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US News Amazon warns sellers against price gouging face masks amid coronavirus concerns

03:45  26 february  2020
03:45  26 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

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As mask inventory wanes, sold-out Amazon sellers are warning shoppers against buying counterfeit products in disclaimers on their product pages. Sold-out Amazon sellers warn shoppers about counterfeit face masks as demand soars amid coronavirus fears.

People are racing to buy face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak, but Of the many preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from the new coronavirus South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki warned that the government would take action against those who gouge mask prices .

a woman sitting on a bench talking on a cell phone © Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

Amazon is warning third-party sellers on its Marketplace platform against exorbitant price hikes to face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak that continues to expand across the globe, Wired reports.

The company demands Marketplace sellers abide by its Fair Pricing Policy, a rule set to protect against “pricing practices that harm customer trust” that dictates that you may not set “a price on a product or service that is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon.” Yet, due to the coronavirus, the demand for face masks has skyrocketed, leading some sellers to raise prices in response.

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Responding to shortages of face masks amid a frightening coronavirus epidemic spreading from the mainland, a group of citizens in Hong Kong have set up a surgical face mask factory to ease supplies and deter price gouging in some stores. After Hong Kong reported its first case of the virus last month.

The best way to make sure supply meets demand is to let sellers charge higher prices . CVS is sold out. So are Lowe’s and Staples and everywhere else I’ve checked — even Amazon . This intuitively appealing distributional argument helps explain why anti - price - gouging statutes are both widely

A couple wearing face masks is seen in the subway in Duomo underground station in Milan, as the country is hit by the coronavirus outbreak, Italy February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi © Thomson Reuters A couple wearing face masks is seen in the subway in Duomo underground station in Milan, as the country is hit by the coronavirus outbreak, Italy February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi Wired reports that prices for some of the most popular options for medical face masks have tripled and, in some cases, even quadrupled. The No. 1 bestseller listing for the category, a pack of 100 face masks sold by a company called Kidirt, is listed at $14.99 with $4.99 shipping, as it does not appear to qualify for Prime. Wired says that’s four times what the product cost a few weeks ago, citing data from Amazon price tracker Keepa. 

Passengers wearing masks to prevent contacting the coronavirus walk outside Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, February 25, 2020.   REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji © Thomson Reuters Passengers wearing masks to prevent contacting the coronavirus walk outside Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji More expensive and effective face masks, like N95 respirator masks, are also getting price gouged, Wired reports. Products by 3M, one of the most popular manufacturers of such masks, and Honeywell are seeing quadrupling prices, from around $15 to more than $60 for packs of 20.

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Amazon is reportedly concerned it may not have enough inventory for Prime Day. The online retail giant is said to be communicating with third-party sellers to determine whether the coronavirus will Just last week, Apple warned that a global iPhone shortage could occur due to the coronavirus after

The spike of coronavirus cases beyond China, specifically in South Korea and Italy, sparked concerns about a prolonged global slowdown due to the outbreak and erased .7 trillion in global stock market values Monday. © Provided by CNBC Mohamed El-Erian.

Iranian women wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, as they walk in the street in Tehran, Iran February 25, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Nazanin Tabatabaee via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. © Thomson Reuters Iranian women wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, as they walk in the street in Tehran, Iran February 25, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Nazanin Tabatabaee via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. Wired says both 3M and Honeywell are not involved in any way, but neither can the companies control the pricing set by third-party sellers that may buy the masks wholesale and resell them on Amazon.

Amazon, however, can do something about the prices. The company has warned some sellers, it seems, but it has yet to hand out platform bans. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Students of Ariake-nishi Gakuen School wear protective face masks, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, as they attend an event Six Months to go until Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha © Thomson Reuters Students of Ariake-nishi Gakuen School wear protective face masks, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, as they attend an event Six Months to go until Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Wired reports that Amazon’s pricing policy most often comes into effect during the holiday season for in-demand items like popular toys, and price gouging during emergency situations or global health crises, like the coronavirus, is not a typical situation for the e-commerce platform.

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CVS is sold out. So are Lowe’s and Staples and everywhere else I’ve checked — even Amazon . If instead you don’t allow the price to rise — because of your concern about “ price gouging ” — the This intuitively appealing distributional argument helps explain why anti - price - gouging statutes are

Drone captures massive queue for masks in Daegu, South Korea, one of the epicentres of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The Emart supermarket in the Chilseong district of the city is offering discounted masks for Daegu residents.

Yet, the company did become the center of a price gouging controversy during Hurricane Irma in 2017, when prices for bottled water jumped significantly. Most US states have laws on the books that penalize merchants with steep fines and, in some cases, jail time for price gouging products like water and medical supplies during disasters and emergency situations.

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