Amazon Sellers & COVID-19

Depiction of Corona virus
Toilet paper, aka TP, is in high demand.
Toilet paper, aka TP, is in high demand.

Buying is focused on essentials

As the waves of COVID-19 reverberate around the world, businesses are taking actions to not get drowned out by the infectious virus. Some Amazon sellers are feeling the pinch and some are doing well, depending on the type of wares they sell. Buyer trends have changed. Who knew that toilet paper would become a prized commodity? The demand for luxury items, clothing, or purchases made on a whim has dropped off. Since millions of buyers have been ordered to stay at home, they are purchasing more of the daily groceries, COVID-19 related PPE (personal protective equipment), cleaners, sanitizers, etc through Amazon. Some are even looking to buy things that would add zest in the homebound lives for themselves or others. People are shopping for gift items to spread the cheer in this time of uncertainty.

As the majority of the world is rising to the challenge, some may be getting wrong ideas. There have been instances of sellers gouging prices on Amazon. Don’t do that! It is a sure way of getting yourself banned from Amazon. Using different IDs or email addresses is not going to work either. Amazon system is intelligent enough to know it is you again. Pleading to be reinstated may work or NOT. Just wiser to not take a chance. Additionally, it is not in good taste not to mention it is illegal. There has been a spike in price gouging since January. States have indicated that they may bring up charges against the offenders.

Information is king

Try to stay abreast of the COVID-19 related policies coming out of Amazon. They have a daily blog with current information as it applies to the Amazon community. This can also be used as a great resource for getting business ideas for your Amazon store. The information helps you prepare for what may be coming up. It may lead you to revamp your store to meet the demands of the time. You may find a niche market.

https://blog.aboutamazon.com/company-news/amazons-actions-to-help-employees-communities-and-customers-affected-by-covid-19

Our new lifestyle

Taking care of business in a new way

There is a new reality worldwide. You may want to emphasize to your buyers that you are in the same boat as them. Gently remind them that your shipping time may not meet their expectations. A lot of items, especially the ones in high demand are showing delays of one month. Even if your state does not have the shelter-in-place order, you may be impacted by other states’ orders for their citizens to stay at home. Slip in notes describing how you are dealing with the shelter in place restrictions. Make sure you are practicing utmost hygiene and sanitizing as much as humanly possible. Reassure your buyers that your items were cleaned before being packed. Remind them that the virus will not survive on most surfaces more than 72 hours. It will be a plus to put a big note on TOP of the packages reminding buyers to leave the package aside for at least 24 hours before opening it. Remind them to wear gloves if they must open it immediately.  

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/this-is-how-long-coronavirus-lives-on-surfaces

If you are an FBA seller of non-essential items, you may have to turn to MFN. Or find sources for essential items. This may be harder to do, as manufacturers, truckers, and the whole supply line is impacted.

Many states are requiring people to stay at home.

Taking care of yourself

Most importantly, take care of yourself. Practice all the precautions to avoid getting infected with the virus. Undoubtedly, your families are depending on you. You want to be able to provide for them after COVID-19. Things like exercise, eating and sleeping right, will keep you in good health and able to handle the infection better. Stress and worry can wear you down. Find ways to keep an upbeat atmosphere around you.

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2020-03-27/100-at-home-activities-for-coronavirus-quarantine

Follow guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Do your part for prevention

In summary, stay calm and persevere. Remember this too shall pass. And when it does you want your business to land on its feet. Happy customers and happy, happy you.