Why Is Amazon Categorizing Items As Essential and Non Essential?
The Coronavirus/Covid19 pandemic has caused an influx of orders to come through Amazon. With so many people around the world sheltering in place, many consumers are using Amazon to get the items they need, and the items they want.
In addition to the influx of orders, the entire world’s supply chain has been disrupted as flights are grounded, container ships are struggling, and couriers are overworked. Whether they realize it or not, many U.S. consumers depend on goods that come from China. A majority of these consumer goods come straight from Wuhan, China where the Coronavirus pandemic all began.
This influx of orders mixed with the disruption of the supply chain had left Amazon needing to categorize their items and orders as either Essential or Non-essential. Essential items get heavily prioritized over non-essential items, thus causing delays of up to one month for certain merchants and products.
In Addition To Delays, Only Essential Items Can Be Restocked With Amazon Fulfillment
Aside from shipping delays, a major change with Amazon’s essential-items classifications means that if the items you sell are not listed in the above categories, you will not be able to send them in to Amazon’s fulfillment center, nor will you be able to create inventory replenishment orders.
The best way around this? Switch from Fulfilled by Amazon over to Fulfilled by Merchant and handle the inventory and shipping yourself until Amazon lifts the restrictions.
Beware Of Masks and Hand Sanitizer
Over the last few months, Amazon has suspended tens of thousands of accounts and hundreds of thousands of listings from price gouging in the midst of a pandemic. The primary culprits have been N95 masks and hand sanitizer.
Amazon has in-house data on what they feel these two items should be sold for. If your pricing strays as much as 10% outside of what Amazon feels they should be sold for, you could find your Amazon seller account terminated. The tough part is that nobody knows what Amazon’s data says the prices should be.