Commingled inventory is a concept developed d by Amazon where the retailers can skip the process of labelling and let Amazon label these products. Amazon stores all these inventories with other sellers’ inventories that are based on the barcodes and type of inventories instead of the identity of sellers.
Here, a rather negatively popular term ‘Commingled inventory’ is explained with the Pros and Cons and who should choose this facility.
A commingled inventory, also known as sticker less commingled inventory allows the seller to escape the complicated process of labelling. Earlier, there used to be many rejections by Amazon when the faults were found in the labelling. Amazon came up with this solution of providing the facility to label these products and store together without distinguishing them by their sellers.
Amazon has been quite successful in e-commerce business and managed to open warehouses in large numbers in various countries. Commingled inventory is one of the reasons for Amazon to have so many warehouses around the world.
What is commingled inventory?
Commingling inventory simply means storing your inventory with the inventory of other sellers who have also chosen ‘stickerless commingled inventory’ option. Unlike other inventories, they are stored based on the barcode regardless of the seller.
Here, Amazon provides all the FBA facilities as for normal FBA orders. They pick, pack and ship your products and provide customer service for those products.
The only one thing which differs is instead of labelling each product unit, commingled inventory compiles the same product from different retailers using UPC. Those products will be stocked together regardless of the seller based on a barcode for purchase fulfilment. You will be the seller but not necessarily the source.
How does commingled inventory work?
Once you have chosen the ‘stickerless commingled inventory’ option from your Amazon seller account, you can send your inventory to Amazon. Amazon stores your inventory with other sellers’ inventories of the same product.
When a buyer has placed an order for your product, one of the products from mingled inventory is shipped to the buyer. In many cases, the item is sent from the nearest warehouse to save time and money on shipping.
When the item is sold you get the sale on your inventory. It is mingled with the sellers who are selling the same inventory as you. In the help section, Amazon explains the whole procedure of stickerless inventories.
What are the requirements in order to opt for commingled inventories?
- Only non-media products (You can not send in books, CDs, VHS, DVDs, Video games or software without FBA labels)
- The condition of the product must be ‘New”
- The items must have a UPC or EAN in a barcode form for our fulfilment centres to scan when they receive the product
- All items must be easily identifiable. Packaging must carry a label with identifiers such as title, colour and model number in addition to the corresponding EAN, UPC or ISBN barcode
- The UPC or EAN must have a single ASIN. If it applies to more than one ASIN, you will need to label the product, even if it could be previously sent in as stickerless.
- In order to prevent delays in processing your inventory, certain other products may not be eligible for stickerless, commingled inventory.
- Barcodes must be easily scannable
- The product must not have expiration date
Pros of commingled inventory
- Opting for commingled inventory will save money and time you spend on labelling your products. So it is cheaper and time-saving.
- Commingled inventories can be shipped much faster which can lead to positive reviews.
- Positive reviews and faster shipping can help you multiply the number of units you have been selling. It will sell fast.
- You have to take care of barcode only. No additional complex procedures of labelling are required.
Cons of commingled inventory
- You have control over the quality of your products. There is no control over the quality. Here, the challenge is to be unable to control the quality of others’ products.
- There are possibilities of other sellers having counterfeit products.
- If counterfeit products of other seller are sent to your buyer, they will lead to bad reviews. There will be more complaints and bad reviews which can eventually result in suspension or shutting down your account.
- In such cases, buyers will blame you for selling counterfeit products.
- Does not benefit good sellers all the time
- You can be the seller but might not be the source
When you are opting for this option, make sure you have documents to prove the authenticity of your products.
Commingled inventory could hamper your business. But, if you are a wholesaler who wants to sell fast can choose this option. If you have items that are not selling well and you would like to get rid of them fast, you can choose this option and sell them at a much faster pace.