Summary of Amazon’s COVID-19 Related Updates
It’s evident that the COVID-19 crisis has triggered drastic changes in Amazon. Here at AMZ Thrive, we’ve made it our duty to keep you up to speed with the latest Amazon updates in relation to the global pandemic. By ensuring you’re well informed, we hope to help sellers like you navigate this unsettling time.
So, let’s dive right in. May 13: Sellers have reported continued challenges with supply chains and fulfillment processes. Based on this feedback, Amazon has decided to extend its pause on account suspensions for order performance until May 31, 2020. From June 1, 2020, Amazon will revert to enforcing its established order performance standards. But any order defects that occurred prior to June 1 will not be included in account health evaluation. May 7: Good news for sellers in the Amazon’s FBA Small and Light program. Their products can now be fulfilled using Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF). This means sellers can fulfill inventory to any sales channel outside of Amazon, including their own website. Fees will be charged based on the current fulfillment fees. May 6: Amazon warns about United States Postal Service (USPS) international shipping service disruptions and advises sellers to get updates on the USPS website before shipping orders. May 4: Amazon extends the waiver for long-term storage fees beyond May 15, 2020, as had been previously announced. April 30: Amazon announces temporary changes to its refund and reimbursement policies. FBM sellers can now take 14 days to process returns and issue refunds. This goes for both Prime and non-Prime orders. The normal policy (2-days refund processing time) will resume on June 1, 2020. As for prepaid label returns (Prime and non-Prime), sellers can now take 90 calendar days to file for reimbursement. After May 31, 2020, the reimbursement period reverts to the usual 60 days. April 18: Amazon announces it has updated the list of products eligible for shipment. Even so, sellers are allowed to ship a limited quantity of these products. Amazon is directing sellers to watch out for a ‘Limited Restock’ tag on the affected items in their Restock Inventory page, or their Restock report April 15: After a ruling by a French court to have Amazon limit deliveries to only essentials or face a €1 million per-day fine, Amazon halts all operations in France temporarily. Amazon announced they’ll reopen in 5 days after beefing up safety precautions. April 14: As reported by CNBC, Amazon informs its affiliates program members about slashing commission rates. This will begin on April 21, 2020. The referral fees for some product categories will drop by over 70%. April 14: Amazon, speaking with CNBC, confirmed that they would start shipping non-essential items beginning later in the week. April 13: Amazon proudly reports that the 100,000 jobs pledged on March 16, 2020, were all filled. The employee’s pay increments and boosted safety measures are also in effect. April 9: Amazon pauses account suspension for order performance. This includes offenses like high late shipment rates and high cancelations. This will be in effect until May 15, 2020. April 6: Amazon makes adjustments on its return policy for a period. Buyers in the US who bought items between March 1 and April 30, 2020, have until May 31, 2020, to return items. April 3: Amazon to delay Prime Day until August 2020. March 30: Amazon declares a two-weeks FBA storage fee waiver. March 26: Amazon announces a new tool to check eligibility for the expanded list of prioritized products for shipment. March 25: Great relief for sellers with an outstanding loan with Amazon Lending. Amazon announces repayments are paused from March 26 to April 30, 2020. March 24: Amazon announces the stalling of removal orders and begins a waiver for long-term storage fees until April 15, 2020. Also, non-essential goods are no longer to be shipped in India March 21: Amazon announces no more shipping of non-essentials to buyers in Italy and France. March 17: Amazon announces that it would only prioritize essential product shipment. So FBA sellers of non-essentials can’t ship into or out of fulfillment centers March 16: In a bid to prepare to face the coronavirus crisis, Amazon announces it would hire 100,000 additional staff in the US. This will help employ those who’ve lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.