If you’ve been looking for hand sanitizer and surgical masks online, you’re not alone. Thanks to all the news about Coronavirus, lots of people have asked us if USPS allows for the shipment of hand sanitizer recently. However, you won’t see those two particular items on eBay anymore. Due to huge, unchecked price gauging from online retailers looking to capitalize on the Coronavirus panic, eBay has temporarily banned the sale of hand sanitizer and surgical masks.
Online Retailers Were Marking Hand Sanitizer and Masks Up to Ridiculous Prices
eBay’s ban is a direct response to the huge markups that sellers were imposing on these two items. On top of marking these products up, sellers were also charging unfair amounts for shipping, as well. One eBay listing showed a 10-pack of surgical masks selling for as high as $200. A second one showed hand sanitizer going for $34.90, plus $8.70 for shipping…which, seems a bit high for USPS, especially since you can only ship these bottles via the Postal Service’s ground transportation services.
Other online retailers like Amazon are showing similar pricing activity for hand sanitizer and masks. However, eBay is the first (and currently only) eCommerce platform to temporarily ban the sale of these items.
The Problem With Stockpiling Surgical Masks
The main problem with consumers stockpiling surgical masks during a time like this is one of simple supply and demand. Healthcare professionals need these masks to avoid infecting patients during surgeries and procedures, as well as to protect themselves from infected patients. If our healthcare workers suddenly run out of masks due to an undersupply, that will be a real real problem.
Lastly, health experts also maintain that wearing a surgical mask may provide little to no benefit to a healthy person. In fact, it may be detrimental. While these mask can prevent an infected person from passing on a virus to others by a coughs or a sneezes, wearing one doesn’t actually do much to prevent viruses from being transmitted in the other direction. In reality, it may even trap more germs inside of it than it blocks out.
So, if you’re thinking about stocking up on surgical masks right now, think twice…and don’t bother looking on eBay for the time being.