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Amazon limits shipments to its warehouses to medical supplies, household staples

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Surging consumer demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic has caused Amazon to temporarily stop accepting certain products in its warehouses. 

The online giant told sellers and vendors that it is prioritizing products coming into its fulfillment centers through its Fullfillment by Amazon program to free up inventory space for items that are currently in high demand due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The action is in place through April 5. (Shipments created before March 17 will still be received at fulfillment centers.)

“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” Amazon said in a note to sellers on its website. “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 ship these products to customers. For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors."

The move follows Amazon’s announcement that it will hire 100,000 workers for its warehouses and is temporarily raising compensation for is hourly employees. 

Amazon said that most of the products it will be accepting under the new guidelines fall into six categories: baby products; health and household items; beauty and personal care; grocery; industrial and scientific; and pet supplies. 

“We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritize these products for customers,” Amazon stated.

The company said the new protocol applies to both first-party vendors and third-party sellers. Sellers supplying products that don’t qualify under the guidelines will be unable to restock as a result of the measure. But they can use other fulfillment methods to directly mail products to customers.

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