Trade Me restricts pricing on hand sanitiser, face masks

Author
Belinda Feek, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 18 Mar 2020, 1:35PM
TradeMe announced the new pricing restriction of items including hand sanitiser, pictured, this morning. Photo / File
TradeMe announced the new pricing restriction of items including hand sanitiser, pictured, this morning. Photo / File

Trade Me restricts pricing on hand sanitiser, face masks

Author
Belinda Feek, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 18 Mar 2020, 1:35PM

Trade Me will restrict the price of sought-after items including hand sanitiser and face masks on its website to protect the public from "exploitative" pricing.

Head of Trust & Safety George Hiotakis announced its new natural disaster and civil emergency policy which aims to restrict the price of items related to a disaster or emergency on the site.

"We are introducing these new measures to protect our users from exploitative pricing during the Covid-19 outbreak and future unforeseen events," he said.

A person is currently selling a bottle of hand sanitiser for $25 on TradeMe. Image / TradeMe

A person is currently selling a bottle of hand sanitiser for $25 on TradeMe. Image / TradeMe

The announcement comes after shelves around the country have been stripped of the product.

And Kiwi portaloo company, Superloo Sanitation, has even issued a warning after reports some of its hand sanitiser and toilet roll holders is being targeted by thieves

Hiotakis said the company would begin assessing the pricing of items currently on its site from today.

"Items such as face masks and hand sanitiser that have been listed for much more than their normal retail price will be removed and sellers will be asked to list these items at prices consistent with their standard price.

"We have not got involved in the prices of items on Trade Me before but given the special circumstances New Zealand finds itself in with the Covid-19 pandemic, we felt we needed to make a change."

A quick look on the website shows some people are currently selling hand sanitiser for $25, while a person in Tauranga is selling a packet of 50 face masks with a buy now of $1000.

This TradeMe seller in Tauranga is trying to sell a packet of 50 face masks for $1000. Image / TradeMe

This TradeMe seller in Tauranga is trying to sell a packet of 50 face masks for $1000. Image / TradeMe

Hiotakis said the company worked hard to consider every option.

"This new policy is tricky for us to execute. We have over 8 million items onsite at any one time so finding all examples of this behaviour is going to be hard but we'll be working through it.

"We think this option is better than banning these items altogether and Kiwis not being able to buy them at all.

"Our teams are working hard to review any items currently onsite and are hoping to have this completed in the next few days."