The month of June has still been dominated by the effect of the disease Covid-19. Europe has started to ease their lockdowns, allowing more activities and businesses to return to work. Meanwhile, the USA has been hit with more outbreaks and uncertainty. What does this mean for Amazon, and what other things are happening?
Below are some key points of news for Amazon sellers and vendors
Strikes and Lawsuits
On the 29th of June German Amazon workers at four logistic centres began a two-day strike after up to 40 staff contracted Covid-19. Protests were aimed at the lack of transparency from Amazon regarding the spread of Covid-19 in their warehouses. Germany is the second biggest market place after the US. In response, Amazon says it has supplied the warehouses with supplies to protect workers such as 470 million disinfection bottles, 21 million pairs of gloves, 19 million masks and face protection gear, and 39 million boxes of disinfectant wipes since February.
Earlier in June, three warehouse staff in the US banded together to take Amazon to court for unsafe working conditions during the pandemic. They were not asking for money, but an injunction to force Amazon to follow public health guidance. The result of the increased demand for home deliveries during at this time, means Amazon has employed hundreds of thousands of new warehouse and logistic workers.
New means new!
Amazon warns that items listed as new must look new and not scruffy. Complaints of “Used Sold as New” is being submitted on products that have been returned and re-sold.
“Customers may perceive an item as used if the product packaging has been opened or has come off, if the product contains previous user data, or if the item shows signs of use such as scratches, dirt, or scuffs.” – Amazon.
They recommend using the following checklist to avoid returns on products listed as new:
- Sourcing: Are you sourcing the product from a trusted supplier that sells items in new condition?
- Listing: Is the product accurately described on Amazon and listed in the correct condition? Have you ensured that there is no ambiguity and the customer is well-informed?
- Packaging: Is the product in its original manufacturer packaging as listed on Amazon? Is the packaging robust enough to stay intact throughout the chain from manufacturer to Customer?
- Shipping: Have you taken all appropriate steps and quality checks to ensure that the product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately, and will not be damaged when shipped?
- Returns: When handling customer returns, are you ensuring that your product still meets “New” condition guidelines before returning it to your inventory?
Amazon and Deliveroo
The UK’s competition watchdog has changed the earlier decision on Amazon’s proposed deal to invest in Deliveroo. After looking at the deal, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has released a statement saying that the size of Amazon’s share holds will not negatively impact customers, as it will not create a monopoly amongst food, grocery, and convenience delivery services, as there is still enough competition. Deliveroo welcomes the comments as the small investment by Amazon will help them keep up against their bigger rivals.
Amazon invests in clean energy
Amazon has announced that it has set aside a 2-billion-dollar fund to reduce its carbon footprint and increase the use of clean energy. This will be part of their “Climate Pledge” as well as aiming for having zero net carbon emissions by 2040, and to run totally on renewable energy by 2025. The fund is looking to invest in companies across a range of industries such as manufacturing, food, and agriculture, and including transportation, energy, and battery storage. Jeff Bezos said that “companies from around the world of all sizes and stages will be considered, from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises. Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations.”
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