Amazon is temporarily refusing to stock certain items in its warehouses, to cope with overwhelming demand for household essentials due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It means third-party sellers of non-essential items could find it difficult to ship orders to customers.

The move will last until 5 April and cover warehouses in the US and Europe.

Some items – including many brands of toilet paper – remain out of stock on Amazon’s UK website.

The decision to restrict warehouse stocks to household essentials and medical supplies has been met with dismay by some sellers of other products.

“My sales just doubled and Amazon halted all my shipments,” said one in a post on discussion site Reddit.

“This is absolutely crazy,” wrote another – though they added they had been “prepared” for disruption.

Third-party sellers can still list and sell items on Amazon but they would have to carry out packing and shipping of the products themselves.

Amazon told the BBC: “We are temporarily prioritising household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfilment centres so we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers. We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding.”

Coronavirus: What you need to know graphic featuring three key points: wash your hands for 20 seconds; use a tissue for coughs; avoid touching your face

BBC

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