Prices skyrocket for essentials amid pandemic


Photo by “ReCode”.

Screenshot of the price of hand sanitizer skyrocketing on Amazon.

Grocery stores are urging customers to not hoard groceries in their homes and to not buy more than they need, according to President Trump’s recent press conference held on March 15. Many grocery stores like Kroger and Costco are now only allowing customers to buy two packs of water bottles, and two rolls of toilet paper. With everyone stocking up essentials, many people have turned towards online shopping on Amazon, which has now skyrocketed basic product prices.

“I definitely saw a drastic price increase on certain necessities online,” Jan Weber said. “I was trying to purchase hand sanitizer on amazon, and they had very little inventory, and what they did have, they were charging an absurd amount of money for. The bottle I was looking at was 16 oz., and they were trying to charge me $87 for it. Needless to say, I did not purchase that item.”

Before all the hand sanitizers were out of stock, on March 5, Purell 1 liter hand sanitizer was priced at around $350, which normally would have been priced at $21.99 at Walmart. Hand sanitizer has been searched 270 times more than it was last month due to the pandemic.

Amazon is trying its best to prevent sellers from price gouging their basic, essential products.

“We have suspended more than 3,900 selling accounts in our U.S. store alone for violating our fair pricing policies,” Amazon said from their statement letter response to COVID-19. “We began taking these enforcement actions promptly upon discovering this kind of misconduct, and we’ve been partnering directly with law enforcement agencies to combat price gougers and hold them accountable.”

Still, due to the low in stock in-stores and the rise in price on Amazon, people are anxiously buying groceries they do not need. This, then, leaves many people nothing.

“All we have as far as basic necessities is what we had before the virus struck,” Sarah Degolyer said. “Soon we will be running out.”