Amazon Is Being Accused of Price Gouging Floridians Ahead of Hurricane Irma

By NTK Staff | 09.06.2017 @4:10pm
Amazon Is Being Accused of Price Gouging Floridians Ahead of Hurricane Irma

The price of bottled water has doubled in just two days on Amazon, but the company says that they aren’t price gouging.

Amazon is facing accusations of price gouging packages of bottled water in Florida as residents prepare for Hurricane Irma to hit the state it in the coming days.

Floridians are stockpiling on essentials like bottled water as they prepare for Irma to make landfall. The storm, which is currently a Category Five hurricane, could leave hundreds of thousands of people in the Sunshine State without power and running water for days, possibly even weeks.

CBS News reported on the accusations of price gouging:

“Some are reporting sharply higher prices for bottled water on Amazon as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida. Customers there were reporting packages of Nestle water selling for $25 on Amazon, yet prices for those in the Northeast showed a 24-case pack of Nestle water selling for $18.50.”

Amazon told CBS News that they don’t “engage in surge pricing, and denied that bottled water prices have changed recently:”

“We do not engage in surge pricing,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “Amazon prices do not fluctuate by region or delivery location. Prices on bottled water from Amazon, and third-party sellers that are doing their own fulfillment to customers, have not widely fluctuated in the last month.”

However, CBS News points out, “Amazon uses so-called ‘dynamic pricing,’ which is similar to surge pricing.”

According to CBS News, dynamic pricing is a pricing model that Amazon uses, which results in prices increases on items that are in higher demand.

It makes sense that people in Florida would be ordering a lot of bottled water in preparation for the coming natural disaster. That could possibly cause the prices to increase under Amazon’s dynamic pricing model.

Just how much those prices have increased might shock you:

“A search for Nestle bottled water on Camelcamelcamel.com, a price-tracking website, shows that a 24-pack of Nestle bottled water from third-party sellers has increased in price in the last few days. The price reached $20 on Wednesday, compared with $9.24 on Sept. 4, according to its data.”

While Amazon claims that they don’t engage in price gouging, it appears their dynamic pricing model does just that, leaving many Floridians high and dry as they brace for a natural disaster.

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