Amazon shortages as shoppers panic buy

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We’ve seen shelves ransacked at Supermarkets but now even Amazon are struggling to keep up with the panic buying and Amazon shortages of household staples are starting to appear. Today for example, toilet roll is a prime example of Amazon shortages with none available on Amazon pantry and only a single kitchen roll being available under the ‘Kitchen Roll, Toilet Roll & Tissues’ category.

“As COVID-19 has spread, we’ve recently seen an increase in people shopping online. In the short term, this is having an impact on how we serve our customers. In particular, you will notice that we are currently out of stock on some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories. You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders.”
– Amazon

Amazon are perhaps better placed than Supermarkets to restock quickly – they have almost unlimited capacity in their warehouses and the main issue won’t be storage space but the number of artic lorries on the road to replenish suppliers. The Supermarkets and even manufacturers themselves have said there are no shortages of food and definitely no problem with the supply of toilet roll, so to see Amazon shortages is also likely to be a temporary situation rather than an ongoing issue.

Amazon have also reiterated that they won’t stand for price gouging at any time but especially during the Coronavirus pandemic and have already removed thousands of offers from merchants as well as emailing merchants they suspect of hiking their prices to warn them it won’t be allowed.

“We’re also working to ensure that no one artificially raises prices on basic need products during this pandemic and have blocked or removed tens of thousands of items, in line with our long-standing policy. We actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policy.”
– Amazon

Amazon commitment to workers

Amazon are also committed to paying their workers even if they are off sick or are self-isolating.

All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay. This additional pay while away from work is to ensure employees have the time they need to return to good health without the worry of lost income. This is in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the end of March.

Amazon have also establishd an Amazon Relief Fund with a $25 million initial contribution focused on supporting Amazon’s independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees under financial distress. These workers will be able to apply for grants of up to two-weeks of pay if diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine. All Amazon employees and contractors around the world who face financial hardships from other qualifying events, such as a natural disaster, federally declared emergency, or unforeseen personal hardship. Applicants can apply and receive a personal grant from the fund ranging from $400 to $5,000 USD per person.

Finally, acknowledging the many businesses where employees don’t work directly for Amazon but for service companies that support their operations, Amazon are continuing to pay all hourly staff of third party companies contracting to Amazon from food-service workers to security guards and janitorial staff.

4 Responses

    need to start pouring some of their assets into the community not just their workers

  2. I have just tried to send some product for FBA and it’s blocked.

    I get the following message:

    “Temporarily prioritizing products coming into our fulfillment centers
    This item cannot be shipped to Amazon.”

  3. Dear Seller,

    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 prioritising household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfilment centres 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 fulfilment centres.

    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 appreciate your understanding as we prioritise the above products for our customers.

    Thank you for your patience, and for participating in FBA.

    The Fulfilment by Amazon team


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