Amazon delivery change driving out Orthodox sellers
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Amazon delivery change driving out Orthodox sellers

Online retail giant's requirement for sellers to agree to take orders six days a week is putting off observant users

Amazon packaging

Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Amazon packaging Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

A change in requirements for participating in a select Amazon delivery program is driving away Orthodox sellers.

As of Feb. 1, Amazon businesses that deliver from non-Amazon warehouses through Amazon Prime, a subscription service that includes free two-day delivery, must agree to take orders six days a week.

The sellers may choose Saturday or Sunday delivery to fulfil their six-day-a-week commitment, but shipping carriers like FedEx and UPDS offer limited or no pickup on Sundays. Observant Jews do not do business on the Jewish sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

The Free Beacon on Friday reported that the policy is driving out businesses run by observant Jews, citing group chats it had reviewed.

Amazon told the Free Beacon that Prime sellers had more than five months advance notice of the policy to come up with accommodations and that it had dedicated staff to assist the businesses. The Free Beacon said it had heard from Orthodox businesses that Amazon was unresponsive.

StandWithUs, a pro-Israel non-profit, has proposed to Amazon that it allow sellers to turn off their Amazon Prime badge on the Sabbath eve and then to turn them on again on Saturday after sundown.

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