Psychosis due to disinfecting gel and masks: price increases of up to 660% on Amazon and exhausted gels on Mercadona
The coronavirus COVID-19, which has been declared by the WHO as a public health emergency, is causing some fear in the population, to the point that an event of the magnitude of the Mobile World Congress had to be canceled. The collective hysteria and the fear of a possible contagion have mobilized the users, who have devastated the stock of hand sanitizing gels in Amazon and in different Mercadona.
At Amazon, this has caused prices for certain products to have risen sharply in a short time (perhaps due to the fact that COVID-19 has reached Italy and Tenerife). In some Mercadona that several publishers of Webedia Spain have visited today to make sure of this fact, the stock of disinfecting gels is out of stock and is expected to be replenished soon. On the other hand, at Wallapop it was not long before opportunists appeared seeking to make money selling face masks.
Disinfectant gel replaces Satisfyer on Amazon
If you are aware of Amazon Spain and its different categories, you have surely noticed that since Satisfyer became a well-known product, it has capitalized on the first position of health and personal care products on Amazon. Well, not anymore. If we look at the category, at the time these lines are written, the top is as follows.
- Ten disposable masks.
- Disposable masks.
- Disposable masks.
- Paper masks (100 units).
- Sanytol: disinfecting wipes.
- Baby wipes.
- Digital arm thermometer.
- Disposable masks.
Of the ten products that top the top Amazon best sellers in the "Health and Personal Care" category, six are masks or disinfectants. It is also striking that this same pattern is repeated in the "Latest news" of the category, where nine of the top ten products are disposable masks. The tenth is the Satysifer, of course. As for the best-selling beauty products, where there are always shower gels, shampoos and soaps, three of the top five are disinfectant gels.
This, needless to say, has led to an increase in the price of products. In Xataka we have identified some of the most striking cases, such as five units of FFP2 protection masks that have gone from costing fifteen euros to rising to 99 euros. The same happens with a pack of ten units, which have gone from costing 47.47 euros to 199 euros. At the moment, they are out of stock.
It is worth noting that there are two types of sellers on Amazon. On the one hand, Amazon itself (appears in yellow in the graphics that you can see below). On the other, products sold by third parties outside Amazon through its platform (in purple). In this case we have a pack of disposable masks that Amazon sold until January 24 for 35 euros, but since then they have been officially sold out. Foreign sellers have taken the opportunity to then raise the price and have reached 200 euros until they have been definitively exhausted.
Amazon (in yellow) would sell the product for 35 euros until February 24. When sold out, third-party sellers (in purple) took the opportunity to raise the price, which has reached 200 euros.
Interesting is the case of Verita Farma's one-liter hydroalcoholic gel, the best-selling in the "Beauty" category. Not only has its price risen from 3.28 euros to 8.97 euros, but it has shipments in one to two months. To make matters worse, a pack of 100 antibacterial wipes that have been on Amazon since 2014 and have never been out of stock, for the first time, have been sold out on Amazon.
The disinfectant gel that occupies the number one spot in the "Beauty" category has not only risen in price, but also ships within a month or two.
These disinfecting wipes have been on Amazon since 2014 and never, until now, have been out of stock.
Sources from Amazon confirm to Xataka that "business partners put their own prices in our store but we have a policy to help them define prices competitively. We actively track our store and will withdraw offers that violate any of our policies."
Out of stock at Mercadona
Mercadona de Albacete.
And if the situation in Amazon is peculiar, in Mercadona it is even worse. Visiting all the Mercadona in Spain is impossible, but from Xataka we have visited establishments in Oviedo (Asturias), Alcobendas, L'Alcúdia (Valencia), Santa Coloma de Gramanet (Barcelona), Dos Hermanas (Seville), Murcia, Malaga and Albacete and Most of the disinfectant gels have been used up.
Mercadona de Dos Hermanas (Seville).
In Mercadona de L'Alcúdia (Valencia) there was stock last week, but now they do not have and do not stop asking them, as the establishment has confirmed. At the Mercadona de Santa Coloma de Gramanet (Barcelona), a clerk tells us that "he sold out this morning" because "everyone has come. Some news must have come out," they tell us. Last week there was stock.
Mercadona of Valencia.
Also in Barcelona, but at the Mercadona in Manresa, a shop assistant confirms that they "have been asking for two days" about them. At the Mercadona de Dos Hermanas, Seville, they explain to us that the hand sanitizing gels "have run out today" and that "people have come in an avalanche this morning", but they affirm that the most normal thing would be for them to recover.
More of the same in Murcia. In the establishment they confirm that "there is not one left, and I do not know if it will come tonight, because consumption is out of the ordinary." Similar situation in Albacete, where they explain that "they sold out yesterday" and that "more than 20 were sold". In Albacete "they asked yesterday and they don't know when they will arrive". They also "comment that people have begun to take an oil for massage that contains alcohol as an alternative, but it has also been exhausted."
In Malaga we have found stock.
However, in some establishments there is still a stock of these disinfecting hand gels. This would be the case of the Mercadona de Camino San Rafael (Malaga), where 50 units arrived this morning. In Alcobendas we can also confirm that there was stock last week. From Xataka we have contacted Mercadona, who has explained to us that it is a product with low turnover and that is why it is sold out immediately. They have not noticed anything particularly serious, they say.
See complete gallery »Disinfectant hand gels sold out in Mercadona (8 photos)
People doing August at Wallapop
Wallapop has also filled with people looking to make August selling face masks. It is striking this batch of 10 units of FFP2 masks that can be obtained for 100 euros. Its name, pure SEO, "ffp2 coronavirus mask"; his description, not alarming at all: "maximum protection masks 10 units each box, there are not many stocks left since the demand is very high, you can search but nowhere they have them". The counterparts on Amazon were worth 30 euros a pack of ten.
This other user sells 10 FFP2 masks for 50 euros. A profile that sells Calvin Klein underpants has also uploaded a batch of "coronavirus 5 filter masks" for 25.5 euros. There are also 2x1 offers on "2x1 coronavirus masks", which are sold at Wallapop for € 30. Just today, a user has uploaded some paper masks for a euro, although he does not detail whether it is the price for the complete package or for each unit. He does state that "this model of mask is the best against coronavirus and other viruses."
More striking cases. This user sells 10 paper masks for 20 euros and a "FFP2 mask with activated carbon" for 20 euros. "I hand deliver. I move. I have few left and I no longer have any, because I had them in the storage room of a building site. The first one that comes will take them. Coronavirus" is the description of the same.
The most striking product is an FFP3 mask, "perfect for dealing with Coronavirus, flu and other infectious diseases," as stated by the user who uploaded it yesterday and sells it for 150 euros on the platform. Its price on Amazon is 29.99 euros.Unlike other Xataka articles, where links to Amazon and other stores are affiliate links (and as such are warned), in this article links to products are purely informative and do not carry any affiliation.