Some Amazon Prime deliveries may take a month as demand surges

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Enlarge / Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images

As the coronavirus has forced millions of families into lockdown, demand for Amazon’s delivery service has surged.

To help the company deal with rising demand, Amazon has prioritized several categories of essential items, including baby products, health items, and pet supplies. The results of that policy can now be seen on Amazon’s website: numerous items now take weeks to ship. That’s true even if you’re a subscriber to Amazon Prime, which is supposed to provide two-day shipping.

If you want AmazonBasics printer paper, for example, you might have to wait until April 21 to get it. An aluminum shovel and an umbrella have the same April 21 delivery date. Washable markers have an estimated delivery date of April 28.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Recode that these delivery dates weren’t a technology glitch—Amazon has chosen to de-prioritize these items in the face of surging demand for more time-sensitive items.

“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,” an Amazon spokesperson wrote.

At the same time, Amazon is taking steps to increase its shipping capacity. As we reported last week, the online retailer announced that it was seeking to hire 100,000 additional worker to help cope with rising demand and was raising its minimum pay from $15 to $17 per hour. On Saturday, Amazon announced it was boosting overtime pay for hourly workers. Through May 9, workers will get double their usual pay when they work more than 40 hours, up from the 1.5 times the company usually pays for overtime hours.


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