Let's talk about the difference between commingled and non-commingled inventory as an FBA seller. Then a little pros and cons list to wrap it all up.
When you send items to the FBA warehouses, they need to be labeled. This is the only way they will be able to disperse the correct products to the correct buyers. As of 2019, Amazon gives you two choices on how the product is labeled: an Amazon bar-code (non-commingled) or the manufacturers original bar-code (commingled).
You will get used to printing labels similar to the ones below:
These are amazon barcodes, or ASIN's (Amazon Standard Identification Number). This is used for Amazon to distribute the correct product by the correct seller when a consumer buys a product.
Commingled inventory means that instead of labeling each product with an ASIN, you use the original manufacturers bar-code (if the product does not have a bar-code, it is ineligible for commingling). It gets the name "commingled" because Amazon will mix your products with other sellers selling the exact same product. This essentially means that when a consumer purchases your item, they will receive one randomly from the "pile" of commingled inventory (they might get one you sent in or they might get one that another seller using commingled inventory sent in).
Pros and Cons
Commingled inventory will save you a ton of time prepping items and money on labels and printing. I honestly love commingled inventory for fast moving products where I buy in large quantities pretty regularly. Since I do not have anyone at the moment to help me with packing, it saves me hours of time each week, that I am able to spend doing more productive things like finding new products and advertising.
The problem is that I have no control over what the other sellers are doing. Amazon does a great job making sure counterfeits do not get sold on their platform, but there is always the possibility of your products being mixed with a bad batch.
Non-commingled inventory means you have the control. The product that you prepped and bought is the product your buyers will receive. period. The majority of my products are non-commingled because if I am spending the time to prep and QC the products, I want to be sure I am getting the credit for it.
When you have more power and control, you have more work and responsibility, and that is the only negative side of non-commingled inventory. You must prep, print, and label all products yourself. If you are selling 100 items a month on Amazon, its not a big deal, but if you are moving big numbers, it can really start to take up a lot of your time.
Hope this helps!
Business Developer at JJFerrigno