Amazon announced this week that it has kicked almost 4,000 sellers off of its platform for price gouging on emergency items during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by Business Insider, Amazon is taking action to ensure that third-party sellers do not engage in price gouging during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
In a blog post published by Amazon, the company claimed that they have moved more than 500,000 listings that had been given inflated prices due to the pandemic. Almost 4,000 accounts were suspended by Amazon over the past week for engaging in “coronavirus-based price gouging.”
Amazon has already removed well over half a million of offers from our stores due to coronavirus-based price gouging. We have suspended more than 3,900 selling accounts in our U.S. store alone for violating our fair pricing policies. We began taking these enforcement actions promptly upon discovering this kind of misconduct, and we’ve been partnering directly with law enforcement agencies to combat price gougers and hold them accountable.
Amazon also announced that it has established a dedicated team that works around the clock to ensure that third-party sellers are not engaging in unfair pricing tactics.
“We are constantly monitoring our stores for unfair prices and listings that make false claims in regards to COVID-19. We have dynamic, automated systems in place that locate and remove unfairly priced items,” the blog post continues. “In addition, we have deployed a dedicated team that’s working continuously to identify and investigate unfairly priced products that are now in high demand, such as protective masks and hand sanitizer.”
Price gouging during a national crisis like the coronavirus pandemic is illegal under federal and state law. Amazon stated that they are sharing the information of suspended sellers with the relevant government bodies.
“We are also proactively sharing information with state attorneys general and federal regulators about sellers we suspect have engaged in egregious price gouging of products related to the COVID-19 crisis,” Amazon said.