eBay sellers ramp up cost of hand gels by up to 5,000%

eBay sellers ramp up cost of hand gels by up to 5,000%


Coronavirus cash-in! eBay sellers ramp up cost of hand gels by up to 5,000% with 49p Lidl sanitiser sold for £29.99 – despite watchdog warning it will hand out fines for price-hikes amid outbreak

  • The price of hand sanitiser products has shot up on online market place eBay
  • Opportunist sellers cashing in on the fears surrounding the coronavirus 
  • This morning one seller listed a hand gel for £99 with a reserve price of £499 

Online market place sellers looking to cash in on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK are selling hand sanitiser products for more than 5000 per cent their recommended retail price.

Own brand products from retailers such as Lidl and Asda are being listed for a huge mark up on eBay.

It comes as the competition watchdog warned firms could be fined if they hiked the prices of such products to take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak.

eBay users listing Lidl’s own brand hand sanister, Cien Antibacterial Hand Gel (50ml), which usually costs 49p were selling it for £29.99 a 5000 per cent increase.

This morning one seller had also listed the same gel for £99 – but was offering free delivery for the product, that also had a reserve price of £499.

Cien Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitiser (left) is usually 49p and is being sold for £24.99. Superdrug Aloe Vera Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser Gel (right) is usually 61p and is being sold for £9.99

A search by MailOnline this morning revealed that one seller had listed a hand gel for £99 with a reserve of £499

Medex Hand Sanitiser from Savers is usually 99p and is being sold for £25.99 (pictured above)

The research, conducted by Liberty Marketing also revealed that those sellers listing Tesco’s own sanitisers were still making a 1100 per cent profit.

The Tesco Health Antibacterial Hand Gel (50ml) usually sells at 75p in store but was listed on eBay for £9.

Other supermarkets such as Asda were also having its products sold online. Its 59p product was listed at £22.99, while Savers’ 99p offering was listed for £25.99.

Boots hand sanitiser, originally £1 was listed for £19.99 and Superdrug’s 61p offering was £9.99.

Medisave also offer a £1.12 hand sanitiser that was listed for £16.99 and Morrisons’ £2 product was £29.99.

Many of the online retailers had sold out of the products – prompting opportunist sellers to list theirs on eBay to try and make a profit.

On one item the pop up message was: ‘Due to the increased demand for infection control products we do not have a lead time for this item’. 

Social media users today slammed the sellers for raising the prices so high.

One user said: ‘These people that have increased the price of hand sanitiser on eBay I think should be blocked and I think people should NEVER buy anything else from them ever again! I think it’s disgusting what they’ve done. Profiteering, like people that used to do the black market in WW II.’ 

This website stated: ‘Due to the increased demand for infection control products we do not have a lead time for this item’.

The Aloe Vera hand sanitiser from Superdrug (above) is also sold out online with the website saying it will be ‘back very soon’

Others said that it was ‘dumb’ of these people to list the items online while another added that people were still listing the products despite some sellers having been removed from the site. 

Another added: Na stop people are selling Aldi’s hand sanitiser on eBay for £5 they’re like 40p in store !!!!! What has the world come to.’

So far in the UK there have been 211 confirmed cases of the disease and two deaths.

Emily Webb, HR Manager at Liberty Marketing said: ‘We, as a business, have been supplying extra anti-bacterial gels and tissues to all members of staff and ordering more than our standard batch, so it is no surprise that eBay sellers are seizing this opportunity to make some more money.

Social media users criticised those who were listing the items for high amounts and urged eBay to do something about it 

Every business and individual should be taking extra measures to tackle personal hygiene and prevention of illnesses in the office and elsewhere.’ 

In a statement an eBay spokesperson said: ‘eBay does not tolerate sellers exploiting other users. We have filters in place designed to prevent the listing of these items at unreasonably inflated prices, and we are constantly updating our measures to control listings as the situation evolves.


Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.  

  • The most common symptoms are: 
  • Fever 
  • Dry cough 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 

Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom. 

Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.  

In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause: 

  • Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Rapid or shallow breathing 
  • Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing 
  • Low appetite, energy and fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting (more common in children) 
  • Confusion (more common in elderly people)
  • Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occassionally been a complication. 

Avoid people with these symtpoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possivle exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.  


‘Our international security teams are working around the clock to help safeguard eBay and its 1.4 billion global listings. Where sellers are attempting to circumvent our filters, we are actively removing listings that breach our policies and taking necessary enforcement action.’

MailOnline also contacted the seller listing the sanitiser for £99. 

On Thursday the competition watchdog warned that firms could fined if they hike prices on products such as hand sanitisers and disinfectants as people continue to panic about the coronavirus.

Officials at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today said they would take strict action.  

High street chains across the country have also been limiting purchases of hand sanistisers to two per customer as many rushed to the shelves to get their hands on the preventative products.

The CMA also said it would consider writing to the Government to implement pricing measures for certain products if problems arise.

Others have also pledged to keep prices low, despite reports of manufacturers increasing their prices.

In a statement, the watchdog said it wants to ‘ensure that traders do not exploit the current situation to take advantage of people’.

‘It will consider any evidence that companies may have broken competition or consumer protection law, for example by charging excessive prices or making misleading claims about the efficacy of protective equipment.

