LANSING, MI – Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Craigslist, Walmart all received warnings from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel concerning price-gouging and steps that should be implemented to ensure consumers are not made victims during this national health crisis.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a coalition of attorneys general today in urging Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Walmart and Craigslist to more rigorously monitor price-gouging practices by online sellers using their services.
“Online marketplaces are continuing to grow in popularity for consumers, and we are noticing an increase in price-gouging practices online just as we have at true brick-and-
Nessel’s office has taken a series of actions to combat price-gouging in Michigan, especially during the nation’s current
The letter from the coalition of attorneys general lists several examples of price-gouging on these online marketplace platforms, all of which took place only in March: on Craigslist, a 2-liter bottle of hand sanitizer was being sold for $250; on Facebook Marketplace, an 8-ounce bottle was being sold for $40; and on eBay, packs of face masks were being sold for $40 and $50.
In the letter, the coalition recommends several changes to protect consumers from price-gouging:
- Set policies and enforce restrictions on price-gouging during emergencies: Online retail platforms should prevent unconscionable price increases from occurring by creating and enforcing strong policies that prevent sellers from deviating in any significant way from the product’s price before an emergency. Such policies should examine historical seller prices, and the price offered by other sellers of the same or similar products, to identify and eliminate price gouging.
- Trigger price-gouging
protections prior to an emergency declaration, such as when your systems detect conditions like pending weather events or future possible health risks.
- Implement a complaint portal for consumers to report potential price-gouging.
Nessel joins the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut,