Skip to main content

How Amazon raised prices to profit from the pandemic

 by Alex Harman

Part 8 - Amazon Is Engaged in Price Gouging on Products It Sells Directly
While the initial media and law enforcement focus of price gouging was on third-party sellers, this report establishes that Amazon is directly selling items at significantly above the regular market price despite publicly stating that the company is fighting price gouging.

This report will focus on essential products, that would be covered under an existing or proposed price gouging statute, that saw the most notable price increases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: All products in this section were listed as “sold by Amazon,” and not sold by third-party vendors.

Disposable Face Masks Package: 1000% Price Increase

It is difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons of the prices of disposable face masks because those sold during the pandemic tend to be from new sources. Nonetheless, roughly equivalent products are priced far higher than they were before the onset of the pandemic. In addition, the sourcing for the products appears to have shifted to unknown imported brands of questionable quality and reliability.

The example below was first made available on Amazon in April and has been priced as high as $39.99. Prices for this type of package of 50 masks generally were around $4 before the pandemic.

The graph below shows the Amazon price over time and indicates that it was sold by Amazon, not a third-party seller. Many of the reviews for this product indicate that the straps fall off and that the packaging is open or does not contain the specified amount of masks.

Other retailers have largely sold out of this type of product, but where we were able to find comparable products, the price was similar. This is a disturbing example of a price rising due to demand and holding despite a prohibition on exactly this type of price gouging.

Hand Sanitizer: 48% Price Increase

Major brand name hand sanitizer is largely unavailable on The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a strong warning against more than 100 hand sanitizer products because of methanol contamination. Consumers attempting to purchase hand sanitizer now face the difficulty of finding a product that is not only safe and available but also affordable.

On August 16, 2020, Amazon sold a 12-pack of 8oz. “Germ-X Hand Sanitizer” for $35.38. The same day, a similar 8oz. Germ-X hand sanitizer bottle was sold for $1.99 on another retail site. Notwithstanding typical quantity package discounts, this reflects a significant increase over the expected price.

Disinfectant Spray: 87% Price Increase

Antibacterial disinfectant sprays continue to be hard to find on online retailers including This “Bissell Woolite Advanced Stain and Odor Remover + Sanitize” is categorized under carpet cleaning but claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria. It has been available on Amazon for over five years priced at $6.99 but has been marked up routinely since March 19, 2020, when it was priced at $13.04.

Antibacterial Soap: 470% Price Increase

Antibacterial hand soap has become more available since the shortages at the beginning of the pandemic, but still has limited options available. One example is “Dial Liquid Hand Soap, Spring Water, 7.5 Fl. Oz” which has been priced on in recent months as high as $7 and as low as $1.49.

Nitrile Disposable Gloves: 336% Price Increase

The pack of 100 “Safeguard Nitrile Disposable Gloves” is sold on for $29.95 but has previously been sold by Amazon for as little as $8.91.

Toilet Paper: 528% Price Increase

Toilet paper is arguably the most notorious product impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From empty store shelves, to customers fighting over the last package, the story of hoarding toilet paper was a frequent subject for journalists. One contributing factor to the shortages was shift from work to home as business grade toilet paper is a different product with a different supply chain than that sold for home use.

Amazon has recently sold “Scott 1000 Sheets Per Roll, 8 Toilet Paper Rolls” for as much as $36.39. This represents a 528% price increase over the $6.89 that other retailers are have charged for the same product, and a 260% increase over the lowest price at which Amazon has sold this item.

Amazon recently has sold “Quilted Northern Ultra Soft and Strong Toilet Paper, Mega Rolls, 12 Count of 328 2-Ply Sheets Per Roll” for $32.25, a 283% increase over the recent low of $11.38.

Amazon recently has sold “Quilted Northern [Ultra Plush] Bathroom Tissue, 18 Count” for $37.93, a 217% increase over the recent lowest price of $17.48.

Amazon recently has sold “Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Toilet Paper, 24 Mega Rolls” for $41.96, a 76% increase over the lowest price of $23.78 that Amazon has charged.

Paper Towels: 303% Price Increase

Like with toilet paper, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic retail stores quickly sold out of paper towels. Amazon recently sold “Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels, 8 Rolls” for $46.94, a 303% increase over the recent low price of $15.49.

Amazon recently sold “Sparkle 2-Ply Perforated Roll Paper Towels,” 15 roll case for $42.45, a 201% increase over the January 2020 price of $20.99.

Flour: 425% Price Increase

One of the unique features of the COVID-19 pandemic is how it changed behavior over a sustained period of time. Because so many people spent so much time at home with their families, habits and patterns changed. A surprising example was the increase in home baking, and the shortages of key ingredients like flour, yeast, corn starch, and sugar. Unlike some of the hoarding and panic buying that led to shortages of other more obvious products, the shortages in baking ingredients have been due to an actual increase in consumption and have been sustained.

