Amazon bans shipping non-essential items amid Coronavirus pandemic
Amazon has announced that it is banning sellers from shipping any non-essential items to its US and UK warehouses to prioritise space for medical goods and other essential items during the coronavirus crisis.
Amazon confirmed on Tuesday that it will stop stocking and shipping any non-medical and non-essential supplies from its warehouses now until April 5.
Concerned members of the public have been turning to online shopping to stockpile goods from the safety of their homes as the virus has a huge impact across the world and leads to self-isolation.
An Amazon statement explained: “We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock.
“With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritising household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfilment centres so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers.”
The full list of essential and non-essential items are as follows:
Medical supplies - including protective face masks, gloves, drugs and medicines
Baby products - including diapers, baby foods
Health and household products - including cleaning products and sanitizers
Beauty and personal care - including soaps and shower gels
Groceries - including food and drinks
Industrial and scientific - including medical syringes and lab equipment
Pet supplies - including pet food
Arts, Crafts & Sewing
Automotive & Motorcycle
Camera & Photo
Cell Phones & Accessories
Computers & Accessories
Costumes & Accessories
Luggage Travel Gear
Movies & TV
Office Electronics & Supplies
Patio, Lawn & Garden
Power & Hand Tools
Sports & Outdoors
Television & Video
Toys & Games
Amazon has run out of many cleaning supplies and is facing significant delivery delays amid the worldwide panic, warning shoppers that orders may take longer than two days to deliver.
However, some third-party sellers - who make up over half of sales on Amazon - said that the move to stop stocking certain goods will come as a blow to their businesses.
It comes after the impact of the closure of Chinese factories hit Amazon Sellers, who have also seen consumer confidence drop generally.
But Thompson and Holt managing partner has stressed that the latest moves do not have to be a disaster for Amazon Sellers, and that steps can be taken to counter the moves if they have affected you.
Gedey explained: “This is obviously a trying time for Amazon Sellers - as it is for all business owners across the world. But try not to see this step by Amazon as a disaster but of a call to action.
“You can start shipping your high volume or high margin products today yourself, perhaps even utilising the help of others who have been forced to stay at home in the current circumstances.
“There are also fulfilment houses or prep centres that can help fulfil your orders if you spend time looking online.
“Finally, if you have Seller Fulfilled Prime on your account then use it - it will provide an advantage. There are ways to combat what has been announced this week.”
The new measures come shortly after Amazon announced plans to hire an additional 100,000 employees in America to help meet the surge in demand shoppers across the country. There will be a mix of full-time and part-time positions, and include delivery drivers and warehouse workers, who pack and ship orders to shoppers.
Amazon has also stated that workers on at least $15, including those in warehouses and delivery centres, will receive a $2 an hour wage rise until the end of April, something that will also apply to those in the UK and the European Union.
Additionally, Amazon said it would pay hourly workers for up to two weeks if they contracted the virus or needed to be quarantined.
Sending anything other than essential items could cause a suspension. If you have had your Seller Account Suspended, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Amazon Seller business back online as quickly as possible.