eBay is the first online shopping platform to decide on a total ban on the sale of protective personal equipment in the form of N95, surgical masks and antibacterial gels. The company promises to block all new offers and to successively remove existing ones. As it argues, overpricing has become so common that it sees no other solution.
Since the first reports of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Europe and North America, the public has started to panic, as a result the personal protective equipment used to theoretically prevent an infection have become essential commodities. Currently this equipment is in limited supply. As we read in the latest reports from Northern Italy the prices of surgical masks and hand sanitizers have increased on average by 1700% within the last month.
Online sellers have decided to use this as an opportunity to make more money. You can find many examples on the internet of people successfully selling non-woven surgical masks for an extremely inflated price. We have seen sets of 10 masks being sold for 200$. Before the outbreak these wouldn’t be worth more than 5$.
As one of the leading Internet sales companies, eBay decided not to wait for further developments and, citing US law, blocked trade of all goods related to the coronavirus epidemic. The banned items include:
- Surgical Masks
- N95 Masks
- Hand sanitizer (including wet wipes)
In fact, the company has vowed to remove all offers that mention the coronavirus, not including books. Earlier this week Amazon has decided to follow eBay and do the same, but not in such a drastic way. Amazon, unlike eBay will consider each case separately and those who are not using the tragic events of 2020 for unethical financial gain can sleep without having to worry about their listing being removed.