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Amazon sees strong sales of pepper spray, Black Lives Matter merch

Protesters hold signs during a protest at Country Club Plaza on May 31, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jamie Squire | Getty Images

Amazon shoppers replenish pepper spray and Black Lives Matter merchandise as protests continue to spread across the country, according to the sales ranking on its website.

The e-commerce website lists self-defense products, racial justice education books, and Black Lives Matter t-shirts as best-selling articles in several categories on their Best Seller page.

The rankings show that protests against police brutality are at the forefront of some consumers̵

7; minds, as many of them struggle with the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Cities across America continued to demonstrate on Monday after a weekend of widespread protests over Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. On Friday, Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis cop who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck before he died, was taken into custody and charged with murder and murder.

The Sports and Outdoors category showed pepper spray as the best-selling item, while a rechargeable taser was listed at No. 44, illustrating that consumers are buying self-defense products in the midst of protests that have become violent in some areas of the country.

Concerns over the killing of Floyd appeared in the News Clothes section of Amazon’s Best Seller page, where two “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts were among the top ten best-selling items. A Black Lives Matter shirt ranks # 60 in Amazon’s best-selling apparel, which is a significant increase from last Friday, when it didn’t appear among the top 1,000 best-sellers in that category, says Juozas Kaziukenas, who runs e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. .

The Books category lists “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” as the best-selling article, while “How to Be an Antiracist” ranks third and “We Different, We’re the Same” ranks as seventh.

Amazon’s Bestseller site calculates top sellers based on sales volume, according to the company’s website. Amazon updates the rankings every hour “to reflect recent and historic sales.”

It is unclear whether other factors are taken into account when determining the best seller’s ranking, such as search volume. Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kaziukenas said that Amazon tracks best-sellers based on search volume, but the information is shared with suppliers and cannot be seen by the public.

The sale of Black Lives Matter shirts and other activism-inspired items can be used as a means to donate to these causes, Kaziukenas said.

“It’s an opportunity for Amazon to donate this revenue,” he said. “Amazon is cutting every sale. All this should be donated if Amazon cares.”

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