Amazon warns sellers against price gouging face masks amid coronavirus concerns

Amazon has warned sellers of medical masks on its platform that they are not following its guidelines and warned that the pricing system would result in their withdrawal from the market.

E-mails received by Wired show that in the midst of a new form of Chinese coronavirus, the company warned sellers of the price system, increasing mask purchases worldwide.

The company also deleted some lists of items whose prices rose sharply in the midst of the outbreak; a management consultant told Wired. Amazon officials did not respond immediately to a request for comments from The Hill.

“If you charge too much for these masks, they sometimes bring the price down,” said consultant Ed Rosenberg.

“It’s difficult for Amazon because they don’t want to be exploited by their customers,” he added. “But there is supply and demand, and sellers should be able to charge more when they pay more and demand is high.

More than 2,500 people have died, mainly in China, following an outbreak of coronavirus, believed to originate in Wuhan province. Tens of thousands of people across the country have reported confirmed cases of the disease.

Health authorities, in several other countries, including the United States, have screened travellers entering the country from China. However, U.S. health authorities have not recommended the use of masks to prevent the disease.

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