Important information regarding price gouging


Same. I do not understand why sellers can price higher; I am the lowest price and I get deactivated. It is the most frustrating thing.


To fairly enforce this (since Amazon bots are so obviously failing on a large scale), Amazon would need to set price ceilings and not allow listings over those ceilings. Of course, this would entirely defeat Amazon being a “marketplace” and the US being a free market economy, but as many have said, without visibility into what constitutes gouging, this is impossible to plan around. Additionally, if there are no other listings for a product, then what average is there even to compare it to?


Amazon is right for doing this to enhance end customer confidence - however, when there isn’t enough human support to help honest sellers from an aggressive algorithm - it is killing small businesses that are already struggling right now. It is literally compounding devastation for a lot of companies.

2 examples of how Amazon is creating a very poor experience for their 3rd party sellers.

We have a product that we are selling (and have sold) for the same price on the Amazon platform for 2+ years. We have it on our own eCommerce site, sell on other marketplace platforms - and have never changed the price. We get flagged for price gouging and the product is removed.

We have another product that we sell for $65 and the same equivalent product is being sold by Amazon themselves for over $100. Yet, this product keeps getting flagged as potential pricing errors to the point where we can’t even reactivate it.

Both instance we were told via email and phone that the aggressive algorithm is doing its thing and there is no manual intervention that can be done (even though we’ve explained our case with documentation & seller support tries to reactivate, just to have the algorithm flag it again).

This is the most frustrating part. I can only imagine a small business that has the majority of their catalog or top revenue producers going through this same issue.

Unfortunately, when a company gets this big, and tries a change this quickly - these things will happen. It’s just a shame that they aren’t doing more or being more transparent that they understand theres issues. Instead its threatening emails, suspension worries all while business owners are worrying about keeping their business and employees safe, employed, etc during this crazy time.


same here… we are selling discontinued products - most of them are high priced for months… we spoke with customer support yesterday, and they told us to list that items at regular retail price or we should list it on different platform… that is just ridiculous


The problem is that Amazon is not factoring or accounting for the fact that different sellers have different costs.

A seller who buys an item normally for $10 and sells for $30 may sell out. Then, other sellers that can buy for $20 need to charge $60 to maintain the same margin.

The guy who sells for $60 isn’t price gouging per se because he didn’t increase his prices. He was never profitable at $30 (because his cost is $20 and there margin is not enough to cover shipping and Amazon fees)…so his initial starting price is $60 and he isn’t gouging unless he resides that price dramatically while assuming his cost stays at $20.

I can’t help it if other sellers buy items for less money than me. I can’t help it that amazon increases their fees as selling prices go higher. I do not see why Amazon should penalize anybody for this. If they must, then they need to clearly give us advance warning of what the maximum acceptable price is and then I can choose to source or not source.

If amazon says I can only sell for a max price of $30 and my cost is $20, then I just won’t source the item and the amazon customer sees an out of stock notice. That actually seems BAD for the customer. But hey - that’s Amazons decision.

What’s not acceptable is amazon punishing people for stuff that is retroactive or highly subjective and not objective at all.

Amazon is also not factoring in the LABOR cost to source hard to find items. If I can find one unit and buy at retail price of $50 and sell for $150, I might make $50 after feed and shipping. But if it took me 5 hours to find that one unit, I’m only making $10/hour. That hardly seems unreasonable or like “price gouging.”


What I heard yesterday from seller support - “healthy price” is anything equal or less to retail price


I don’t understand why Amazon has max prices but no min prices.

I sell a lot of items (bad buys) at prices so low I’m losing money. I’d rather sell at a loss and get some money back rather than throwing the item in a landfill - but I can only afford to do so much of this. This means I need to have a good strong healthy profit on other items that are more in demand. If amazon puts a cap on those items, it threatens my ability to sell off my other items at a loss. This puts me out of business.

Prices then overall increase and selection decreases. The amazon customer LOSES in this scenario.


