Carousell & Qoo10 Going to Suspend Sellers Who Sell Face Masks At an Inflated Rate

Unless you live under a rock, you’d know that the war against the Wuhan virus is on, and many shops in Singapore have run out of surgical masks, one of the main defences against the virus.

And so you think you’re smart because you’re thinking, Why buy in shops when you can buy online?

With a smug face, you go online and see this instead:

Image: Carousell

Okay, I think you’d rather walk into Wuhan without a mask than to pay a thousand dollars for a box of mask.

Lest it’s not obvious enough, here’s a fact you might not want to know: online shops have run out of masks, too.

While you might see many listings online, those that are priced reasonable might not have stock on hand, and you’d need to pre-order them.

And some are just pure…crazily priced, like the example above.

Carousell and Qoo10 aren’t having any of them.

Carousell & Qoo10 Threatened to Ban Sellers Who Sell Masks At an Inflated Rate

In a move that’ll trigger purist capitalist, online platforms Carousell and Qoo10 have stepped in to help mankind instead of capitalists.

According to TODAYonline, Carousell has this to say: “In light of the recent Wuhan coronavirus, we have reached out directly to our sellers, advising them to price their masks reasonably in order to allow a fair distribution of masks.

“Listings with unreasonable pricing will be asked to observe corrective action or may be taken down.”

There’s no mention what price is considered reasonable, but I reckon $1,000 for a pack of surgical masks isn’t reasonable.

Won’t that defeat their purpose as a free online marketplace?

Not during this crisis period, as they said that “in light of the escalating public health situation, we are stepping in to do our part to manage the situation by making sure that buyers who need masks can gain access to them fairly.”

And over at Qoo10, it’s no laughing matter. Like, literally.

They claimed that they would not tolerate merchants that “escalate prices to unreasonable levels in an attempt to profit off the general public’s worry and panic, or even as a joke…Merchants found guilty of such behaviour may be temporarily suspended as we investigate their intentions.”

Oh, shots fired.

Qoo10 Also Doing Its Civil Duty By Ordering Masks to Sell

In a move that’s unexpected of a for-profit firm (remember, the more sales they have, the more commission they get), Qoo10 has got 70,000 masks that would be shipped from South Korea and these masks would be available in Singapore by next Monday.

The move is to “help to mitigate the supply shortages and help ensure there is sufficient supply of masks, thus ensuring that sellers on our platform do not take advantage of the shortage to inflate price.”

The joke’s now on those profiteering sellers.

In the meantime, if you somehow managed to buy a surgical mask, do read our article on how to wear a surgical mask correctly; you won’t want to spend so much only to realise you’ve been wearing them the wrong way.