We’ve found that Amazon and eBay are still failing to get to grips with blatant coronavirus price-gouging. We’re now calling for urgent government action.
10/04/2020: Time for government action
More than a month after the competition regulator raised the alarm, and despite a warning from the Prime Minister, we’ve found widespread evidence of sellers hawking household items for rip-off prices.
It’s time for the government, working with the CMA, to step in with strong action to stamp out price-gouging and keep the price of vital goods reasonable.
Do you agree that the government needs to step in and put a stop to this? Have you spotted further examples of price gouging?
Let us know in the comments and help us stamp this out.
03/03/2020: Have you spotted dubious products/surge pricing?
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, some unscrupulous sellers have looked to take advantage by selling misleading, unnecessary and, in some cases, fake products on sites such as Amazon.
Amazon says it has removed ‘tens of thousands’ of products from sale, some of which have even included fake treatments and cures for Covid-19.
While work is being done to remove these products, it would appear that some are slipping through. We spotted a ‘coronavirus test for dogs and cats’ being sold for as much as £43.82.
More concerning, perhaps, is that a reviewer even claimed to have bought and used it on themselves. It would appear that Amazon has now removed the product from sale.
Have you spotted a questionable product relating to the virus for sale on Amazon or anywhere else? If so, let us know in the comments.
Surge pricing and high demand
Along with dubious products, we’ve also seen examples of surge pricing and the high demand of antibacterial products.
A multipack of Carex hand sanitiser was spotted on sale at around 10 times its normal price, while a six-pack of Clinell wipes has been seen for as much as £198.99 from a 3rd-party marketplace seller.
Thank you to the people that made us aware of the resellers charging huge prices for Clinell products.
We don't condone overcharging and are working with Amazon to fix the situation.
Safe disinfectants should be available to everyone who needs them
— Clinell – GAMA Healthcare (@Clinell) March 2, 2020
Away from Amazon, we’ve been receiving a number of reports of shops completely selling out of anti-bacterial hand gel.
Which? has checked major retailers and found that most have indeed sold out across many stores. Boots has put a limit on the amount one customer can buy at any time.
If you can’t find any, don’t panic; washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is the best option.
With hand gel disappearing from the shelves, it now appears to be being sold for hugely inflated prices on eBay:
Further to my missive on Sunday, lamenting the fact Lidl had sold out of hand sanitiser and every other antibacterial product, I‘ve found out where they all ended up — EBAY! £8 for a 50ml bottle! These usually retail for £0.50! Bonkers. pic.twitter.com/VL0KIXtL4G
— Holly Birkett (@HJBirkett) March 2, 2020
A quick look at the site this morning shows prices up to £20 for just one bottle.
Have you spotted dubious coronavirus-related products on sale online or even in the shops? If so, what were they? And what do they claim to be able to do?
Seen a product on sale at an extreme price? Let us know in the comments.