If you’ve had trouble finding essentials like toilet paper and hand soap at your local grocery or big-box stores, you might have found solace in the internet. At least you can still order household supplies online and have them dropped at your door, right? We may not be able to hang out in large groups, but those Amazon delivery vans are still running all over our streets.
Recent reports about limited Amazon shipments may have you concerned about whether you can still shop for essentials (or your choice of nonessentials) from the e-commerce giant.
Amazon has announced it is pausing shipments of some products to its warehouses. But for now, there’s little impact on what you can order or when you can order it.
Here’s what Amazon said on its blog this week regarding shipment priorities:
As COVID-19 has spread, we’ve recently seen an increase in people shopping online which has had an impact on how we serve our customers. So in the short term, we are making the decision to temporarily prioritise household staples, medical supplies and other high demand products coming into our fulfilment centres so we can more quickly receive, restock and ship these products to customers. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability of these essential products, and continue to bring on additional capacity to deliver customer orders.
Amazon sellers who ship their items to Amazon in order for Amazon to then ship them to customers have been asked to delay sending new inventory until early April unless it falls under a few categories, according to a memo obtained by AdAge. Cleaning supplies, medical items and food are the primary exceptions to the rule.
Nonessentials that have already been shipped from sellers to Amazon will be accepted and sold as usual. Sellers that ship their own products aren’t facing any restrictions at this time.
If you were planning on buying a baseball glove or a laptop on Amazon, you might find there are fewer options available. But it’s highly unlikely that Amazon will run out of nonessential items while it hustles to stock items that are most in demand. Along with shipping items from its third-party sellers, Amazon sells and ships plenty of its own inventory as well.
Amazon is on a warehouse hiring spree in the U.S. to try to accommodate an influx of orders from people who are stuck close to home in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the company recommends that consumers choose a slower shipping option whenever possible: “Selecting the No-Rush option enables us to consolidate orders and make fewer stops in neighbourhoods throughout the week, and most importantly, serve customers with the most critical needs first,” Amazon’s blog stated.