Depending on where you live, you already might not be able to eat in a restaurant or go to a movie theater. Schools are closed, and people are having trouble finding basic supplies like toilet paper and soap. Amazon wants to help.

As social distancing becomes accepted by the masses as the new norm, people who are hesitant to leave to brave the grocery stores and pharmacies have been turning to online shopping. Amazon is obviously a popular site where you can order pretty much anything, but with the surge of orders the retailer has received recently, they are also having trouble keeping essential supplies in-stock.

They have what they hope is a solution, but it comes with a catch. 

Amazon told third-party retailers that they would no longer be accepting shipments to their warehouses of non-essential products. Here is an excerpt from the announcement they made to sellers:

“We are closely monitoring the developments of COVID-19 and its impact on our customers, selling partners, and employees.

We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock. With this in mind, we are 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.

For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors.

This will be in effect today through April 5, 2020, and we will let you know once we resume regular operations. Shipments created before today will be received at fulfillment centers.”

You can still order anything that is already in Amazon’s warehouses, but if that clothing item, new toy or other non-essential item sells out, you’ll have to wait awhile before it will be in-stock again.

Amazon is hoping that these temporary changes will help them keep essential products in stock so that customers can get things they really need delivered to their door in a timely manner.

These are definitely unusual times. Excuse me while I stock up on non-essentials at Amazon.

Does this announcement from Amazon surprise you?