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Old 03-25-2020, 01:24 PM
Do Not Taunt is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,437
Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
There are two types of Amazon shipping: Prime (shipping handled by Amazon) and Marketplace (shipping handled by the individual sellers). Amazon is delaying Prime shipping for non-essentials. But there is no problem buying non-essentials from Marketplace sellers because they are probably only selling non-essentials. eBay would be comparable to Amazon Marketplace--so again no problem ordering from them.
There's two different things that you've blurred here. There's who is handling the logistics and there's how the item is shipped.

Who is handling the logistics can be Amazon or 3rd Party. 3rd-Party listings can still use Amazon's logistics (this is called FBA, or Fulfillment by Amazon), and on rare occasion Amazon will use 3rd Party Logistics (this is called drop-ship.) To be clear, I'm considering any carrier contracted to deliver a package to be logistics on behalf of the shipper.

For Amazon-handled logistics, they now have a whole panoply of options: same-day, next-day, two-day, regular ground, super-saver, etc. They are happy to make all of these options available to anyone who will pay for it. Prime is a program that, among other things, buys you faster shipping for a flat annual or monthly fee for many items.

With the coronavirus mixing everything up, a few things have changed. Amazon has officially told 3rd party merchants that they are only accepting certain types of goods into their warehouses. This is for FCA, and doesn't affect 3rd party listings where the merchant handles their own logistics. It's not clear how it affects Amazon-owned inventory. Secondly, 'non-essential' items are getting promises that are many days, weeks, or even a month out, even if they're in-stock. Amazon clearly seems to be prioritizing essential items even for things already in their warehouses. Lastly, and unofficially, it is rumored that Amazon is favoring their Prime members over non-members.

I would say: order whatever you want. If it's a burden, the logistics handlers can prioritize as appropriate.