Amazon put penalty to sellers who violated its policies

Amazon is cracking down on third-party merchants who violate its policies while selling items related to the new coronavirus disease known as Covid-19. Following reports of price gouging and misleading claims, the retail giant confirmed it had removed or blocked over 1 million products that falsely advertised to defend against or cure the illness, as well as tens of thousands of items—such as face masks—that were listed for inflated prices. Reuters first reported the scale of Amazon’s actions Thursday.

“Amazon has always required sellers provide accurate information on product detail pages and we remove those that violate our policies,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. Third-party Amazon sellers are also required to abide by Amazon’s Fair Pricing Policy, which prohibits setting prices that are “significantly higher” than those recently offered on or off Amazon.

Sellers took profit from shipping costs

Amazon sellers had jacked up the prices on face masks by four or five times what they cost only a few weeks before. Sellers have also tried making a profit by tacking on exorbitant shipping costs, sometimes in the hundreds of dollars, also in violation of Amazon’s rules.

President Donald Trump said that he would “definitely investigate” price gouging of medical supplies. Italian authorities have also announced they were looking into “insane” online prices of items related to the illness. The Better Business Bureau has also released alerts warning consumers about counterfeit face masks and bogus miracle cures.

WIRED

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