The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Amazon will allow third-party sellers on its marketplace to resume shipping “non-essential” items this week after announcing in mid-March that it would only stock virus-essential supplies through April 5.
The WSJ cited a statement from an Amazon spokesperson saying the company will begin to accept more products in its warehouses this week that are outside of the e-commerce giant’s definition of “essentials”. In March, Amazon told its seller members that it was temporarily prioritizing stocking and shipping medical supplies, household products and other essential categories to meet demand for them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the WSJ, the Amazon spokesperson said the expanded products will be limited by quality so that Amazon can continue prioritizing essential products and protect its employees, while also ensuring most selling partners can ship goods into Amazon 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 WSJ quoted the spokesperson. “We will share more details with our selling partners later this week.”
During Amazon’s restrictive period, sellers were still able to sell nonessentials on the platform, but weren’t able to use Fulfillment by Amazon, which lets sellers ship their products to an Amazon warehouse, from which Amazon then handles stocking and shipping in exchange for commission.
On Monday, Amazon also announced it is expanding its hiring efforts to by creating an additional 75,000 jobs to help meet increased demand as a result of the pandemic. That follows the company previously announcing March 16 that it would invest more than $350 million globally to increase employee pay and hire 1000,000 full- and part-time positions.