Amazon is prioritizing inventory / shipments of household & medical supplies
As detailed by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has told all direct Amazon suppliers & independent merchants that they won’t be able to ship items beyond products in high demand. This includes household items like toilet paper and paper towels as well as medical supplies like hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes.
This prioritization period will last from March 17 through April 5, 2020. Amazon is hoping that they can keep these items in stock and help decrease the volume of people that are standing in lines at warehouse / grocery stores, thus reducing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
In regards to items that don’t meet this criteria, Amazon will continue selling & shipping existing inventory currently at fulfillment centers. Once that inventory runs out, direct Amazon suppliers & independent merchants won’t be able to store new inventory at Amazon warehouses or fulfill new orders until after April 5.
Of course, they can take orders and ship items themselves. However, the vast majority of 3rd party Amazon sellers don’t have any space to store their own inventory or the staff in place to handle logistics of orders. Direct Amazon suppliers may have an easier time managing inventory, but would have to redirect Amazon traffic to their own portal for purchasing, like a company website.