Friday, March 27, 2020

Amazon Sellers “Hijack” Listings to Sell Face Masks

Louise Matsakis (via Hacker News):

The 148th most popular book on Amazon Wednesday wasn’t actually a book at all: It was a package of 50 disposable face masks—the kind that shoppers have scrambled to buy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Surging demand for masks, as well as supplies like hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, has emptied store shelves, and in some cases led to skyrocketing prices on Amazon.


“Face masks and hand sanitizers are the number one and number two most searched terms on Amazon. That's attracting many sellers who are pulling every trick they can think of to get into search results,” says Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of the ecommerce data firm Marketplace Pulse, who first alerted WIRED to the face mask listings.


By the end of February, Amazon announced it had removed 1 million products that were falsely advertised to defend against or cure Covid-19, as well as tens of thousands of items listed for inflated prices.


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