Our customers are counting on us like never before. At every level of our company, we’re working to provide the products and services that our customers and communities need as we face a global pandemic. This includes taking a number of important steps to keep prices fair and protect our customers from those looking to exploit the current crisis.
Amazon has zero tolerance for price gouging and longstanding policies and systems to prevent this harmful practice. We’re working vigorously to combat price gouging by:
- Making clear to all of our sellers our longstanding policies that ensure fair pricing
- Monitoring our stores 24/7 though both automated and manual means and aggressively removing bad actors and offers
- Collaborating with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and policymakers to hold price gougers accountable
- Staying focused on our customers and protecting their interests
Strong, longstanding policies to combat price gouging and false claims
More than half of the products on Amazon are offered by third-party sellers who set their own prices. The overwhelming majority are honest sellers who offer Amazon customers a wide array of great products at competitive prices. Amazon strictly prohibits sellers from exploiting an emergency by charging excessively high prices on products and shipping. We are issuing regular reminders to our sellers about these longstanding policies, and we are enforcing them aggressively to protect our customers.
Working hard to protect customers from bad actors
Amazon has already removed well over half a million of offers from our stores due to coronavirus-based price gouging. We have suspended more than 3,900 selling accounts in our U.S. store alone for violating our fair pricing policies. We began taking these enforcement actions promptly upon discovering this kind of misconduct, and we’ve been partnering directly with law enforcement agencies to combat price gougers and hold them accountable.
We are constantly monitoring our stores for unfair prices and listings that make false claims in regards to COVID-19. We have dynamic, automated systems in place that locate and remove unfairly priced items. In addition, we have deployed a dedicated team that’s working continuously to identify and investigate unfairly priced products that are now in high demand, such as protective masks and hand sanitizer. If we find a price that violates our policy, we remove the offer and take swift action against bad actors engaged in demonstrated misconduct, including suspending or terminating their selling accounts and referring them to law enforcement agencies for prosecution under relevant laws.
Working closely with law enforcement and policymakers to hold bad actors accountable
Law enforcement is critical to combating bad actors and protecting our customers. In most cases, state attorneys general are on the front lines of these efforts. Amazon is eager to partner with—and has proactively reached out to—every state attorney general in the country. We are actively collaborating with attorneys general in more than ten states, and with numerous federal prosecutors, as they work to investigate and prosecute alleged price gougers. To advance price gouging investigations and resolutions, we have also created a special mechanism for state attorneys general offices to quickly and easily escalate the consumer complaints they have received. We are also proactively sharing information with state attorneys general and federal regulators about sellers we suspect have engaged in egregious price gouging of products related to the COVID-19 crisis.
We will continue our strong partnerships with law enforcement at all levels. In addition, we are collaborating with state and federal policymakers to help strengthen price gouging laws. We strongly support legislative efforts to ensure unreasonably excessive price increases are illegal during this and other national crises.
Focusing on our customers and protecting their interests
Amazon is and will remain a customer-obsessed company, and our commitment to outstanding customer service has never been stronger. We’re working hard to keep our customers from seeing products listed at unfair or unreasonable prices.
In addition to focusing on our customers, we’re in regular contact with community leaders and government officials around the country in an effort to assist those most affected by the health and social impacts of COVID-19. And we are taking every possible step to increase our inventory of relief supplies, basic-need products and other household staples.
Amazon is humbled by the trust our customers have placed in us during this difficult time. We are fully committed to protecting their interests and rising to the challenges posed by COVID-19.