Amazon’s Nintendo Switch price gougers are back — and they’ve got a new tactic to dodge Amazon’s crackdowns.
Nearly two months ago when coronavirus-related lockdowns went into effect, third-party sellers on Amazon started jacking up the price of the Nintendo Switch, reaching nearly double the suggested retail price of $299, according to data from Thinknum.
After that initial report, Amazon started removing overpriced listings by third-party sellers that were linked to the first-party Nintendo Switch listing. Unfortunately, that is apparently not enough to completely keep price gougers away from the console.
Price gougers have started listing the Nintendo Switch under different names in order to bypass the measures implemented by Amazon, according to a new report by Thinknum.
For example, “Nintendo Switch [Gray]” was selling for as high as $669, while “Nintendo Switch [Neon Blue/Red]” was listed for $650 at its peak — both more than double the suggested retail price — according to Thinknum.
Digital Trends found prices for similar products topping out around $600 as of Friday.
Joshua Fruhlinger, editor-in-chief at Thinknum, said the Amazon marketplaces were originally designed for competition between third-party sellers that in normal circumstances drives the price down by linking items to the official Amazon listing.
“The problem is anyone can then go and add whatever they want to the marketplace,” he said. Price gougers are using slightly altered descriptions and titles to dodge Amazon’s enforcement efforts.
“The problem is … it’s nearly humanely impossible to catch all of these,” he said.
Digital Trends has reached out to Amazon to see how it will address the new price gouging tactic. We will provide an update as soon as we receive a response.
This week, Amazon posted an open letter to Congress, asking lawmakers to take action against price gouging. But Fruhlinger noted that Amazon has the resources to tackle the problem on its own, should the company deem it a priority.
“They’re basically throwing their hands up in the air right now and saying, ‘We’ve done everything we can,'” he said.
And, he noted, price gougers are only flourishing because customers are willing to meet their outrageous prices to get their hands on the popular gaming console.
“There’s a demand for it,” he said.
The Nintendo Switch console has not been the only focus of price gougers, as they have also taken advantage of the high demand and short supply of Ring Fit Adventure. Nintendo has said that it will make more units of the fitness game and accessory, though no specific timeline on restocks were provided.
The Nintendo Switch and Ring Fit Adventure continue to remain popular choices for staying occupied while staying at home.
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