Amazon commingled inventory for sellers:
Amazon sellers can chose to participate in Amazon’s commingled inventory system or choose to opt out of having their products mixed in with other Amazon sellers’ products. Amazon sellers can choose to have their sales filled solely by their own products which they know are genuine or take the risk that their sales will be filled by another Amazon seller’s inventory which may be counterfeit or have other problems.
We always suggest that Amazon sellers opt out of commingled inventory. While Amazon’s commingled inventory system is a genius invention that makes the delivery of goods to consumers faster and cheaper, it also presents Amazon FBA sellers with significant risks.
Basic Information about Amazon Sellers and Commingled Inventory
Amazon provides Amazon third party sellers the ability to participate in commingling. This means that their products are mixed with the same products provided to FBA by other sellers and Amazon itself. Amazon sellers who participate in FBA’s commingled inventory will allow the Amazon seller to provide products without the use of an FBA label which could save Amazon sellers time and money effort when preparing their goods to send to FBA.
In sum, when an Amazon seller participates in Amazon’s commingled inventory, customer orders are filled from products that are geographically closest to the customer. If you sold a product to a buyer in California and your goods are in a New York FBA warehouse, Amazon will fill that order from another Amazon seller’s inventory that is located in California.
Significant Problems for Sellers using Commingled Inventory
The most significant problem we have seen from sellers using commingled inventory are suspensions when poor quality products arrive at the customer’s home.
Instead of our client’s genuine products arriving, another Amazon seller’s product arrives that has issues. The problem gets assigned to the Amazon seller that obtained the sale whether the product delivered was that Amazon seller’s or not.
As all Amazon sellers know, hijackers and counterfeit products are significant problems. No matter how careful an Amazon seller is about avoiding counterfeit products, if you are participating in Amazon’s commingled inventory, you cannot protect yourself against another Amazon’s seller’s bad counterfeit products if you participate in AMZ’s commingled inventory system.
FENDI, in their lawsuit, has no recognition of the commingled inventory system, and they recently sued dozens and dozens of sellers with no recognition that they can’t tell whose goods were delivered to which consumers. There’s also no recognition of the first sales doctrine.
Often, these product safety complaints are the result of a damaged product, or alleged used product. Suspended Amazon Sellers find themselves frustrated as the cause of these issues can be a result of using Amazon’s commingled inventory, or Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) packaging returns.