Last week, Amazon began to prioritize shipments for sanitary products and pantry staples during the coronavirus pandemic as it faced and continues to face extraordinary demand for essential products. Today, though, many customers browsing around for items on the site have noticed that nearly all items considered to be non-essential now have a ship-by date of April 21 for Prime subscribers.
The company sent a statement to the media today which reads:
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. This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.
Last week, Recode reported the company effectively prohibited its warehouses from storing products that do not fall into one of six categories: baby products, health and household, beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific, and pet supplies. Anything outside of that realm likely would not get back onto its shelves until April 5 at the earliest. If turnaround times continue to remain longer than usual, we may presume that Amazon is being cautious by projecting wider delivery windows than usual.
That said, we took a look around and found some odd items that rank ahead of the queue above others. For starters, most items either made by Amazon or one of its subsidiaries like an Echo speaker or Eero router bought today will ship within the week.
But if we wanted a router from a different manufacturer — TP-Link offers one that Amazon likes a lot to call it "Amazon's Choice" — we found out that we had to wait until around April 21 to get them to our door.
Not every non-essential product has a delivery date that far away, though, and that may have to do with the existing stock that remains in warehouses right now. Take this women's purse from Fossil:
Or, more importantly, this Acer Chromebook:
The truth of the matter is that logistics is complicated, was complicated before the COVID-19 outbreak, and will be especially complicated in the aftermath of it.