Amazon.com has banned the sale of over a million products in the last few weeks for inaccurate coronavirus health claims, the company told Reuters on Thursday.
The struggle is real. If you search for "Purell" or "N95 mask" on Amazon in the USA today, the supplies are gone, or the offers are ridiculously higher than normal.
Amazon also removed tens of thousands of deals from merchants that it said attempted to price-gouge customers. The world's largest online retailer has faced scrutiny over the health-related offers on its platform, and earlier this week Italy launched a probe into surging prices around the internet for sanitizing gels and hygiene masks while it battled the biggest outbreak in Europe. (…) One offer comparison site showed recent examples of higher-than-usual prices for masks on Amazon made by U.S. industrial conglomerate 3M Co.
A merchant Thursday offered a 10-pack of N95 masks for $128, a Reuters reporter saw when clicking through the buying options on Amazon. That was up from a recent seller average price of $41.24, according to the tracking website camelcamelcamel.com. The item was no longer available in a check later in the day.
A two-pack respirator was offered new at $24.99 earlier this week by a third-party seller, up from a recent average of $6.65 when sold by Amazon, the price-following site showed.
"There is no place for price gouging on Amazon," a spokeswoman said in a statement, citing the company's policy that product information must be accurate and that Amazon can take down offers that hurt customer trust, including when pricing "is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon."