Amazon sellers are in a state of flux as the company limits warehouse space in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
To improve its response to customer demand, the company now is focusing on stocking medical supplies, household staples, and other high-demand products.
This change in policy was announced in a memo sent to sellers and vendors via email on March 17.
“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 deliver these products to customers.”
Amazon in a memo sent to its sellers.
Amazon now is accepting products in the following categories only: baby products, health, and household appliances, personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific, and pet supplies.
Amazon made this change after the spread of coronavirus caused a spike in online orders. Shoppers flocked to the online giant after the supply of essentials such as toilet paper and paper towels were depleted in brick and mortar stores. Amazon struggled to handle the demand, and customers were met with shipping delays.
From now until April 5, sellers who use Amazon’s “Fulfilled by Amazon” program will not be able to send their goods to Amazon for distribution. Amazon also will stop purchasing non-essential items from vendors.
For shoppers, this means toilet paper, pasta and other epidemic essentials will be easier to purchase online. At the same time, the supply of other products, like electronics including those from Apple, may be more challenging to obtain.