Non-Essential Amazon Prime Orders Now Facing Shipping Delays of up to a Month

Illustration for article titled Non-Essential Amazon Prime Orders Now Facing Shipping Delays of up to a Month
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As the world social distances to reduce the spread of covid-19, many people are turning to Amazon Prime to help deliver products to their homes. However, due to Amazon’s recent announcement that it would start prioritizing delivery of essential items, many less-critical Amazon Prime orders are now seeing shipping delays of up to a month.

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The issue started cropping up over the weekend, as many looked to Amazon for things to help entertain or keep themselves occupied as shelter-in-place and self-quarantine mandates have been extended indefinitely. Now, Amazon Prime customers who are accustomed to getting their products deliver in two days or less are seeing delivery estimates on non-essential items as far out as April 21.

In an official statement to Recode, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that these shipping estimates aren’t the result of a technical error and that “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,” which has “resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.”

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If you had been relying on local coffee shops for your daily brew prior to the spread of covid-19, you may have a hard time ordering a coffee maker for your home now.
If you had been relying on local coffee shops for your daily brew prior to the spread of covid-19, you may have a hard time ordering a coffee maker for your home now.
Screenshot: Sam Rutherford (Amazon)

While Amazon’s recent change in shipping priority makes a lot of sense given the times, unfortunately, it’s not always clear which items will be deemed essential or “high-demand products.” It appears even things like an Amazon Basics coffee maker have been lumped in with things like graphics cards and deemed non-essential, with both products not expected to be delivered until the end of April.

With some third-party sellers on Amazon having recently been told that they will not be able to send their goods to Amazon warehouses for fulfillment, this issue may only get worse as current supplies become depleted or delayed.

And while Amazon is hoping to bolster its workforce with 100,000 new employees, with the number of covid-19 cases continuing to rise in the U.S. and Amazon’s continued focus on prioritizing shipments of essential goods, it may be a long time before you can order a new gadget, cable, or component on Amazon Prime and get it delivered anytime soon.

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Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

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DISCUSSION

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NovemberAjax

And while Amazon is hoping to bolster its workforce with 100,000 new employees,

The smart person would ask the question about how effective social distancing measures are in their warehouses if they’re about to increase the workforce? At some point people are just going to refuse to turn up because of fear of transmission with so many people in one place.

Right now, drive-through and pickup orders at restaurants and fast food places are working over here because the employees still want to work. And we’re placing a lot of trust in corporations, franchise owners and individual employees to do the right thing. You’re trusting the people on the other side of the drive-through window to not (knowingly) be carriers and to be not coughing and sneezing in the kitchen.

What happens when (not if) an Amazon warehouse worker gets Covid19? It’s going to happen. That whole warehouse will likely be shut down and there then exists the possibility that the virus will be transmitted on the packages they touched. The New England Journal Of Medicine report indicated the virus is viable up to 24 hours on cardboard and 72 on plastic. So even if it takes a couple of days to deliver the box, the outside might be clean but anything in plastic on the inside that was touched could still have a viable sample on it. Same with those white/blue plastic mailers Amazon use so much now too.

Even if you’re isolating at home, anything delivered to the house could be an infection vector.