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Amazon accused of price gouging on essential items in early days of pandemic
#1        Amazon accused of price gouging on essential items in early days of pandemic
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Company disputes claims by consumer advocacy group that some items were marked up by 1,000%
Pete Evans · CBC News · Posted: Sep 10, 2020 2:27 PM ET | Last Updated: September 10        An American consumer advocacy group is accusing Amazon of price gouging on items such as soap, face masks and toilet paper in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the e-commerce giant claimed to be cracking down on third-party sellers on its platform who were doing the same thing.

A report by Washington-based Public Citizen claims that Amazon hiked prices on many essential items in March and April, adding mark-ups of up to 1,000 per cent on some basic items.

"Amazon has fundamentally misled the public, law enforcement and policymakers about price increases during the pandemic," said Alex Harman, the consumer policy advocate for the group which says it lobbies lawmakers for legislative changes to protect consumers.

The group tracked a sample of items to monitor their price and availability. Among the price changes the group said it observed were:

A pack of 50 disposable face masks increased by 1,000 per cent.
Dial liquid antibacterial hand soap increased by 470 per cent.
A pack of 100 disposable hand gloves increased by 336 per cent.
A pack of eight 1,000-sheet toilet paper rolls increased by 528 per cent.
A pack of eight Brawny paper towels increased by 303 per cent.
A five-pound bag of unbleached flour increased by 425 per cent.
Sometime Amazon has good prices and sometimes it's better to buy elsewhere. I just ordered a few items from Ebay this morning so hopefully my transaction goes well.

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