Amazon’s measures to prevent price gouging have a relatively simple workaround. The Verge has learned that some third-party sellers are marking products as “collectible” to evade Amazon’s automated price controls. The internet retailer reportedly has price ceilings that normally kick in when a product is listed as “new,” but that ceiling apparently doesn’t kick in with collectible items. There also isn’t much transparency regarding those ceilings, either.
The quirk has been around for a while, according to sellers. However, it wasn’t really an issue before the COVID-19 pandemic, when competition kept prices reasonable. Now that there’s high demand and low supply, unscrupulous sellers have more incentives to hike prices.