March 18, 2020 / 7:05 PM / 19 days ago

True claim: Amazon temporarily disables shipment of non-essential items to its warehouses

Online posts claim Amazon will be suspending shipment for items it considers non-essential to its warehouses. These posts have received many submissions doubting their truthfulness or suggesting confusion over the move.

Comments include: “I was just on amazon and they said nothing about that as matter of fact just seen a deal of the day for a tablet,” “My mother works for Amazon. This isn’t true. They are looking for more workers though since the demand to order online is high,” and “This is fake news.”

Amazon issued a statement on March 17, 2020 saying that the company was temporarily prioritizing the items that come into its warehouses by other sellers due to the coronavirus outbreak and increased online shopping ( here ).

The company said this would be in effect from the time of the statement released until April 5, 2020. Amazon also mentioned that any shipments created before the announcement would be accepted at the fulfillment centers. So far, this applies to U.S. and EU markets ( here ).

Amazon said: 

“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 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.”

“Selling partners,” who are third-party sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to sell their goods, may temporarily not be able to ship their product if it's not deemed essential or in high demand. FBA allows sellers to store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and lets Amazon take over the packing, shipping and customer service for the product ( here ).

The change does not mean Amazon will stop selling non-essential items like phone cases and toys for now, only that products may be more likely to run out of stock in the next few weeks or that sellers must ship directly to consumers.

VERDICT

True: Amazon temporarily disabled shipment of non-essential items to their warehouses until April 5, 2020

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here  .

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