What are Amazon's Restrictions

Effects of Corona (COVID-19) on the Amazon marketplace

Amazon recently announced that delivering new products (or replenishing stocks) to the warehouse is only possible to a very limited extent and in certain categories. The reason for this was practically "recursive hamster buyers" of many traders due to Corona (COVID-19)who use or wanted to use the logistics and fulfillment service FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). For fear of an “out-of-stock” situation, many sellers wanted to quickly “push” their products into the warehouse and thus store them in a recursive way, as we know these days from situations in many consumers' supermarkets. To limit this rush to the warehouse, Amazon quickly restricted the delivery of new products. Only a few categories were allowed to be supplied by selected retailers and brands so that basic availability of certain essential products was and is given in the current crisis situation. Currently only these categories can be delivered on Amazon:

  • Baby products
  • Drugstore & household
  • Health & Personal Care (including electronic personal care devices)
  • Food
  • Industry & Science
  • Pet supplies

Very long delivery times due to Corona (COVID-19) on Amazon

As a result, there are currently significantly longer delivery times in some categories, even if the products are "Prime-capable", which under normal circumstances means delivery within 1-2 working days and sometimes even on the same day (same-day delivery). In certain categories, the Corona (COVID-19) situation even has such a strong impact that some Products are currently out of stock at all and therefore either not ordered at all or can only be delivered with a very long delay. The delivery times vary greatly: between 1-2 weeks up to over 6 weeks.

Shopping on Amazon is only possible to a limited extent

Actually, it is not a big deal that in such a unique crisis situation special circumstances also prevail on Amazon and that you also adjust your shopping behavior. But let's be honest: Amazon has simply spoiled us over the past few years, or to put it more drastically: Completely "messed up". True to the motto “Once a Prime Customer, always a Prime Customer”, we were used to constant availability of goods and the shortest possible delivery times. Personally, I don't take myself out of it at all. To date, I've used the Amazon Marketplace for 99% of all my private purchases. And that wasn't a problem at all until the occurrence of Corona (COVID-19). In the current situation, however, there are sometimes severe restrictions and thus certainly also changed shopping behavior. It's a strange feeling when the almost always-and-immediate availability on Amazon is temporarily no longer available.

Certain products are in greater demand due to Corona (COVID-19)

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Using the example keyword “webcam”, you can see very well how the delivery stop in the Amazon logistics centers has an impact. Most articles are currently practically no longer available and have long delivery times. Certainly the limited flow of goods into the warehouse is a valid reason for this shortage on the marketplace. Another reason, however, will be the disproportionate demand for certain products. People have to adapt their private and professional lives due to exit restrictions and physical bans on contact. In some cases, this changes the demand for products very strongly and in this case it is the need for technical devices that enable home office and video contact with family and friends - in one word: webcams. And what happens when there is a high demand for products and the availability of goods is severely limited? Correct: A shortage of the products and thus a temporary unavailability.

this applies not for all categories from Amazon's catalog. Many items are still available and, thanks to our own logistics services, can be delivered at (almost) the usual speed. Should there be any restrictions on the availability of deliveries, Amazon will show a corresponding note above the search results:

The inventory of certain products may be temporarily limited due to increased demand. We are working with our partners to have the goods available again as soon as possible. More information and frequently asked questions about Amazon and COVID-19.

At this point, Amazon refers to a special COVID-19 landing page, which was set up for the Corona situation and answers frequently asked questions on the subject.

Product availability at Amazon still uncertain

No one can currently (as of March 31, 2020) predict how the global situation will develop. As a result, it is also still uncertain when Amazon will allow halfway normal regular operations in the warehouses and thus most of the articles will be available again as usual. At the beginning of April, the retail giant looked ahead cautiously for this status quo. Dealers and brands that use the FBA services should then be able to send products to the logistics centers again. But that is currently not certain.

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