More than a million products were barred by online retail giant Amazon for charging much higher prices and making false claims that they can help cure the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The company spokesperson firmly said that “There is no place for Price Gouging on Amazon” after it deleted face masks, respirators and other health products which selling prices on the platform have increased up to four times.
Media reports cited for instance that a 10-pack of N95 face masks went from an average price of $41.24 to $128; while two-packs of respirators, with only a minimum value of $6.65, were sold at $24.99.
“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,” Amazon’s spokesperson explained.
The e-commerce company’s Fair Pricing Policy states that companies should not set prices that are “significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon” as it can harm customer trust.
Amazon furthered that it has always required third-party sellers to “provide accurate information” and therefore, it barred products that misleadingly promoted effectiveness against the coronavirus.
“We continue to actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policies,” the statement continued.
Aside from Amazon, Facebook has earlier banned ads that feature coronavirus-tied products as well as those items, like face masks, that create a “sense of urgency” by implying that supplies are limited.