Two weeks ago, we reported that opportunistic Amazon ($AMZN) Marketplace vendors were taking advantage of Nintendo ($TYO:7974) Switch shortages by driving up prices for the gaming console. They were particularly egregious at Amazon Marketplace, which allows third-party vendors to offer up alternative buying options for products that are out of stock.
In the case of the out-of-stock Nintendo Switch, buyers were offered up an "Available from these sellers" at inflated prices, in some cases more than twice the $299 retail price.
As of today, the price inflation practices of Amazon Marketplace vendors have become even more common, with hundreds of Nintendo Switches being made available for sometimes more than twice retail prices.
Up until April 14, the average Nintendo Switch price had swollen to $475. But on April 15, the average price dropped back to normal, as the number of new Switches available plummeted to 0.
It appears that, after our report (and several followups from other publications), Amazon removed the products from the marketplace. Vendors were still listing "Used" and "Collectible" Switches for as much as $509, but the option to buy a new one from the third-party marketplace had been seemingly pulled, and the average "New" price sunk back to normal.
That appears to have lasted just one day.
Opportunists tend to be vigilant, and as of today, "New" Switches are once again available on Amazon Marketplace, the least-expensive one going for about $500, or $200 above retail price.
If what we're seeing in the pricing data reflects action on the part of Amazon, it does appear that the e-commerce giant is attempting to stem price gouging by removing offending listings. The company has successfully stemmed price gouging and inventory outages on more essential items like face masks and hand sanitizer. However, based on the new products listed today, Amazon is in for an uphill battle when it comes to less-essential products like video game consoles, at least until Nintendo can replenish new stock.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.
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