At Amazon, we work hard to protect our customers and take quick, effective action against any attempts by bad actors to artificially raise prices or mislead consumers about products. We have a zero tolerance policy towards both practices and monitor our stores 24 hours a day, seven days a week, both through automated and manual means. This identifies potentially false claims and prevents and removes any such offers from our store.
These actions have never been as important as right now.
We’ve actively made submissions to the European Commission from Xavier Garambois, Amazon’s Vice President of EU Retail regarding cooperation with the EU consumer protection authorities to thwart unscrupulous, malicious actors during the crisis. In these letters, we explain how the current pandemic brings unique challenges, how it requires a specific, tailored response and the measures we are taking to remain extremely vigilant.
Letter to Commissioner Reynders 27 March 2020
Letter to Commissioner Reynders 28 April 2020
There is no place for price gouging on Amazon. We are disappointed that bad actors are attempting to artificially raise prices on basic need products during a global health crisis and, in line with our long-standing policy, we have removed hundreds of thousands of high-priced offers on in-demand supplies from our stores.
We have also removed millions of products that make unsupported claims about Coronavirus. We have taken the extraordinary measure to prohibit and remove any listing referencing COVID-19 to fully eradicate any potential misleading claims, and reduce the opportunity for bad actors to circumvent our preventative initiatives.
In particular, we have been focusing on:
Food: supplements and other food products
Medical devices: face masks (including medical and respirator grade masks) and antibody test kits
Personal protective and other safety equipment: safety goggles and glasses, safety/medical gloves, UV lamps and air purifiers
Chemical products: biocides, pesticides and human-use hand sanitisers
To help our selling partners, we are responding to their queries and have created a COVID-19 page where they can find answers to some frequently asked questions. Our seller policies, education and enforcement efforts are proving to be effective in changing seller behaviour. In the past five weeks the number of new product listings attempting to make false COVID-19-related claims has fallen by 70% on our sites.
We agree with Commissioner Reynders at the European Commission that on-going cooperation is key and continue to work closely with Europol, EU law enforcement and European consumer authorities to take action. We encourage them to continue to notify us of any trends they are seeing to assist our efforts in eradicating bad behaviour quickly.