During the pandemic, the world saw a steep rise in price gouging cases — AKA when retailers and others respond to sharp demand spikes (often after a natural disaster or other states of emergency) by charging extremely high prices for necessities. The Amazon Marketplace platform, where 3rd-party sellers set their own prices, is vulnerable to price gouging. So how does Amazon ensure shoppers won’t be gouged? Through the Amazon Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy.
Amazon’s Fair Pricing Policy outlines the seller's repercussions if they are found to be practicing unfair pricing.
“Amazon regularly monitors the prices of items on our marketplaces, including shipping costs, and compares them with other prices available to our customers. If we see pricing practices on a marketplace offer that harms customer trust, Amazon can remove the Buy Box, remove the offer, suspend the ship option, or, in serious or repeated cases, suspend or terminate selling privileges”.
It goes on to list practices that constitute a violation of this policy. These include:
- Setting a reference price on a product or service that misleads customers;
- Setting a price on a product or service that is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon; or
- Selling multiple units of a product for more per unit than that of a single unit of the same product.
- Setting a shipping fee on a product that is excessive.
How to report price gouging on Amazon
As a seller, if you come across a listing that you feel violates Amazon’s Fair Pricing Policy, you can report it through the Report Abuse tab in the Amazon Seller Central website. Under this tab, you select the type of violation, provide the store or business name of the seller that you’re reporting and the Order ID or ASIN/ISBN. Finally, you should give a detailed explanation of the alleged violation, as well as upload any documentation you have.
We hope this was helpful to keep the online marketplace a fair place to shop.