Amazon stiffens seller storage rules to avoid logistical headaches this holiday season

Shawn Knight

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In brief: Amazon is already taking steps to fortify its logistics network for what is shaping up to be the first holiday shopping season to play out during a global pandemic. The idea, it seems, is to avoid having low-draw items or seasonal products – like Easter baskets or Independence Day decorations – taking up storage space during the holiday buying season when they are unlikely to sell.

In an e-mail sent to sellers obtained by CNET, Amazon said it is limiting the amount of inventory that third-party sellers can store in its warehouse. Effective immediately, sellers will only be able to store just over three months of inventory with Amazon.

The new restrictions probably won’t have much of an impact on most sellers. According to Amazon, sellers typically tend to store only about six weeks’ worth of inventory with the company at any given time.

It’s understandable that Amazon wants to take every possible precaution at this point. Like many others, the e-commerce giant was ill-prepared for the myriad issues that cropped up as a byproduct of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company was overwhelmed with orders for essential products like hand sanitizer and toilet paper in March and April.

The annual Prime Day sales event, normally scheduled for right around this time of year, has reportedly been pushed back to the fall and might not even materialize until October, if at all.

Image credit: Quality Stock Arts, dennizn

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