Amazon Has Kicked Almost 4,000 Sellers Off Platform for Price Gouging

Credit
Krisztian Bocsi  Bloomberg

Credit Krisztian Bocsi Bloomberg

Examples found this month include a two-liter bottle of hand sanitizer being sold on Craigslist for $250, an eight-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer listed for $40 on Facebook Marketplace, and packs of face masks being sold on eBay for $40 and $50.

Its head of consumer protection, Sue Davies, said: 'These companies must make good on their pledges to stamp out coronavirus profiteering, and, if they fall short, the Competition and Markets Authority must be ready to take strong action'.

New Jersey is joining dozens of other states to demand that Amazon, Walmart and other online marketplaces do more to stop price gouging amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our focus is to deter price gouging in real-time so consumers can afford essential commodities when they need them most, and we remain committed to holding responsible anyone who would exploit this state of emergency to rip off Floridians".

"We are issuing regular reminders to our sellers about these longstanding policies, and we are enforcing them aggressively to protect our customers", the company wrote.

Price gouging during a national crisis like the coronavirus pandemic is illegal under federal and state law.

The attorneys general cited sellers on Craigslist and Facebook as jacking up prices on hand sanitizer by as much as 10 times the normal cost.

Amazon says it removed more than "half a million" items from its platform and suspended almost 4,000 accounts due to price gouging amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Florida's Attorney General, Ashley Moody, there have been at least 750 reported cases of price gouging since a state of emergency was enacted for the coronavirus.

A report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group released March 11, found almost 1 in 6 of the products sold directly by Amazon had prices spike 50% higher than the 90-day average.

The government won't go after a family with a big supply of toilet paper at home, U.S. Atty.

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