The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an unreasonable amount of over-purchasing of goods throughout Canadian communities.
Stories have circulated across the country about people purchasing massive quantities of items such as toilet paper and disinfecting wipes at wholesale stores, only to turn around and sell the items online for a huge profit.
That process just became a little more difficult.
Kijiji has now banned the selling of any such items on its website.
“We have been monitoring the community response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Canada,” reads a statement on the Kijiji website. “Based on user feedback, and to curb pricing practices that run counter to the community-minded spirit of Kijiji, we will temporarily ban listings for health care masks including N95/N100 and surgical masks, hand sanitizer/gel, disinfecting wipes and toilet paper.
“We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and quickly remove any listing that mentions COVID-19, coronavirus, or 2019nCoV (except books) in the title or description. We encourage users to continue to flag any ads they deem incorrect, misleading or deceptive to our Help Desk team.”
On Friday, Amazon blocked the account of a Vancouver couple, Manny Ranga and Violeta Perez, who claimed to have made $100,000 in the past two weeks by mass-purchasing Lysol wipes at Lower Mainland Costco locations, and reselling them online at four times the cost.
“There is no place for price gouging on Amazon,” an Amazon spokesperson said to Black Press in an email response. “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 hundreds of thousands of offers. We continue to actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policies.”
Black Press has also reached out to Craigslist asking if that site plans on incorporating similar guidelines as those established by Kijiji and Amazon.