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AMAZON NEWS | Amazon will not accepting 'non-essential' products | TECHHARRY

Updated: Apr 2

The company says the extra-ordinary move will help get items like food and diapers to people affected by the CORONAVIRUS pandemic faster.

AMAZON LATEST NEWS: In normal times, Amazon will happily deliver almost any item to your doorstep, no matter how frivolous. These are not normal times. Millions of Americans are now largely confined to their homes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and many of them have turned to Amazon for household staples, groceries, and medical supplies in large numbers. To keep up with surging demand for essential goods, Amazon announced Tuesday that it would no longer accept other items at its warehouses until April 5.

The unprecedented action will immediately affect millions of third-party sellers and vendors, who have come to rely on Amazon's warehouses to get their products into the hands of consumers. Amazon customers can expect greater availability of things like soap and dog food, and potential shipping delays when it comes to less pressing items like clothing and electronics.

“We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” reads an announcement on Amazon’s official forum for sellers. “With this in mind, 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.” Last week, news outlets like Vice reported that Amazon had virtually no supply of goods like toilet paper left on its virtual shelves.

On Monday, Amazon announced in a news release that it would hire 100,000 new workers and raise pay by $2 an hour for many employees in response to a surge in delivery orders from people staying at home to combat the spread of the coronavirus. “We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” the company said.

Consultants who work in e-commerce say it has taken longer to get shipments unloaded into Amazon’s fulfillment centers, where the company picks items and packages them to deliver to customers.

“Outside the warehouse, the trucks are getting backed up,” Mr. Hariharan said.

Normally, orders are processed the same day they are delivered this time of year, he said. But recently, some had taken as long as a week to get unloaded.

He said the large consumer brands he worked with, who sell products like aspirin, Lysol and Huggies, have seen sales 15 times higher than expected in the past two weeks. His clients have told him they are moving products they had planned to send to brick-and-mortar retailers to Amazon instead.

The news may hurt demand for lucrative services that Amazon offers to merchants, like advertising.

Amy Roskelley, owner of Utah-based Health Beet, said she pays Amazon around $1,000 a month to promote her flatware products that help consumers portion their meals. Now that she can't add inventory to Amazon's warehouses, she plans to cut ad spend in half.

"It's hard for me to justify spending money if I don't have enough inventory to fill" customers' orders, she said.

Roskelley is considering other ways to reduce her dependence on Amazon, too, whether shipping directly to customers or driving traffic to her own website.

"I have been concerned that they'll shut down Amazon's warehouses and won't ship out at all, and that would just devastate me," she said.

Amazon has yet to indicate any such closures. Still, the months-long outbreak is posing challenges to the e-commerce giant's operations, from supply chain to deliveries, as the virus spreads from China to the rest of the world.


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