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Amazon accused by consumer watchdog of price gouging essential items during the coronvirus pandemic - healthyfrog

Amazon accused by consumer watchdog of price gouging essential items during the coronvirus pandemic

Amazon is accused of inflating prices during the coronavirus pandemic by a consumer watchdog that found evidence of price gouging.

Public Citizen released a report detailing ‘significant price increases’ on a number of essential products sold both by Amazon and third-party sellers.

Items included hand sanitizers, toilet paper, face masks and corn starch, which saw the largest market of 1,010 percent – it went from $0.89 to $8.99.

The allegations come months after Amazon said it was taking a stand against such activities and had removed thousands of accounts partaking in the activities – portraying ‘itself as an unwitting victim.’

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Public Citizen released a report detailing ‘significant price increases’ on a number of essential products sold both by Amazon and third-party sellers. Items included hand sanitizers, toilet paper, face masks and corn starch, which saw the largest market of 1010 percent – it went from $0.89 to $8.99

DailyMail.com has reached out to Amazon for comment and has yet to receive a response. 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had prepped the firm’s investors at the time the coronavirus was running rampant through the US, warning about a possible loss in Q2.

The company had estimated a projected loss of $1.5 billion, but when Q2 came to a close that was far from the case.

Amazon reported a double in its net profit year over year to $5.2 billion, compared to $2.6 billion during the same period time in 2019, The Verge reported.

The non-profit found that Amazon had spike prices on at least 15 of its own essential items, including face makes, which increased by 1000 percent, toilet paper went up 528 percent and sugar made the list with an increase of 520 percent

The non-profit found that Amazon had spike prices on at least 15 of its own essential items, including face makes, which increased by 1000 percent, toilet paper went up 528 percent and sugar made the list with an increase of 520 percent

Toilet paper was scarce in the US during the pandemic and many Americans turned to Amazon to help. But the report finds the firm increased teh price for some brands dramatically

Toilet paper was scarce in the US during the pandemic and many Americans turned to Amazon to help. But the report finds the firm increased teh price for some brands dramatically 

Alex Harman with Public Citizen shared in the report: ‘Amazon, which is by far the biggest online seller in the world, experienced a dramatic increase in revenue.’

‘But prices also spiked on Amazon, leading to accusations of price gouging on its online marketplace.

‘Amazon responded by blaming the skyrocketing prices on unscrupulous third-parties that sell on its website.’

The non-profit found that Amazon had spike prices on at least 15 of its own essential items, including face makes, which increased by 1000 percent, toilet paper went up 528 percent and sugar made the list with an increase of 520 percent.

The list also includes disinfectant pray (87 percent), antibacterial soap (470%), nitrile disposable gloves (336 percent), paper towels (303 percent), flour (425 percent) and corn starch (1010 percent).

Alex Harman with Public Citizen shared in the report: ‘Amazon, which is by far the biggest online seller in the world, experienced a dramatic increase in revenue.’ ‘But prices also spiked on Amazon, leading to accusations of price gouging on its online marketplace

Another 10 products from third-party sellers were also found to have been priced over the top, including flour, sugar, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray, with markups ranging from 225 percent to 941 percent.

‘While the initial media and law enforcement focus of price gouging was on third-party sellers, this report establishes that Amazon is directly selling items at significantly above the regular market price despite publicly stating that the company is fighting price gouging,’ Harman wrote.

He is also notes that the evidence found by Public Citizen ‘demonstrate the need for a federal price gouging law.’

The company had estimated a projected loss of $1.5 billion, but when Q2 came to a close that was far from the case. Amazon reported a double in its net profit year over year to $5.2 billion, compared to $2.6 billion during the same period time in 2019. The graph shows a markup of face mask at the

The company had estimated a projected loss of $1.5 billion, but when Q2 came to a close that was far from the case. Amazon reported a double in its net profit year over year to $5.2 billion, compared to $2.6 billion during the same period time in 2019. The graph shows a markup of face mask at the 

The allegations come months after Amazon said it was taking a stand against such activities and had removed thousands of accounts partaking in the activities – portraying ‘itself as an unwitting victim'

The allegations come months after Amazon said it was taking a stand against such activities and had removed thousands of accounts partaking in the activities – portraying ‘itself as an unwitting victim’

Hand sanitizer and other essential products sold by third-parties were also found to have been increased during the pandemic

Hand sanitizer and other essential products sold by third-parties were also found to have been increased during the pandemic

The report cites a blog post from Amazon shared on May 13 that called on ‘Congress to establish a federal price gouging law.’

‘As people across the country focus on protecting the health and safety of their families and communities—and stretching every precious dollar—one thing they shouldn’t have to worry about is being taken advantage of by bad actors seeking to profit off the COVID-19 crisis,’ reads the statement written by Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy for Amazon.

‘Yet, unfortunately, we’re seeing a nationwide surge in complaints about price gouging.’

‘Amazon has zero tolerance for price gouging and longstanding policies and systems in place to combat it.’