturer barcodes regardless of categories due to legal compliance requirements. If Amazon detects that any medical devices are shipped or stored using virtual tracking, Amazon will immediately change the status of the inventory to unsellable. For more information, go to Medical devices and accessories.
Parallel import products in the categories in the table below, bulk products (white box, simplified package), and OEM products (off-brands) also need to have an Amazon barcode. Amazon cannot receive your product if no Amazon barcode is attached for these types of products:
Using virtual tracking can help:
Suppose a customer in Canberra orders a product, and only two units are available. One unit is in a fulfilment centre in Melbourne and one unit is in a fulfilment centre in Sydney. The seller who owns the Melbourne unit is the one who makes the sale.
To provide faster delivery for the buyer, we will send the unit from the closer fulfilment centre in Sydney. 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 Melbourne.
For a product to qualify for virtual tracking, it must meet all of the following requirements:
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).
There are two options under barcode preference:
To change your account barcode preference:
It will take about 24 hours for the new preference to take effect, and it will only apply 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.