eBay bans sale of face masks, hand sanitisers amid price hike due to coronavirus | Tech News

eBay bans sale of face masks, hand sanitisers amid price hike due to coronavirus

eBay is blocking new listings and removing old ones for hand sanitisers, face masks and disinfecting wipes; price of products which have shot up in the past few weeks.

By: HT CORRESPONDENT
| Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 19:52 IST
People wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus on MRT in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, March 7, 2020.
People wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus on MRT in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP)

The coronavirus outbreak has led to an increase in demand for face masks and hand sanitisers. This has also caused a major hike in prices for these products. eBay has now taken action by banning sales of face masks and hand sanitisers to curb price gouging.

First spotted by CNBC, eBay has issued a notice to its sellers saying it will block new listings and remove old ones for the sale of hand sanitisers, face masks, disinfecting wipes and surgical masks as well. This is currently being done in the US. eBay said its action comes amid the price hike which may violate the US laws on price hikes.

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The e-commerce platform also said that instead of putting a cap on the price limit, removing the products altogether was a better move. Prior to this, CNBC found that the price of a 20-pack of face masks shot up ten times more on eBay. A pack of five hand sanitisers was also priced at $500 ( 37,000 approx) on eBay.

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The demand for face masks and hand sanitisers have gone up to such an extent that the World Health Organisation put out a notice on shortages of protective gear for medical staff.

"Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others. But shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons," the WHO said in a news release.

Other companies that have taken measures to tackle this include Facebook which announced it is banning ads selling face masks. Facebook will no longer show ads selling face masks on its platform and Instagram as well. Amazon has also warned sellers of price gouging and that they would be removed if found doing so.

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First Published Date: 07 Mar, 18:34 IST
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