‘And it will take direct enforcement action in appropriate cases.

‘In addition, the CMA will assess whether it should advise Government to consider taking direct action to regulate prices.’

Chairman of the CMA Lord Tyrie added: ‘We will do whatever we can to act against rip-offs and misleading claims, using any or all of our tools; and where we can’t act, we’ll advise government on further steps they could take, if necessary.’

Chief executive Andrea Coscelli also said retailers had a responsibility to keep customers informed and not see it as an opportunity to sell more products.

He added: ‘We urge retailers to behave responsibly throughout the coronavirus outbreak and not to make misleading claims or charge vastly-inflated prices.

‘We also remind members of the public that these obligations may apply to them too if they resell goods, for example on online marketplaces.’ 

Supermarkets begin RATIONING as Tesco limits the amount of pasta, baked beans and hand sanitiser customers can buy to stop shelves being stripped in coronavirus panic 

Tesco has begun rationing the amount of pasta, baked beans and hand sanitiser per customer to stop shelves being stripped amid coronavirus fears. 

In a move to ensure the supermarket has enough supply, they have decided to limit the amount of dry pasta, UHT milk and baked bean tins that each customer can purchase. 

As well as the frequently purchased disaster goods, the store has decided to limit antibacterial gels, wipes, sprays and children’s cold medicine, Calpol.

Tesco confirmed that shoppers would be limited to five items on Saturday, adding that they would apply to online orders from tomorrow.  

The decision comes after shoppers were seen stripping supermarket aisles bare across the country, with footage emerging of frantic stockpilers pushing trolleys piled high with toilet rolls and forming huge queues. 

The panic sweeping UK supermarkets this weekend comes as the country saw its highest daily jump in coronavirus cases on Saturday, leaping by 45 to a total of 209.  

Tesco’s baked bean section is completely plundered at this unspecified store on Thursday 

Fruit and vegetables at this Tesco store in Milton, Cambridge, were raided yesterday by panicked buyers after the number of coronavirus cases in UK rose 

With the coronavirus emergency and the fear of restrictions people are stockpiling and emptying supermarket shelves. Empty shelves at a Tesco supermarket in Milton, Cambridge, UK yesterday

The Department of Health confirmed that cases in mainland Britain rose by 42 early on Saturday, before officials in Northern Ireland revealed another three cases on Saturday evening.

Overall, there are 184 confirmed cases in England, 16 in Scotland, seven in Northern Ireland and two in Wales.  

The update comes as an expert microbiologist warned the deadly coronavirus outbreak could peak at Easter and last for six months – with millions set to be infected. 

As cases rise, footage has surfaced of frantic shoppers descending on UK stores to stock up on goods. 

One video from Costco in Chingford, London yesterday showed checkouts flooded with shoppers at the wholesale warehouse chain.

The store was said to be ‘running short’ on water with shoppers ‘fighting’ over toilet rolls and being ‘limited’ to one each during the panic-buying.

Chopped tomatoes were also on the shopping list for frantic shoppers trying to stockpile as much from this Milton Tesco, in response to the growing numbers of coronavirus diagnoses in the UK 

In addition to non-perishable goods, shoppers have stocked up on hand wash and hand sanitizer at this unspecified Tesco, leading the supermarket giant to limit customers to five items each

Lee Kennedy, who filmed the footage of stockpilers in Costco, said: ‘It was all very over the top, people were fighting over toilet rolls and being limited to one per person. 

They were talking about putting restrictions on the bottled water as well.’ 

He added: ‘There were hardly any toilet rolls left and the water was running short. 

‘The queues were sneaking around the aisles and people were arguing about pushing in front of each other.  

‘It was okay, very hectic in there. One worker said it was worse than Christmas.’  

Another clip shows shelves in an Asda in Surrey stripped bare. The video was posted on Facebook, captioned: ‘Where has all the food, toilet paper and water gone?’ 

Hand sanitiser products have been selling for more than 5000% of their recommended retail price online, amid coronavirus hysteria.

Two people have died from the killer bug in Britain so far, a grandfather in his 80s in Milton Keynes and a woman in her 70s in Reading. 

Some 21,460 people have been tested. The previous largest increase in cases was 36 on Tuesday.

Microbiologist Peter Piot – known as the ‘Mick Jagger of microbiology’ – said the coronavirus threat has not been overhyped and that there are probably already a few thousand people in the UK infected, as cases appear to roughly double each week.

There are 29 confirmed cases in London, 24 in the south east, 22 in the south west and 21 in the north west.

Busy sporting venues are taking action to combat the spread of coronavirus, with Twickenham Stadium providing hand sanitizers at the 2020 Guinness Six Nations match between England and Wales. 

Pictured: Tesco empty toilet roll shelves. People are stockpiling in the face of Coronavirus. Tesco and ASDA are amongst supermarkets that are struggling to meet demands of soap, pasta and toilet roll. Dated 3 March 2020 

Pictured: Tesco empty toilet roll shelves. People are stockpiling in the face of Coronavirus. Tesco and ASDA are amongst supermarkets that are struggling to meet demands of soap, pasta and toilet roll. Dated 3 March 2020





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