[Updated] Marketplace Policy Changes During COVID-19

[Editor’s note: This post will be updated as more information becomes available]

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and many marketplaces are forced to make adjustments to their policies and seller communication. Here are some of the latest relevant headlines, broken out by channel. 

For updates specific to seller performance standards, see our Marketplace Seller Performance Policies During COVID-19 blog post.

Amazon

[April 18, 2020] Update on Products Eligible for Shipment Creation (US)

Amazon continues to loosen the category restrictions it originally imposed on March 17 for shipment creation, but the company is still limiting the quantity sellers can send for some of those newly-eligible products.

Sellers can view products that are eligible for shipment creation in the Restock Inventory page and the Restock report. Products that are eligible and have quantity limits will be marked with a Limited restock tag. [Read announcement]

[April 13, 2020] Amazon Will Accept More FBA Products This Week

An Amazon spokesman confirmed to CNBC that, starting this week, the company will begin to accept more products in its warehouses. While Amazon is still prioritizing essential products and categories, as well as the health of its employees, the decision should help many third-party sellers who use FBA to store and ship their products.

“We appreciate our selling partners’ patience as we prioritize products for customers and adhere to extensive health and safety measures in our fulfillment centers to protect our employees,” the spokesperson said. “We will share more details with our selling partners later this week.” [Read more]

[April 3, 2020] Amazon Temporarily Extends Return Window

To give customers more time to return items, Amazon has temporarily extended the returns window. Most Amazon orders delivered between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020, can now be returned until May 31, 2020. [Read announcement]

[March 30, 2020] Amazon Waves FBA Storage Fees

Amid the evolving COVID-19 crisis, Amazon announced that it will waive two weeks of sellers’ inventory storage fees for products stored in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Amazon had previously waived April 15 long-term storage fees in the US and Europe, paused repayments and interest until April 30 for sellers with direct loans from Amazon Lending, and waved April fees for those sellers using Seller Account Management or the Launchpad program. [Read announcement]

[March 27, 2020] Update on Prioritized Shipment Creation; New Tool to Check Eligibility

Amazon provided an update in Seller Central to its prioritized shipment creation policy (which it originally announced on March 17). The full statement from Amazon reads:

We are following up on our announcement of March 17. We continue to focus our available capacity on the highest priority products that customers need at this time, while also adhering to social distancing guidance within our fulfillment centers to keep our employees safe and healthy.

While we will continue prioritizing the products we can receive beyond April 5, we are now able to broaden the list. Given our constrained capacity, we are doing this on an item-by-item basis. We have updated the Restock Inventory page and Restock report in Seller Central so you can check which products are eligible for shipment creation. We consider many factors when determining eligibility, including high-demand products customers need now; current inventory levels and inventory in transit; fulfillment center capacity; and our ability to adhere to the latest health guidelines.

We will regularly update the Restock Inventory page and the Restock report as capacity allows us to receive additional products.

You can find answers to frequently asked questions on this Help page. Please note that Selling Partner Support does not have further guidance.

All of us at Amazon are working hard to restore regular operations, and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

 

eBay

[April 2, 2020] Businesses That Aren’t eBay Store Subscribers Can Now Receive Additional Free Listings

Business sellers who are not eBay Store subscribers can now list 200 additional fixed price and auction listings free in April. [Read announcement]

[March 31, 2020] eBay Announces Shop Subscription Relief Refunds

To relieve some of the pressure on its retailers, eBay will now refund shop subscription fees if the seller has to shut down their eBay shop for an extended period of time. [Read announcement]

[March 27, 2020] eBay Store Subscribers Can List up to 100K Extra Listings in March and April for Free

To allow eBay Store subscribers to test new inventory (amid fluctuations of supply and demand across the e-commerce landscape), eBay announced that these Store subscribers can now list 50,000 additional fixed price listings for free in March and 50,000 additional listings in April. [Read announcement]

[March 27, 2020] eBay Extends Out-of-Stock Duration

eBay has temporarily changed its policy for out-of-stock listings. To help sellers retain their sales history longer, eBay will now keep out-of-stock listings active for 180 consecutive days (rather than 90). [Read announcement]

[March 25, 2020] eBay Offering to Defer Selling Fees for 30 Days

eBay announced that it would be deferring most selling fees for eligible Store subscribers for 30 days. 

Also, the marketplace has offered more flexibility with seller payments. Sellers can submit a request for help if cash flow is an immediate issue. And if the request is approved, “50% of the Covered Fees on your current invoice will be deferred until the next billing cycle, and the remaining 50% will be due on the subsequent billing cycle.” [Read announcement]

Walmart

[March 30, 2020] Walmart Temporarily Extends Return Dispute Window

Walmart has extended the dispute window from 45 days to 90 days to give sellers more time to serve customers. The revised window is applicable to orders placed on or after March 1, 2020. [Read policy]

Zalando

[March 27, 2020] Zalando warehouses to stay open

Zalando says it will keep its warehouses open for the sake of “business continuity” despite seeing a drop in consumer demand for its products due to the global pandemic. [Full story]