Coronavirus According to reports by Reuters, Amazon has removed more than a million items from sale on its marketplace for using false advertising over its effectiveness to cure or defend against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement, Amazon said that sellers are always required to “provide accurate information” on product pages and it will remove those that violate its policies.
Amazon also removed tens of thousands of deals from merchants that it said were being sold at prices that they consider to be price gouging. In one instance, Wired found a merchant selling face masks for as much as five times their normal price.
Amazon said that third-party sellers must follow its Fair Pricing Policy, which states companies can’t set a price “significantly higher” than other places or sell an item that “misleads customers.”
Price Gouging on Amazon
Price gouging on Amazon is any practice that violate Amazon’s Fair Pricing Policy.
Amazon states that pricing practices which harm trust include but are not limited to,
- Setting a reference price on a product that misleads customers.
- Setting a price on a product or service that is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon.
- Selling multiple units of a product for more per unit than that of a single unit of the same product.
- Setting a shipping fee on a product that is excessive. Amazon considers current public carrier rates, reasonable handling charges, as well as buyer perception when determining whether a shipping price violated our fair pricing policy.
An Amazon spokesman told CNN Business, “There is no place for price gouging on Amazon. We are disappointed that bad actors are attempting to artificially raise prices on basic need products during a global health crisis and, in line with our long-standing policy, have recently blocked or removed tens of thousands of offers. We continue to actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policies.”
Some sellers have also received this message from Amazon,
Amazon Has to Ensure Listings Don’t Offer False Promises
As panic spreads, sales of masks that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has said don’t help have increased dramatically. Despite what the CDC advises, some people will still want masks. As a responsible retailer, Amazon has to ensure the listings don’t offer false promises.
The news comes two days after Amazon confirmed two employees based in Milan, northern Italy, had tested positive for the coronavirus and are now in quarantine.