Coronavirus: Amazon blocks non-essential items from warehouses

Coronavirus: Amazon blocks non-essential items from warehouses
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E-commerce giant Amazon is temporarily refusing to stock non-essential items in its warehouses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Amazon is temporarily blocking non-essential items from its warehouses to give way for household essentials, whose demand surged due to the coronavirus pandemic. The strategy will be in place until 5 April and will cover warehouses in the US and Europe.

This means that third-party sellers of non-essentials would have a difficulty shipping their orders to customers. On Amazon’s UK website, some essential items remain out of stock, including various brands of toilet paper.

Amazon stated: “We are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers. We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding.”

While third-party sellers can still list and sell items on Amazon, they would have to carry out packing and shipping of the products themselves.

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Some sellers have expressed dismay over Amazon’s decision to restrict warehouse stocks to household essentials and medical supplies. In a Reddit discussion, one seller said: “My sales just doubled and Amazon halted all my shipments.”

Another seller commented: “This is absolutely crazy.” However, the seller added they had been “prepared” for disruption.

Meanwhile, other third-party sellers thought Amazon was “doing the right thing”.

Samantha Morrison, who sells a range of electrical and computer-related goods via Amazon, said: “Small businesses will hurt because of it and some will completely go bankrupt if the supply chain disruption goes beyond a month.”

However, Morrison pointed out that it was important that Amazon remained able to provide essential items to people in a time of need.

Andrew Helgeson, who sells items including DVDs and Blu-ray discs, said: “We will get around it, always do, you have to be able to adapt.”

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