Amazon.com has temporarily stopped stocking of some specific items in its warehouses in order to cater to the overwhelming demand for household essentials as more and more people rush to stock them up as more cities worldwide are put under lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This decision of the company could result in some third-party sellers who sell non-essential items finding it difficult to deliver orders to their customers. Amazon has said that this decision will be applicable at all of its warehouses in the United States and Europe until 5 April.
For example on the company’s United Kingdom website some of the items otherwise found – such as many brands of toilet paper – were not in stock.
Some sellers of other non-essential products on Amazon have been surprised by the decision of the company to restrict stocking in its warehouse to household essentials and medical supplies only.
“My sales just doubled and Amazon halted all my shipments,” said one in a post on discussion site Reddit. “This is absolutely crazy,” wrote another – though they added they had been “prepared” for disruption.
Despite the decision of the largest e-retailer to not stock non-essential items, third party sellers can still list and sell items on the company’s platform but will have to arrange for packaging and shipping of the products themselves.
“We are temporarily prioritising household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfilment centres 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,” Amazon said in an emailed response to the media.
“Amazon was doing the right thing. Small businesses will hurt because of it and some will completely go bankrupt if the supply chain disruption goes beyond a month,” said Samantha Morrison, who sells a range of electrical and computer-related goods via Amazon.
It was however also important that the e-retailer was able to provide all essential items to people in a time of need, she said. Since she had enough stocks to “weather the storm”, therefore it was unlikely that her own business would have any significant impact, Morrison added according ot a report by the BBC.
On the other hand, a seller based in Lincoln, UK, Andrew Helgeson, told the BBC that he had “no idea” about how many more products he would be able to ship to his customers because he had relied on the packaging and shipping services of Amazon for the last eight years. The way out for him was to individually package the products at home, said Helgeson who sells items including DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
“We will get around it, always do, you have to be able to adapt,” he told the BBC.
(Adapted from BBC.com)