Amazon recently sold “Pillsbury BEST All Purpose Unbleached Flour, 5 Pound (Pack of 8)” for $80.35. This is just over $10 per bag of flour that typically sells for as little as $2.36 at other online retailers. This is a 425% increase.

Amazon recently sold “King Arthur Flour All-Purpose Flour, 10 Pound” for $19.87, a 317% increase over of the $6.27 other retailers have charged for this item.

Sugar: 520% Price Increase

Like with flour, shortages and increased demand have been common with sugar. Amazon recently sold “Domino Pure Cane Confectioners Powdered Sugar, 1 lb” for $5.56 per box, representing a 520% increase over the $1.07 other retailers have priced the same item.

Corn Starch: 1010% Price Increase

Another baking ingredient that Amazon has been selling at a significant increase is corn starch. Recently, Amazon sold “Clabber Girl Corn Starch, 6.5 Ounce” for $8.99, a stunning 1010% increase over the $0.89 that other retailers charge for this item.



Popular posts from this blog

Day 1828: After five years, Julian Assange still in prison and under slow-motion execution by the Anglo-American imperialist criminals

failed evolution   On 11 April 2019, the Ecuadorian government of traitor Lenin Moreno, invited the Metropolitan Police into the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and they arrested Julian Assange . Since then, Assange is kept in Belmarsh high security prison in London, without actual charges.   The real reason world's number one political prisoner is still kept in this high security prison, is because he exposed horrendous war crimes carried out by the US imperialists and their allies.   The ruthless Western imperialist regime wants to punish the No1 real journalist in the world and make him an example for any Whistleblower or real journalist who will attempt to expose its big crimes in the future.   And the Anglo-American axis has now become officially a fascist coalition , framed by the rest of its Western pets. UK's Home Secretary Priti Patel, one of the most ruthless ever, decided to extradite Julian Assange to US. No surprise of course. The only question we had in mind is

Seymour Hersh - CIA Covers Up Nord Stream Bombing & Corruption Continues in Ukraine


Zionist criminals admit on camera genocide & destruction of UN facilities

The Grayzone   Journalist Jeremy Loffredo joins The Grayzone to discuss his shocking and highly revelatory video report from inside the ranks of the Israeli nationalists blocking aid to Gaza with the quiet support of their government. Loffredo explains how he gained access to the demonstrators and the unsettling scenes he witnessed while filming his exclusive Grayzone documentary.

US sends troops & weapons to Taiwan. Is it preparing war on China?

Geopolitical Economy Report   The US government has sent troops to Taiwan, just a few kilometers from mainland China, while also selling billions of dollars of weapons and military equipment. Is Washington preparing for war? Ben Norton analyzes the geopolitical situation.  

Η μαύρη επταετία του καθεστώτος Μητσοτάκη

globinfo freexchange   Όπως έχουμε ήδη αναφέρει σε προηγούμενο άρθρο , η παντοδυναμία του καθεστώτος Μητσοτάκη στηρίζεται σε πήλινα πόδια. Τώρα, σε κανονικές συνθήκες, (έτσι βέβαια όπως τις αντιλαμβάνονται τα κέντρα αποφάσεων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης), οι γραφειοφασίστες των Βρυξελλών και το διευθυντήριο του Βερολίνου φροντίζουν όλο και πιο συχνά να διαμηνύουν στις κυβερνήσεις ότι "το πάρτι τελείωσε".  Αυτό σημαίνει καταρχήν σκληρή λιτότητα. Και επειδή κανείς δεν ξέρει στην πραγματικότητα πόσο χρήμα μοιράστηκε στην προηγούμενη θητεία Μητσοτάκη, πάνω και κάτω από το τραπέζι, προς διάφορες κατευθύνσεις, προκειμένου το καθεστώς να ανανεώσει το ραντεβού του με την εξουσία, είναι πολύ πιθανό να αρχίσει να εμφανίζεται στον ορίζοντα ένας σοβαρός εκτροχιασμός των δημοσιονομικών στόχων και άρα των πολύ σκληρών όρων που επιβλήθηκαν στην κυβέρνηση Τσίπρα με αντάλλαγμα τη ρύθμιση του χρέους. Αυτό, με λίγα λόγια, σημαίνει δεύτερη επίσημη χρεοκοπία.   Και αυτό, με τη σειρά του, σ

