Coronavirus: E-Retailers React to Shortage of Hand Sanitizers, Masks and Its Rising Prices
Amazon India said, "We are disappointed that some sellers are attempting to artificially raise prices on basic need products during a global health crisis.
E-commerce companies are trying hard to curb the increasing prices and shortage of hand sanitizers and masks on their online platforms amidst of coronavirus outbreak that has affected over 100,000 people across the world. Reacting to the criticism, on Monday Amazon India said it is constantly monitoring the developments related to COVID-19 and will take "appropriate steps" as and when needed.
Amazon India spokesperson said in a statement, "We are disappointed that some sellers are attempting to artificially raise prices on basic need products during a global health crisis. In line with our policy, we continue to actively monitor our marketplace and take necessary action (including removing offers) against sellers who are selling such products above the MRP, which is in violation of Indian laws."
However, Amazon India isn't the only e-commerce platform to face the price issue and shortage of hand sanitizers and masks. As mentioned in an earlier report, BigBasket, Flipkart and Grofers are also struggling with the same problem. On Twitter, many people pointed out that hand sanitizers from top brands like Dettol, Lifebuoy, and Himalaya had entirely out of stock. Some sellers were also found selling sanitizers from comparatively less known brands at a price three times higher than their original cost.
Albinder Dhindsa, Co-founder and CEO, Grofers said, "While we are expecting the frontline brands to be back in stock, our Own Brand - Orange Hand sanitizer will soon be made available to cater to the current demand of our customers. It has over 60% alcohol content and conforms to European efficacy standard EN 1500: 2013. Due to the higher demand, the cost of ingredients used in sanitizer is under pressure and will go up for other brands. However, Grofers Own Brand is making efforts to secure them at competitive prices to provide it to our customers at the most affordable price, like always."
Flipkart has shown its March 6 blog post where it has outlined readiness for the coronavirus outbreak.
"The Flipkart Seller Hub is continuously in touch with Flipkart sellers to promote preventative healthcare and hygiene. Our team has communicated necessary precautions in order to ensure the health and safety of our marketplace sellers and their staff amid concerns over public health during the recent global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak," Flipkart wrote in the blog post.
"Our marketplace team has appealed to the seller community to ensure that products like masks, sanitizers, antiseptic liquids, and handwash are made available to our customers at all times at the best possible prices. They have been advised to dispatch these products on priority," it further added. BigBasket has restrained from commenting anything on the issue.