Amazon (AMZN) has come under fire for price gouging of high-demand products during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

The report indicated that some products are being sold on Amazon for 14% more than its retail competitors. The report looked at the price of essential household items, comparing their prices across multiple retail platforms, including Walmart and Target’s e-commerce sites.

PIRG found that items such as Clorox disinfectant wipes, which have virtually disappeared from store shelves due to increased demand during the pandemic, were selling for $37.95 on Amazon while Target carried the item for $5.14.

The list continues as PIRG found that a 12-pack of Bounty paper towels cost an exorbitant $58.80 on the e-commerce giant’s site and were selling at Walmart for only $9.98. Other essential products, such as four-packs of Kleenex, were selling for $22.99 on Amazon and $7.32 at Target. Even hand sanitizer was seeing a markup with an 8-ounce bottle of Germ-X selling for $13.72 on Amazon and only $1.99 at Walmart.

Bleach was another high demand item during the pandemic, currently selling for $22.22 a bottle on Amazon and only $6.58 at Home Depot. Looking for hand soap? Consumers will pay more on Amazon with Meyer’s Clean Day hand soap selling for $20.89 a bottle, up from the $3.88 price at Walmart and $3.99 price at Target.

This is the second time this year that PIRG has looked into the selling practices on Amazon. Back in late February, the firm also conducted a study on price gouging on the retailer’s website, finding at the time that items such as face masks and hand sanitizer were marked up at least 50% during the height of the pandemic.

In April, Amazon responded to PIRG, telling the firm that “There is no place for price gouging on Amazon, and we will not tolerate attempts to artificially raise prices on basic-need products during a global health crisis. It is unconscionable… Our long-standing Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy strictly prohibits excessive prices on products and shipping. We proactively monitor our stores for unfair prices, and we aggressively enforce this policy to protect our customers.”

PIRG is calling for legislation to protect against price gouging. It also urges consumers to report price gouging when they see it and recommends comparing costs at multiple stores before buying.

Shares of Amazon were trading at $3,187.97 as of 9:53 a.m. EDT, up $12.86 or 0.41%.

Disinfectant Cleaners
Image: Representative image of home disinfectants. Pixabay