Amazon just made a dramatic announcement with no warning in the seller help section that will impact many sellers of products.
Here is the full announcement:
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 57. 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 12 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.
Thank you for your patience, and for participating in FBA.
New Information from FAQ Amazon Provided
The following categories are the high priority categories for which they are still accepting most products:
- Baby Products
- Health & Household
- Beauty & Personal Care (including personal care appliances)
- Industrial & Scientific
- Pet Supplies
The FAQ also states this applies to US and EU marketplaces. We have confirmed the same information is being provided to UK sellers.
Further, shipments created before March 17, 2020, will be received.
Amazon is also saying they plan to account for this situation in the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.
Impact on Small Business Using Amazon FBA
The impact of this situation is dramatic for small business marketplace sellers that do not sell these high demand product.
The company is not suspending sales and they are not keeping small business sellers from listing more products they can fulfill themselves.
In the near term, many sellers may need to look at self-fulfillment as the best possible option to continue selling on Amazon.
Amazon in the U.S. is already falling behind in deliveries as the grasps with an unexpected huge search in sales from people panic buying many common products.
This is an unprecedented situation and this decision will certainly make many Amazon sellers question their allegiance to the company.
UPDATE 3/25 7:10am with new information from Amazon FAQ in US and UK.
How will this inbound shipping prioritization impact your small business selling on Amazon?
Please use the comments section below or head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Sellers and interact with other small business owners.