A four-pack of Purell hand sanitizer was selling for $159. Two containers of Lysol wipes cost $70. Amazon has retroactively deleted some products for price gouging, but U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) believes these spikes should never have happened in the first place. That is why the organization has started a new petition on change.org for amazon to address price gouging and for emergency supplies.
U.S. PIRG’s petition argues that Amazon needs to do more to protect consumers from unfair price gouging during emergencies. The organization claims that Amazon should have a system in place that prevents price gouging before it starts.
According to U.S. PIRG, this is not the first time prices have spiked on Amazon during an emergency. As the Category 5 Hurricane Irma approached Florida in 2017, prices for basic emergency supplies went through the roof, with cases of bottled water seeing price increases of up to 500 percent at times.
“There’s no reason price gouging should be allowed to continue on one of the largest online marketplaces in the country. Amazon’s algorithm should protect consumers in emergency situations, not allow skyrocketing prices,” the petition reads.
As of March 16 at 10:15am, the petition has collected 42,292 signatures. Find the petition here.