Amazon announced Tuesday that it is blocking third-party sellers from sending non-essential products to its U.S. and U.K. warehouses until April 5 in order to free up inventory space for much-needed supplies that are in shortage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As its household staples and medical supplies are running out of stock, it will prioritize essential categories — including Baby Products, Health & Household, Beauty & Personal Care, Grocery, Industrial & Scientific, and Pet Supplies — in order to "quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers."
The message Amazon sent to sellers states:
Hello from Fulfillment by Amazon,
We are closely monitoring the developments of COVID-19 and its impact on our customers, selling partners, and employees.
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 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.
For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors.
This will be in effect today through April 5, 2020, and we will let you know once we resume regular operations. Shipments created before today will be received at fulfillment centers.
You can learn more about this on this Help page. Please note that Selling Partner Support does not have further guidance.
We understand this is a change to your business, and we did not take this decision lightly. We are working around the clock to increase capacity and yesterday announced that we are opening 100,000 new full- and part-time positions in our fulfillment centers across the US.
We appreciate your understanding as we prioritize the above products for our customers.
? Third-party sellers account for over half of Amazon's sales. Amazon has been courting businesses to use their fulfillment system, offering faster delivery without the risks involved with stockpiling inventory.