As the world grapples by coronavirus outbreak, the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020 has carried out the worst in many Australians as they fight over tissue papers.
Australians have been scouring supermarkets for 'essential' items. It's led to many supermarkets being depleted of their ordinary supplies and causing the public to go into a frenzy over bathroom paper materials in the country.
The situation caused several supermarkets in Australia to impose buying regulations on toilet paper after panic buying chaos swept the land down underneath in fears of a looming coronavirus epidemic.
The crisis has forced Kleenex to step up production, with its manufacturing mills running across the clock to satisfy overwhelming demand.
Several eBay, Amazon sellers take advantage of the situation
While it's not unusual that a few Australians are hoarding supplies leaving others without access to them, several listings on online marketplaces show something more nefarious. Opportunists are promoting the elements of expensive supplies in Australia.
A range of listings across popular sites in eBay and Amazon of items, which includes toilet paper and face masks being bought more expensive than it generally would.
One listing on eBay was promoting a 48-roll pack for $100,000. It's probably a joke, but it won't be if someone would buy it.
eBay Australia underscored its disaster and tragedy policy when opportunists stockpile essential items and flogging them off at outrageous costs. The online marketplace said it would get rid of any listings that violate this policy.
eBay said it does not permit sellers to list objects that attempt to capitalize on catastrophe or tragedy. "We are conducting regular sweeps of the website online to remove [items] listed at inflated fees," eBay told Gizmodo Australia. Sellers of these items and repeat offenders, according to eBay, would face sanctions such as account restriction.
While eBay Australia is working to eliminate the violating listings, it encourages its members to file any that don't seem right to help solve the situation further.
"While we take every step to be vigilant against listings that break our rules --- we encourage members of the community to let us know if something doesn't look right," eBay said.
While Amazon Australia had fewer listings of overpriced goods, a store called Virus Shield Australia had been set up lately to sell coronavirus-related products. Right now, it's promoting toilet paper packs for double the average retail rate.
An Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo Australia that there is no place for price gouging on its marketplace. Amazon has also expressed its disappointment to artificially raise prices on essential commodities amid a worldwide health disaster. "In line with our long-standing policy, have recently blocked or removed tens of thousands of offers," the Amazon spokesperson added.
Amazon added it remains to actively screen the store and get rid of the listing that violates the company policies. That coverage, in particular, falls under the Amazon's fair pricing policy that prevents products from being sold for artificially-inflated expenses.
Despite the coverage, Virus Shield Australia and its overpriced merchandise are nonetheless online as of writing.