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Understanding Amazon’s Stickerless, Commingled Inventory System

Fri Dec 1, 2023 Amazon Tips

If you’re an Amazon seller, you’ve likely heard of the term “Stickerless inventory” or “commingled inventory.” But what exactly does it mean, and how does it affect your business? In this article, we’ll dive into the details of the amazon commingled inventory system and how it can impact your Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) business.

What is Commingled Inventory?

Stickerless, Commingled inventory is a system Amazon uses to streamline the fulfillment process for FBA sellers. In this system, products from different sellers are mixed in Amazon’s warehouses, regardless of who the original seller was.

Stickerless, commingled inventory is only available for Fulfillment by Amazon sellers. Items shipped directly by the seller do not have this designation.

How Does Commingled Inventory Work?

When sellers send their products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, they are assigned a unique barcode called an FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit). This barcode is used to identify the seller’s products and track them throughout the fulfillment process.

However, in the commingled inventory system, Amazon also assigns each product a generic barcode known as an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). This barcode is used to identify the product itself rather than the seller.

When a customer places an order for a product, Amazon’s system will scan the ASIN barcode to determine which seller’s product should be shipped to the customer. This means that if multiple sellers have the same product, Amazon may ship a product from a different seller than the one the customer purchased.

Why Does Amazon Use Commingled Inventory?

The main reason for Amazon’s commingled inventory system is to improve efficiency and reduce customer shipping times. By mixing products from different sellers, Amazon can fulfill orders faster and more efficiently.

Additionally, commingled inventory allows Amazon to save space in their warehouses by not having to separate products from different sellers. This can also lead to cost savings for Amazon, which they can then pass on to customers through lower shipping fees.

How Does Commingled Inventory Affect FBA Sellers?

While Amazon’s commingled inventory system may seem beneficial for customers and Amazon, it can have some drawbacks for FBA sellers.

Risk of Counterfeit Products

One of the biggest concerns for FBA sellers with commingled inventory is the risk of counterfeit products. Since products from different sellers are mixed, there is a chance that a customer could receive a counterfeit product from another seller than the one they purchased from.

This can damage sellers who have worked hard to build a reputable brand and maintain quality control over their products. If a customer receives a counterfeit product, they may leave a negative review or even file a complaint with Amazon, resulting in account suspensions or bans.

Difficulty in Tracking Inventory

Another issue with commingled inventory is the difficulty in tracking inventory. Since products from different sellers are mixed, it can be challenging to determine which seller’s products are being sold and how much inventory is left.

This can lead to overselling, where a seller sells more products than they have in stock. This can result in canceled orders, negative reviews, and potential account suspensions.

Impact on Branding and Marketing Efforts

For FBA sellers who have invested time and resources into building their brand and marketing their products, commingled inventory can be a setback. Since products from different sellers are mixed, it can be challenging to differentiate your products from others and stand out to customers.

This can also make it difficult to track the success of marketing efforts, as it may be challenging to determine which sales came from your specific products.

How Can FBA Sellers Avoid Commingled Inventory?

Fortunately, there are ways for FBA sellers to avoid commingled inventory and maintain control over their products.

Amazon Project Zero

Brands can join Amazon Project Zero to protect against counterfeit products. The program offers “automated protections,” “self-service counterfeit removal,” and “product serialization.” With “product serialization,” Amazon adds a unique code to each item and verifies its authenticity before delivery. Brands pay between $0.01 to $0.05 per item for this service.

Use Manufacturer Barcodes

Another option is to use manufacturer barcodes instead of FNSKU barcodes. This means sellers use the barcode provided by the manufacturer to identify their products rather than the FNSKU barcode assigned by Amazon.

This option is only available for products with a manufacturer barcode and may not be suitable for all sellers. Additionally, manufacturer barcodes can result in longer processing times and may be less efficient than FNSKU barcodes.

Enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry Program

FBA sellers can also enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry program, which allows them more control over their products and prevents commingled inventory. This program requires sellers to have a registered trademark for their brand and provides additional tools for brand protection and enforcement.

How to Use and Turn on Stickerless, Commingled Inventory

If you’re interested in using the stickerless, commingled inventory system to help your business, follow these simple steps to enable it:

  1. Find the Inventory Settings under the Fulfillment by Amazon area within the settings tab when you’re ready to send out your first shipment.
  2. Press the Edit button and look for the stickerless, commingled inventory setting.
  3. Click Enable, then save the changes to activate the service.

Note that you can turn the stickerless, commingled inventory on or off anytime. Remember that you’ll need to follow a labeling process, and all items must be relisted within your listings. If you retract an item from commingled inventory, you may receive another identical item from a different seller.


While Amazon’s commingled inventory system may benefit, it can pose risks and challenges for FBA sellers. By understanding how it works and exploring alternative options, sellers can make informed decisions about managing their inventory and protecting their brand on Amazon.