Amazon stops receiving non-essential products from sellers amid coronavirus outbreak

Lawrence Kim
April 20, 2020

"We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result, some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock", an Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo via email.

To improve its response to customer demand, the company now is focusing on stocking medical supplies, household staples, and other high-demand products.

It is no longer accepting shipments into warehouses that contain non-essential items such as electronics.

Amazon said they believe their role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and wants to make sure people can get the items they need, when they need them. Currently, Amazon pays $15 per hour for entry-level jobs in its fulfillment centers.

The best-case scenario for Amazon is "they look like a hero", said Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy.

Amazon announced on Monday that it plans to hire 100,000 new workers to meet demand as the coronavirus spreads and the public moves to online orders nearly exclusively. Amazon said it was taking a similar approach with the big brands from which it buys directly. At the same time, Amazon has also started running out of some household staples, including toilet paper and other daily necessities, as people prepare to stay at home for a prolonged period of time. At least five Amazon warehouse workers have contracted COVID-19 so far.

Amazon in a memo sent to its sellers. Amazon's marketplace merchants can continue to sell nonessential products, but they have to manage packing and shipping to customers on their own.

"There are going to be sellers who get hit hard, like people who have no way to ship outside of Fulfillment by Amazon", said Will Tjernlund, an e-commerce consultant in Minneapolis who helps 30 brands sell on Amazon. Many areas of the world have instituted measures to control the spread of the disease over the past week, with large parts of Spain and France restricting movement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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