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.
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.
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.
Using virtual tracking can help to do the following:
Suppose a customer in Florida orders a product, and only two units are available. One unit is in a fulfilment centre in California, and one unit is in a fulfilment centre in New York. The seller who owns the California 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 New York. 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 California.
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 fulfilment centres with only the manufacturer barcode, Amazon may charge an unplanned-service fee for applying an Amazon barcode.
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 Registry and enrolling your ASIN in the program. Non-brand-registered sellers would be required to apply Amazon barcodes for the ineligible product.
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
In your Fulfilment by Amazon settings, you can enable or disable virtual tracking with the manufacturer barcode.
To change your account barcode preference:
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.
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.