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Amazon Accused of Price-Gouging on Essential Items Early in Pandemic

Roadvirus

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An American consumer advocacy group is accusing Amazon of price gouging on items such as soap, face masks and toilet paper in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the e-commerce giant claimed to be cracking down on third-party sellers on its platform who were doing the same thing.

A report by Washington-based Public Citizen claims that Amazon hiked prices on many essential items in March and April, adding mark-ups of up to 1,000 per cent on some basic items.

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The group tracked a sample of items to monitor their price and availability. Among the price changes the group said it observed were:
A pack of 50 disposable face masks increased by 1,000 per cent.
Dial liquid antibacterial hand soap increased by 470 per cent.
A pack of 100 disposable hand gloves increased by 336 per cent.
A pack of eight 1,000-sheet toilet paper rolls increased by 528 per cent.
A pack of eight Brawny paper towels increased by 303 per cent.
A five-pound bag of unbleached flour increased by 425 per cent.

Amazon accused of price gouging on essential items in early days of pandemic | CBC News

If true, this is just wrong. People needed this stuff and Amazon is taking advantage by unfairly jacking up the prices.
 

bearpoker

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If true, this is just wrong. People needed this stuff and Amazon is taking advantage by unfairly jacking up the prices.

If Amazon was the direct vendor and not a third party selling through Amazon, then I agree wholeheartedly. There should be consequences for price gouging.
 

Rexedgar

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If true, this is just wrong. People needed this stuff and Amazon is taking advantage by unfairly jacking up the prices.

How is this different from the cost of air travel to Florida from the north, in July and in December?
 

Mr Person

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If Amazon was the direct vendor and not a third party selling through Amazon, then I agree wholeheartedly. There should be consequences for price gouging.

And Bezos should be publicly flogged.
 

Mr Person

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How is this different from the cost of air travel to Florida from the north, in July and in December?

Intersection of necessity and poverty.

Yes, the ability to gouge results entirely from demand exceeding supply. But one might think this should not be the case with something like masks and hand sanitizer in an emergency - especially where governments are competing for the items for hospital staff, first responders, etc.

Sure, you could point out that this is simply trading price gouging for first-come/first-serve. But one could counter that in a shortage, it was already first-come/first-serve. The price gouging let unscrupulous people profit while also meaning that if you weren't of means, it didn't matter if you were first....you still couldn't afford the $40 hand sanitizer bottle.



I think of this as akin to that douchelord Pharma Bro., the guy who legitimately bought up a generic but then jacked the price up just because he had the supply and could. It's just supply and demand, right? Nah. As with this, the trouble is people needed that stuff. There just wasn't a readily available alternate supply. Gotta set up a factory to jump into that market, generic drug or not.

I say price gougers can get bent.
 

aociswundumho

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If Amazon was the direct vendor and not a third party selling through Amazon, then I agree wholeheartedly. There should be consequences for price gouging.

But when a US hospital charges someone $12 for a Dixie cup, $53 for a pair of latex gloves, or $4000 for a ride to the hospital, progressives are silent.
 

aociswundumho

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The price gouging let unscrupulous people profit while also meaning that if you weren't of means, it didn't matter if you were first....you still couldn't afford the $40 hand sanitizer bottle.

If you force a company to sell products below the market price, all that happens is people buy up their stock and resell it at the market price.

What things are worth cannot be controlled by legislation.
 

Mr Person

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If you force a company to sell products below the market price, all that happens is people buy up their stock and resell it at the market price.

What things are worth cannot be controlled by legislation.

wundumpost.

Any number of states have legislation against private price gouging on necessary items.
 

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If true, this is just wrong. People needed this stuff and Amazon is taking advantage by unfairly jacking up the prices.

Maybe their suppliers were jacking up the price and Amazon passed that on based on a cost plus formula.
 

AlphaOmega

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But when a US hospital charges someone $12 for a Dixie cup, $53 for a pair of latex gloves, or $4000 for a ride to the hospital, progressives are silent.

I had a teledoc. They asked me how I felt. I said good. Asked me what my weight was, how my sleep was I said good. Got a bill for 667 bucks.
 

JacksinPA

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Early on I checked out their pricing for third-party TP. When I told my wife, she said they were outrageous.
 
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