Many of you have reached out and told us about the significant challenges you are facing in maintaining inventory levels, coordinating operations, logistics, and fulfillment capabilities, and in managing your day-to-day business and employees. This is an incredibly difficult time to run a business. Many of you have also shared how you are having to balance this along with changes in your personal lives – including working from home, becoming a full-time educator for your children, and most importantly, ensuring your loved ones are safe and healthy. I have felt these changes first-hand as well, both personally and professionally. This is definitely not business as usual. These are challenging and unprecedented times, but our team is working hard to serve you, our customers, and the community. I wanted to share some of the key decisions that we have made, and some of the things that you can expect from us in the future as we get through this together.
For two decades, we have been fortunate to have the partnership of a vibrant community of sellers in our stores. You have helped provide amazing selection, great prices, and valuable convenience for customers, and this has led to inspiring stories of many businesses that have flourished as a result. Many people around the world are counting on our continued partnership to help provide a vital service for customers worldwide.
In our fulfillment centers, we have updated our processes to ensure the health and safety of our employees, expanded benefits, raised wages, and are hiring rapidly to add additional capacity to our network. For example, in the US, we have hired an additional 100,000 fulfillment center employees and plan to hire 75,000 more.
As a result of these efforts, we are allowing more products into our fulfillment centers. We continue to focus on ensuring our ability to fulfill the highest priority products that customers need at this time. While we are allowing a broader set of products to be sent to our fulfillment centers, some may have limits on the quantity you can send to Amazon. You can find the latest on what products you can inbound on the Restock Inventory page in Seller Central.
As we work to get our fulfillment capabilities back to regular operations, we expect that many of you are also facing challenges in running your businesses. To protect your account and ensure these difficulties do not affect your account health, we stopped suspension of selling accounts for high order defect, high cancellation, and high late shipment rates. These changes will stay in effect through at least May 15, and we will extend these as appropriate. Making reliable promises for customers is particularly important at this time, and we encourage you to put your account on vacation mode if you are not able to fulfill products.
For those who fulfill and ship your own products directly to customers, we have created the following content as a reminder of our policies and best practices. This includes information from our team as well as tips we have heard from experienced sellers in our store. If you have additional questions, please go to our forums – our moderators and a number of experienced sellers can answer any questions you may have.
We have also made several adjustments to fees and other programs to support you during this time, including:
1. Paused repayment of all Amazon Lending loans for sellers in the United States and the United Kingdom until April 30.
2. Waived two weeks of inventory storage fees for products stored in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
3. Waived the April 15 long-term storage fees for inventory stored in those same countries.
We will continue to make changes as we learn more and adapt to meet your needs and those of our customers and communities. We are doing our best to communicate with you regularly in this dynamic environment, and we created a page in Seller Central that will stay up to date with relevant news related to the COVID-19 situation. In the coming weeks, we will be launching new ways for experts to share what they have learned and are doing to help businesses manage through this difficult time.
We want you to know that many of us at Amazon are working tirelessly to find new ways to support you and your business, and that as always, we are listening when you tell us about your challenges through our support team, the seller forums, or the emails you have sent over the past few weeks. We value you and your honest and open feedback to help us focus on what is most important to you right now.
We appreciate your continued partnership, and above all else, we hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.
Vice President, Customer Trust and Partner Support