FACT CHECK: Is Amazon Suspending All Deliveries Except For Medical Supplies Due To Coronavirus?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook claims Amazon is suspending all deliveries except for medical supplies during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“This makes me sad!” reads the caption.

Verdict: False

Amazon is not suspending all deliveries except for medical supplies. The company is temporarily suspending shipments of non-essential items to their warehouses for third-party sellers who use Fulfillment by Amazon.

Fact Check:

The rumor that Amazon is suspending the shipment of all non-medical supplies began circulating on social media amid countless companies adjusting their operations in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The popular e-commerce website ships more than 2.5 billion packages a year in the United States, according to Forbes.

Amazon is not, however, suspending all deliveries except for medical supplies. No notice of such a move can be found on the website, and products can still be purchased online.

The confusion appears to stem from news that broke earlier in March that Amazon would be limiting the shipment of non-essential items from third-party sellers to its warehouses in the United States and United Kingdom. The freeze, instituted March 17, will be effective through at least April 5, according to Reuters.

“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household stapes and medical supplies are out of stock,” said an Amazon spokesperson in a statement to The Hill. “With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock and ship these products to customers.”

Amazon includes baby products, health and household items, beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific, and pet supplies among its categories of essential products. (RELATED: Is Dunkin’ Donuts Closing All Locations Over Coronavirus Concerns?)

The policy means third-party sellers who pay to store and ship their products through the Fulfillment by Amazon program will temporarily be unable to send their products to fulfillment centers if they are not deemed essential or in high demand. The same freeze applies to vendors who wholesale their products to Amazon, according to Business Insider.

But that does not mean Amazon is suspending all deliveries except for medical supplies. Consumers can purchase and receive non-essential products from Amazon, but the products may become unavailable as existing warehouse stock gets depleted, according to Reuters. Third-party sellers can still sell non-essential products on Amazon’s website and fulfill the shipments themselves, per a help document on Amazon.com.

We rate the claim false.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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