Amazon attempts to counter merchants cashing in on Coronavirus

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

Amazon merchants are attempting to cash in on coronavirus fears by raising prices of masks and sanitisers by as much as 2,000%.

In an attempt to control this, Amazon has removed “tens of thousands” of listings. Despite this, many products are reappearing soon after deletion.

“There is no place for price gouging on Amazon,” the company said. “We are disappointed that bad actors are attempting to artificially raise prices on basic need products during a global health crisis and we have recently blocked or removed tens of thousands of offers.” Staff were monitoring listings around the clock, it added.

With many products sold out or being rationed in stores, shoppers have turned to online retailers to order masks, hand sanitiser and even hazmat suits. 

Other websites including eBay, Walmart and Etsy have also struggled to control sellers on their platforms.

Traders who break the company’s “fair pricing policy” risk having their accounts suspended or their selling privileges removed.

Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern about a number of misleading Amazon listings, including fake coronavirus treatments. Amazon took down one million listings after the WHO said this.