Covid 19 Hijacking Listings and Price Gouging on Amazon

March 20, 2020
Written by Nicasio Co III
covid 19 hijacking

The COVID 19 hijacking and price gouging issues on Amazon only proves that bad actors will do anything for quick bucks. And it hardly fazes them that the whole world is going through a debilitating health crisis, which can severely cripple the global economy. On the contrary, they see a valuable opportunity for making lots of money. According to Amazon brand protection agencies, hijackers take advantage of the situation by jacking up prices and stealing listings, as they profit off chaos and everyone's misery.

Price Gougers and Hijackers Beware

Browsing online using search terms like price gouging and hijacking COVID 19 will yield recent news about Amazon sellers getting kicked out of the platform. The USA Today reported that over 3,900 sellers were stripped off their accounts. They were guilty of violating Amazon's fair pricing policies.

With this, the e-commerce giant also took out more than 500,000 items from the stores due to pandemic-based overpricing and publishing misleading claims. But price gouging is just one of the two violations attributed to bad actors. Some of them also pleaded guilty to hi-jacking during COVID 19.

Wiredshared the news that a hijacked listing of a box of 50 disposable face masks had skyrocketed to the 148th spot from 19,662 in just 24 hours. The same type of product retained its dominance for two consecutive days; both appeared on the Movers & Shakers rankings.

According to Amazon, the product listings for these items seemed to violate the policies. To deter other potential hijackers, Amazon has declared on CNBC that the platform will cease to accept offers from sellers of COVID-19 products (face masks, sanitizers, etc.).

To enlighten you further regarding the nature of these violations, which are rampant nowadays, ponder on their definitions shared herein.

What is price gouging?

Sellers who are found guilty of doing this have taken advantage of the high demands for medical supplies and other household products. How did they do it? They raised the prices drastically so that it caught the attention of the platform's administration. This act is identified as price gouging.

Typically, it occurs during a crisis like a coronavirus outbreak. During this challenging time, demand for certain products like disinfectants, face masks, and other related commodities spike suddenly. On Amazon, price-gougers tend to be third-party sellers who buy items from other stores and sites, and then resell them at much higher prices (sometimes more than double the original cost).

What is hijacking?

Sellers who alter images and bullet descriptions to match their product, which is similar to the other products featured in a listing, are guilty of hijacking. Usually, hijackers compete with other brands by offering their goods at lower prices.

Once the other sellers in the listing spot the violator, they will immediately report the matter. An investigation will promptly ensue. Once Amazon has confirmed the violation of the seller in question, he will be penalized accordingly.

To help monitor your product listings on Amazon, rely on the professional assistance of a highly experienced account manager. His expertise in handling accounts do not only open you to valuable insights required for making informed decisions that will drive more sales. But it also educates you on the various tactics of bad actors that can ruin your brand's reputation.

Not yet connected to an account manager? Do not miss out on the benefits of working with an Amazon specialist. Enquire with us by emailing Jayce at [email protected] now.

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