Some Amazon sellers accused of price gouging hand sanitizers

March 17, 2020

A pack of 2 8-ounce bottles of Purell was being sold on Amazon for more than $100, according to an article on the Infection Control Today website.

Amazon said it’s doing the best it can, saying that it removed or blocked more than 1 million products because of price gouging and misleading claims about activity against coronavirus. 

Amazon said that it monitors reseller pricing that violates its policies. Amazon has about 5 million sellers on its site, and 50 percent of its sales are by third-party sellers.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom the company in a tweet showing a photo of a case of 2-ounce Purell brand sanitizers listed on the site for $400. Newsom tweeted: “Keeping your hands clean will help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Seriously, @amazon? These prices are absurd.”

A Tennessee man had posted 300 bottles of hand sanitizer and immediately sold them all for between $8 and $70 each, multiples higher than what he had bought them for, according to an article on The New York Times website.

The next day, Amazon pulled his items and thousands of other listings for sanitizer, wipes and face masks. The company suspended some of the sellers behind the listings and warned many others that if they kept running up prices, they’d lose their accounts. EBay soon followed with even stricter measures, prohibiting any U.S. sales of masks or sanitizer. 

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Topic Area: Infection Control


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