It was only a matter of time: Amazon has admitted to not just stock shortages of some staples, but also a delay in Amazon Prime deliveries, according to The Verge.
This comes at a time when the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, ravages parts of the world and is spreading throughout the United States. Many states have announced school closings as a well as bar and restaurant closings on top of prohibiting public gatherings of 500 people or more. With the country in a state of emergency, many have found it reassuring to stock pile essential goods needed to stay healthy and germ-free such as disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and even face masks. Food has been flying off the shelves - dry pantry goods like rice and pasta are hot commodities now more than ever.
While Amazon did not detail which items are in short supply, the company made no secret of the high demand and its delivery woes in a blog post.
"In particular, you will notice that we are currently out of stock on some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories. You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders."
A little digging revealed that hand sanitizer brand Purell was unsurprisingly one of the shortages, with most, if not all of the brand's products marked as "Currently unavailable."
Amazon also acknowledged that with high demand comes price gouging. With many of the bacteria-killing products both in high demand and in short supply, some sellers who have larger stocks of those products can raise prices to earn a greater profit. Amazon also stated that it's working to stop price gouging on its platform, even in the times of the coronavirus.
"We're also working to ensure that no one artificially raises prices on basic need products during this pandemic and have blocked or removed tens of thousands of items, in line with our long-standing policy. We actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policy."
The coronavirus is in my hometown - what can I do?
Experts like doctors and scientists have a few basic guidelines for how to live with the threat of the novel coronavirus looming over us. They encourage people to stay aware and informed but not to panic - although a pandemic is a scary word, there are ways individuals can combat and mitigate the spread of the virus. This means staying at home, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large groups in confined spaces. While it may seem that everyone is hoarding pantry staples in the event of an emergency, experts also say that this can actually hurt those who don't have the means to buy food.
We also recommend investing in key resources at a time like this, like the best health insurance companies. Afraid to go to your local gym? Check out the best home gyms to keep up your health and fitness while in isolation.