Amazon.com have taken the unprecedented decision to suspend FBA for all small business sellers, arguably at just the time that small businesses most need Amazon in order to survive. Amazon’s reason is that they are seeing high demand for household essentials and medical supplies and are prioritising those products consumers are most in need of in their warehouses. Sellers will be unable to create new FBA shipments until at least three weeks time with the current date for resumption of normal FBA operations in the US being the 5th of April.
Whilst it may be morally right to ensure incoming shipments are the most needed products by consumers, many of whom if they aren’t already will soon be self-isolating, it’s a kick in the teeth for the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who rely on Amazon for their business.
It’s worth highlighting that Amazon are NOT saying you can’t sell on the Amazon marketplace. What they are saying is that they are shifting the might of the Amazon fulfilment and shipping to bring essential supplies to the millions of households who will be in dire need of assistance. Merchants can still sell on Amazon but will be forced to fulfil orders themselves.
Fufilment by Merchant (FBM) will often be slower than FBA, but in reality if you’re selling puzzle books and jigsaw puzzles to keep consumers occupied while they’re sat at home, they’ll probably appreciate getting their toilet roll and cough medicine swiftly from Amazon rather than vice versa. However it does also mean that as merchants inevitably fall ill, they’ll no longer be able to have their stock sent into FBA and if they can’t fulfil themselves their income will be cut off.
Products in just 6 categories will continue to be accepted into FBA and this news applies to all Amazon UK, EU and US marketplaces.
- Baby Products
- Health & Household
- Beauty & Personal Care (including personal care appliances)
- Industrial & Scientific
- Pet Supplies
Amazon Suspend FBA 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. 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.
Thank you for your patience, and for participating in FBA.”