Retail price in a store does not take into account shipping cost for an online purchase/sale. No way most of us can source cheap enough to cover Amazon fees and shipping, yet sell for below retail price. Forcing us to sell for below cost will put us out of business in a hurry. How is that ethical?


There are so many things wrong with the price gouging enforcement. Firstly, How can we as third party sellers match prices on Walmart, Target and other huge retailers, especially with AMZ referral and fulfillment fees? Just the other day, I was flagged for Price gouging a bottle of hand soap which I bought for 2.50 and resold for $8, after fees there is nearly no profit.
In addition, this policy is causing sellers with essential goods to not list them for sale due to fear of gouging violations. I have access to a lot of essential goods but will not offer them on Amazon due to fear of suspension. Not to mention I am currently in the middle of an appeal to save my account from suspension.


I totally agree with you - i was just shocked when I heard that - she told me I should charge shipping instead offering free one, and match retail store prices, and if I can’t do so I should not sell that item on Amazon…
I asked especially for discontinued no longer manufactured and sold in stores or online items… that are selling for high dollar on Amazon for months - nothing corona related… She told me it doesn’t matter, and it’s still Violation of Their Fair Pricing Policy…


Yes, which contradicts Amazon’s own previous statements of encouraging free shipping and adjusting our prices (up) as necessary to cover increased postage and seller fee costs. “You should have known to change your business practices to match our future policy reversals.” Amazon is devouring itself.


I totally agree with you.
They suspended my entire store because of 1 listing out 524
Paper hand towel “price gouging” same price its always been.

I appealed and addressed all their concerns. They have sent the EXACT same reply 5 times “be more specific”. I was extremely specific.

They are holding $20k+ I have no revenue.
This is my lively hood.
I won’t survive this in 90 days if appeal fails.

This couldn’t come at a WORSE time…
Without sellers consumers have nothing to buy…
Why do amazon and ebay do everything to hurt us?


I sell mostly media related items. If something I have listed ends in .99 for example $8.99 I get a message my item is inactivated. If I list it for $9.00 it’s ok though. Something in their Bot system is taking down listings that are not rounded up or down to the nearest dollar. May or may not be related issue, however, this is becoming a hassle. Anyone else experiencing this?


This whole situation is extremely frustrating. This information also does not even single out “essential” items. You cannot GOUGE non-essential items, that’s not what gouging is. If you are selling a toy, video game, shoes, etc, it should NOT be in any way subject to gouging laws. These are non essential items that a customer can purchase if they feel that the product is worth the cost. If this is a blanket rule that nothing can be sold above retail cost, then we might as well all shut down our stores because aside from very rare cases I think that it is next to impossible to run a profitable business with Amazon fees and shipping, and sell at the same price Walmart, Target, etc.


@Lettuceguy You made some good points here that resonate with many sellers.


this may called price discrimination


Amazon killed our listing with almost 2000 reviews and 4.5 stars. We were working for years to promote it and it was the main source of income for my family. We were selling Dust Masks (which are not even directly related to the virus situation) and we set exactly at the same level that it was in 2019… We have sent a few appeals, but getting the same standard answer that they don’t think that the price is fair…
Nothing new ( Who cares about sellers?


“In the even that some seller decided to get rid of their excess inventory for way below cost recently, we expect you to do the same. In additon, if a big box store offered the item on sale for walk-in customers only that required no shipping costs, you will need to match that price as well. We regret that we can use an intelligence in this process, as that would require effort on our part”.


because they are targeting those immediate ones first, then alphabetical as the bots determine alphabet.

Or more in line with Amazon response “we are looking into it and will have a response shortly”.


If Amazon is selling 1 unit for $14.99 and you are selling 10 units for $100 which is effectively $10/unit, then it sounds like you can fix your problem by correctly specifying your “COUNT” in your listing details. If it is set to “one” and your title says “ten”, then you can fix this. That way Amazon can correctly calculate your per unit cost. Is this possibly your problem? Good luck.