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COVID-19 Impact: Amazon Restricts Receiving ‘Non-Essential’ Items From Sellers

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In a move designed to prioritize space and resources for selling household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products during the COVID-19 outbreak, Amazon will bar receipt of non-essential items from marketplace sellers at its U.S. and UK fulfillment centers. The restrictions, scheduled to run through April 5, apply to both marketplace sellers and retail partners, according to a document on the Amazon Seller Central site, and they are being applied in both the U.S. and the EU.

Amazon has identified six product categories that will remain be eligible for its Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) services:

  • Baby products;
  • Health and household;
  • Beauty and personal care (including personal care appliances);
  • Grocery;
  • Industrial and scientific; and
  • Pet supplies

Third-party sellers on Amazon’s marketplace account for more than half the e-Commerce giant’s total sales, according to Reuters, and Amazon encourages these merchants to use its FBA services as a way to speed deliveries and lower their inventory carrying costs. Sellers are being advised that they can still sell items Amazon deems non-essential via merchant-fulfilled channels.

The move follows Amazon’s announcement that it would hire 100,000 fulfillment workers and raise wages to deal with increased e-Commerce demand during the pandemic.

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