Amazon sellers are price-gouging on essential stay-at-home tech

Amazon says it has been on alert for price gougers since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but a review by Digital Trends found sky-high prices for work-from-home essentials like webcams, routers, and Ethernet cables — and prices for products to keep you occupied like video game consoles and treadmills are also far above normal.

The data blog ThinkNum counted spikes in the prices of routers and Ethernet cables in March and April.

Ethernet cable prices generally now match the suggested retail price, but we still found examples of cables that were suddenly twice their original cost.

Market research firm NPD Group found a 179% increase in sales for webcams over the first three weeks of March. Many webcams are sold out through Amazon directly, but third-party sellers have jacked up prices. The Logitech C920 is selling for roughly $240 — more than triple its retail price.

Another example is Internet of Things home security cameras. ThinkNum recorded a price hike in mid-March that has more or less plateaued, as well as an increase in the number sold. Examples are easy to find: The Arlo Pro 2, which tops off at $429 on the Arlo website, is selling for between $670 and $770 on Amazon.

Logitech’s Brio 4K camera — $199 on the Logitech site — has listings for between $350 and $490.

Standing desks and monitors — two items that people may want for a hastily-assembled home office — as well as home exercise equipment have seen spikes in prices, too. Amazon price tracker site CamelCamelCamel reported rises in monitor prices and standing desk prices from third-party sellers at the end of March. Home exercise equipment like treadmills saw some similar trends.

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