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.
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.”