Amazon is taking action against sellers who are violating its Seller Code of Conduct. As part of that action, it has barred and removed more than one million products. These products made false health claims that they could protect people from the novel coronavirus.
Apart from removing those products, Amazon also eliminated thousands of offers of products because of price gouging. Some sellers charge face masks and other products that could purportedly help in stopping the spread of coronavirus with much higher prices.
Last week, the company warned sellers not to use its platform to increase the price of face masks. They are in high demand today because of the outbreak.
The platform forbids sellers from increasing their prices that could harm customer trust. Its Fair Pricing Policy does not allow sellers to charge their products higher than previous prices offered on Amazon.
On Amazon, the prices for face masks and respirators are now tripled or even quadrupled. For instance, a box with 10 face masks increased from $41.24 to $128.
Amazon is not the only eCommerce company that needs to deal with sellers who are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to make a higher profit.
Facebook also barred ads that have made misleading claims about the said virus. These ads are trying to create a sense of urgency. They implied that they are in limited supply so people must purchase now or they will regret not getting them earlier.
Amazon Taking Down Some Products Claiming a Cure
The company also told third-party sellers that it would remove products claiming to treat or cure the novel coronavirus.
This decision of Amazon comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed its concern about the false information spreading about the virus.
WHO’s digital business solutions manager, Andrew Pattinson, met with Amazon in Seattle to discuss some listings on its site that claim to treat or cure coronavirus. Matt also met with other tech companies to help stop the fake news on the outbreak.
It can take a lot of time for Amazon to remove all of those products capitalizing on fears over the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Amazon Limits Employees’ Travel
Apart from removing those products, the company also limits its employees from all nonessential travel. It includes travel within the United States. It also stops employees from traveling to China.
Employees must not schedule meetings until the end of April. Amazon is one of the buyers of corporate air travel. In 2017, it booked more than $200 million in flights.
It also cancels all on-site interviews for any job candidates. But it will conduct all interviews over video chat.
There are more than 80,000 confirmed cases of this novel coronavirus. The outbreaks have been escalating in several countries, like Japan and South Korea.
The novel coronavirus also affected the tech industry. Some companies are closing their stores in China causing production delays. The Mobile World Congress was also canceled because of this threat. Recently, Facebook canceled its yearly F8 developer conference.