18 Mar Amazon Warehouses Will Stop Accepting Non-Essential Items Amid Covid-19 Outbreak
Amazon is stopping sellers from sending non-essential items to its U.S. warehouses until April 5 to make space for vital items needed by its customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
The company is prioritizing five categories of goods which it calls essential products, and which shippers can continue to send to its warehouses. These include baby products, health and household; beauty and personal care; groceries; industrial and scientific; and pet supplies.
“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” Amazon said in the note to sellers on its website. “With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers. For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors.”
It added: “We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritise these products for customers.”
Many third-party sellers use the company’s logistics to store and dispatch their products, to inform them that stocks of medical supplies and certain household items are running low due to increased demand from online shoppers.
Third-party sellers list their products on the marketplace section of Amazon’s website and generate about half of all sales on the site. Amazon charges fees to sellers which use its fulfilment system, which enables them to store their products in the retailer’s warehouses and use their logistics network for delivery. This option is especially popular with sellers who import goods from overseas manufacturers, and send them directly to an Amazon depot.