The Invasion of Gaza's Resources Begins: Jared Kushner, the EU, Egypt & US

Richard Medhurst   Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son in law who previously tried to steal land in the Middle East from Arabs has said that Israel should empty the Gaza strip of civilians. He said that " Gaza's waterfront property could be very valuable ". He then proceeded to suggest ethnic cleansing: " move the people out and clean it [Gaza] up " Simultaneously, the transfer of billions of dollars from the European Union (7.4b EUR), the International Monetery Fund ($8b) and the United Arab Emirates ($32b) to Egypt: an attempt to buy Sisi's silence perhaps? The United States is also shipping 1000 troops and a firm "Fogbow", owned by a former CIA officer and USMC veteran, in order to build a pier in Gaza. These events do not seem like a coincidence. Medhurst explains why this relates to theft of gas and building of a canal in Gaza.   Related: Zionist and US imperialist criminals are about to grab the natural gas off shore Gaza

Πως θα καταλάβετε ότι το καθεστώς Μητσοτάκη είναι ότι χειρότερο έχει κυβερνήσει τη χώρα στη μεταπολίτευση

Από τον μέγα ηγέτη Μωυσή ως τον αντίπαλο λαό, μια θητεία Μητσοτάκη δρόμος     globinfo freexchange   Αν ακόμα δεν έχετε πάρει χαμπάρι με τι άθλια διακυβέρνηση έχουμε να κάνουμε.   Αν δεν σας έπεισε η καταστροφική διαχείριση της πανδημίας, οι υποκλοπές, τα Τέμπη, το ρεκόρ καμένων δασών, η ακρίβεια, τα υπερκέρδη των καρτέλ, η διάλυση του συστήματος υγείας και τόσα άλλα.  Τότε μάλλον ανήκετε στην κατηγορία των ανθρώπων που είναι εξαιρετικά επιρρεπείς στην επικοινωνιακή καταιγίδα του καθεστώτος Μητσοτάκη, με την οποία επιχειρεί να κρύψει τον όλεθρο που σπέρνει στο διάβα του. Όμως αν είναι όντως έτσι, ίσως να σας πείσει η δραματική αλλαγή του επικοινωνιακού αφηγήματος του μιντιακού προπαγανδιστικού μηχανισμού, που απεικονίζει το μέγεθος της αποτυχίας της διακυβέρνησης Μητσοτάκη. Θυμηθείτε ότι με την έναρξη της πρώτης θητείας Μητσοτάκη, ο μηχανισμός προπαγάνδας παρουσίαζε τον ίδιο τον Μητσοτάκη ως τον μέγα ηγέτη που βγάζει την Ελλάδα από το περιθώριο, χρησιμοποιώντας πολλές φορές και υπερβολ

Yanis Varoufakis Banned from Germany as Berlin Police Raid & Shut Down Palestinian Conference

Democracy Now!   As Germany intensifies its crackdown on pro-Palestinian voices, Democracy Now! spoke with Greek economist and politician Yanis Varoufakis, one of the planned speakers at a conference in Berlin last weekend that was forcibly shut down by police. The Palestine Congress was scheduled to be held for three days, but police stormed the venue as the first panelist spoke.    Germany's Interior Ministry had also banned some conference speakers from even entering the country, including Varoufakis, the Palestinian British surgeon Ghassan Abu-Sittah and the Palestinian researcher Salman Abu Sitta.    " This is not about protecting Jewish lives and Jews from antisemitism. It's all about protecting the right of Israel to commit any war crime of its choice, " says Varoufakis.    Varoufakis speaks also about freeing Julian Assange and his new book Technofeudalism .      Related: Germany again on a dark path towards fascism

Τυχαία γεγονότα στην τριτοκοσμική μπανανία των Βαλκανίων

failed evolution   1) Συμβαίνει το μεγαλύτερο σιδηροδρομικό δυστύχημα στην ιστορία της χώρας. 2) Γίνεται αστραπιαία επιχείρηση μοντάζ των συνομιλιών του σταθμάρχη από μηχανισμό του καθεστώτος, πριν ακόμα φτάσει στα χέρια των αρχών, προκειμένου να αποδοθεί η τραγωδία αποκλειστικά σε ανθρώπινο λάθος και να βγουν από το κάδρο οι πολιτικές ευθύνες ανώτατων κυβερνητικών αξιωματούχων. 3) Αναπαράγεται το παραποιημένο υλικό αστραπιαία από ναυαρχίδα της καθεστωτικής προπαγάνδας. 4) Τοποθετείται επικεφαλής στην επιτροπή-παρωδία πρωτοπαλίκαρο του καθεστώτος Μητσοτάκη που εργάζονταν παλιά στην ίδια αυτή ναυαρχίδα. 5) Η επιτροπή κλείνει άρον-άρον την υπόθεση αποκλείοντας ουσιώδεις μάρτυρες που είχαν προειδοποιήσει επανειλημμένα τον αρμόδιο υπουργό για τον κίνδυνο μεγάλου δυστυχήματος. Σταματάει έτσι και η όποια σε βάθος διερεύνηση για την απόπειρα συγκάλυψης του εγκλήματος.   

LEAKED: How Israel Calculates the Non-Value of Civilian Life in Gaza

Glenn Greenwald