There was a big development for Amazon FBA sellers over the weekend as the Coronavirus shutdown effect spreads: Amazon Prime delivery of many (but not all) non-essential items has extended out to April 21, nearly a month from now. Here’s what I saw on one of my listings:
However, other items still show 4-day delivery:
This is on top of Amazon’s announcement last Tuesday that it was temporarily halting inbound shipments of nonessential items from third-party sellers. It had also started increasing “Prime” delivery windows from the normal 2-day turnaround to 3-5 days for many customers.
For my Amazon FBA items (all nonessential), the more expensive/popular items tend to be 4-day delivery to my address outside of Boston, while the cheaper items items tend to set delivery to one month out. I can only speculate that the algorithm is making such guarantees depending on the customer’s location and shipping capacity at nearby Amazon fulfillment centers. More popular items have larger inventory, and are more likely to be in more FCs scattered across the country, including the one nearest my home in Fall River, Mass.
Many Amazon 3PS, already furious about halt of inbound nonessential FBA shipments, are going bananas about the April 21 date. Some speculate it’s just a way for Amazon to lower customers’ expectations, and actual delivery will be quicker.
My take: Coronavirus and COVID-19 represents an international crisis. Amazon should prioritize essentials while taking steps to protect their workforce & shipping partners. It will be a rough ride, but we’ll get past this.