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Jun 01, 2020
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Amazon allows sellers to start shipping nonessential items again
PUBLISHED MON, APR 13 20202:08 PM EDTUPDATED TUE, APR 14 202012:34 PM EDT
Annie Palmer
@ANNIERPALMER
KEY POINTS
Amazon has started to allow third-party sellers to ship some nonessential items to its warehouses.
An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC it will start to allow some shipments later this week.
The company told sellers in March that it would prioritize shipments of essential goods due to the coronavirus outbreak.
FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2010 file photo, Humberto Manzano, Jr., delivers an arriving pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix. Products are flying off the shelves at Amazon warehouses across the county as Californians prepare to start paying sales taxes on online purchases. The change, which takes effect Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, will pave the way for the e-commerce giant to open warehouses in California and offer same-day shipping to customers. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2010 file photo, Humberto Manzano, Jr., delivers an arriving pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix. Products are flying off the shelves at Amazon warehouses across the county as Californians prepare to start paying sales taxes on online purchases. The change, which takes effect Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, will pave the way for the e-commerce giant to open warehouses in California and offer same-day shipping to customers. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Ross D. Franklin
Amazon will soon allow third-party merchants to ship nonessential items to its warehouses, the company confirmed to CNBC.

Starting later this week, the company will begin to accept more products in its warehouses, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. Amazon told sellers in March that it would “temporarily prioritize” household staples, medical supplies and other essential product categories in response to a surge in demand from the coronavirus outbreak.

News of the update was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The spokesperson said products will be limited by quantity to allow Amazon to continue prioritizing essential products and protecting employees, “while also ensuring most selling partners can ship goods into our facilities.”

“We appreciate our selling partners’ patience as we prioritize products for customers and adhere to extensive health and safety measures in our fulfillment centers to protect our employees,” the spokesperson said. “We will share more details with our selling partners later this week.”

The update should be a welcome change for Amazon’s millions of third-party sellers. After Amazon said it would prioritize essential goods, many sellers told CNBC they were concerned that the decision would exacerbate the pandemic’s already harsh impact on their businesses. Sellers who offer items outside of toilet paper and disinfectant wipes said they were forced to furlough or lay off employees, while others cut back on advertising.

Third-party merchants were still able to sell nonessential items on Amazon, but they weren’t able to ship those items using Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA. Third-party merchants could still use FBA for essential items. The service lets sellers ship their products to an Amazon warehouse, where the company stores the inventory and ships orders out to customers, in exchange for Amazon taking a commission from each sale.
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