eBay is continuing to stop profiteers of the COVID-19 outbreak

eBay is continuing to stop profiteers of the COVID-19 outbreak

Remember how two weeks ago eBay have stopped sales of all face masks and hand sanitizers in order to combat price gouging? This was done in order to combat sellers that profited from the outbreak and sold these products at a huge mark-up.

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A 50ml bottle of hand sanitizer used to cost a quid, but ever since the outbreak started, prices have quadrupled, or even worse. I have seen sellers asking for £59 for a 3-pack of hand sanitizer, when the original price was about £6. That’s a 10x increase in price, and that’s called price gouging.

eBay saw this issue and immediately stopped all sellers and ended all listings that mention hand sanitizer, face mask, COVID-19, etc.

Things are getting worse…

But unfortunately, profiteers haven’t stopped there, and started selling necessary daily items at a huge mark-up as well. Things such as toilet rolls, baby wipes, cleaning wipes and many more.

Auctions are even worse. We’ve seen prices for a bundle of three bottles of Dettol spray and three packets of antibacterial wipes soaring to £210. A 50ml bottle of Carex antibacterial hand gel was being sold for more than £100 by multiple sellers on eBay, despite usually costing about £1.50. This is outrageous, and it is very sad to see people taking advantage of the bad situation the world is in and profiting from it. There are even thermometers that usually go for a few quid being sold for over £40!

In an announcement on Tuesday, eBay UK said it was prohibiting consumer sellers from listing certain additional items “as the current national and international situation continues to evolve.”

Only business sellers who operate in accordance with current eBay policy will be approved to sell the following items:

As of March 24th:

  • Baby Formula & Milk
  • Toilet Rolls

As of March 26th:

  • Tampons
  • Baby Wipes
  • Nappies

eBay will block or remove listings of those items by private (non-business) sellers, and “further attempts to list these items may result in account suspension.” They have also warned UK sellers that it may announce additional restrictions in the near future.

What are eBay and Amazon saying?

According to a news report, an eBay spokesperson said: “All the items flagged have been removed and enforcement action has been taken against the sellers. We announced on Friday additional measures to tackle coronavirus-related price gouging. This is a continuation of aggressive action … which has included suspending hundreds of accounts, removing hundreds of thousands of listings, and suspending scores of bad seller accounts.”

Amazon have also said: “We are disappointed that bad actors are attempting to artificially raise prices on basic-need products during a global health crisis and, in line with our long-standing policy, have recently blocked or removed tens of thousands of offers. In addition to removing these offers, we are terminating accounts.”
As you can see, eBay, Amazon and even Facebook are trying as hard as possible to combat price gouging. It is against eBay’s rules and it is violating moral principles to take advantage of such a situation just to make some extra profit as a seller.

It’s great to see these tech giants, such as eBay, Amazon and Facebook joining forces to stop price gauging in a moments of human tragedy and suffering.

What follows these products?

We are expecting to see even more products being banned, and while eBay knows that banning essential items is not a great idea, as many people order them online instead of going to the shops themselves, you have to keep in mind that combating price gouging and profiteers is just as important. It’s immoral when you think about it – some people are making small fortunes by selling items at 10x the price, while others, people who actually need those items, are being fooled into paying those prices.

Expect even more products to be banned on eBay, such as disinfectants, soap, products from brands such as Dettol or Purell (brands that are extremely popular).

As previously mentioned in one of our blogs, even though price gauging is bad, stockpiling on these products is even worse. This is because there are people who legitimately need those products. And they are now having difficulties in finding them in stock anywhere.

To sum up

While eBay and other e-commerce giants are making great efforts to stop price gouging, we think that the root of the problem is deeper than that. The problem is that people are trying to make a quick buck by taking advantage of the needs of other people and trying to sell them essential items at huge mark-ups (we are talking 5 to 100x the original price), and that is outrageous.

It really isn’t the time to think about profit and money. The world is going through a very difficult time, and we should be thinking about our own health and how to help others, instead of profiting. In the mean time, stay home and be safe!

 

 

 

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