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Amazon Warns Non-Essential Orders May Not Arrive Before April 21

By Rich Smith - Mar 23, 2020 at 3:08PM

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Kids, stuck at home and bouncing off the walls, may have to wait a while to bounce on trampolines.

If you were planning to buy a CD or a book (or a trampoline) on (AMZN -0.99%), you may need to also plan on waiting a bit to receive it.

As Vox's Recode reports today, Amazon is delaying shipments of "nonessential" merchandise by anywhere from as little as five days to as long as a month -- assigning April 21 delivery dates to some newly ordered merchandise. A quick survey of delivery options confirms that the earliest delivery date for many items is now March 31 -- while the April 21 delivery date is indeed the default for other items.  

Amazon order form showing a CD, a book, and a trampoline

Image source:

"To serve our customers in need while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we've changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers," an Amazon spokesperson told Recode. "This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual."

Amazon's move follows a similar announcement last week, which may have foreshadowed the current move. To wit, Amazon advised customers that it was "temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock and deliver these products to customers."

Amazon then clarified that baby products, health and household, beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific, and pet supplies are among the "high-demand" products it's prioritizing. But that still means that from now through April 5 (at least), the company is halting acceptance of shipments of "discretionary" items to its warehouses. (Third party sellers can still accept orders on Amazon and ship them themselves, however).  

To further bolster its ability to cope with the surge in online shopping demand, the company announced it will hire 100,000 more workers.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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