Amazon, Flipkart fight artificial price surge amid Coronavirus outbreak

Topics Coronavirus | Amazon | Flipkart

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, e-commerce giants are fighting a challenge of another kind -- artificial price rise. As the demand for kitchen staples and consumer sanitary products rise, both the online platforms are witnessing surge prices.

While Amazon India has blocked several products those were selling at a price higher than the MRP, Walmart-owned Flipkart said it is removing products with fake claims and inflated prices on an ongoing basis.

“We are working to ensure that no one artificially raises prices on basic needs products during this pandemic and have blocked or removed tens of thousands of items, in line with our long-standing policy,” said Amazon India in a blogpost on Tuesday. Globally, Amazon has removed over one million products for making false claims related to coronavirus.

Flipkart on the other hand said while it does not control prices of products on its marketplace platform, it is working closely with sellers to urge responsible pricing and behaviour.

Both the companies are also working towards making essential items available on the platform which are currently out of stock. Flipkart is working with marketplace partners to ensure adequate availability of consumer sanitary products like hand sanitisers, gloves and masks on the platform. “Our sellers have been advised to dispatch these products on priority. To ensure faster delivery, they have been advised to inward these products to smart warehouses and Flipkart warehouses,” said the Bengaluru-headquartered company.

According to Himalaya Drug Company, there has been a 10 times rise in the demand for hand sanitisers in the past one month. Amazon India too has some products in the household staples category which are out of stock as it has witnessed an increase in people shopping online due to the Covid-19 spread. “You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are (taking) longer than usual. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders,” said Amazon India.

Flipkart Travel, through its partner ixigo, is also offering full refund including convenience fee on cancellation and rescheduling of air tickets booked on the portal to selected countries up to month end.

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