OfferUp, a Craigslist competitor, is removing all hand sanitizer, toilet paper, protective masks, and disinfecting products to discourage price-gouging during the coronavirus crisis
- OfferUp plans to remove all hand sanitizer, toilet paper, protective masks, and disinfecting products from its app and website, regardless of price.
- The move is meant to discourage users from price gouging and taking advantage of people during the coronavirus crisis.
- OfferUp is a Craigslist and eBay competitor that had 44 million users as of July 2019.
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OfferUp on Friday said it planned to remove all hand sanitizer, toilet paper, protective masks, and disinfecting products from its app and website, regardless of price, to discourage users from price gouging and taking advantage of people during the coronavirus crisis.
OfferUp, a Craigslist and eBay competitor that allows users to sell second-hand goods, told Business Insider about the plans late Friday after earlier inquiries about the company's efforts to stop users from price-gouging.
"Since the decision was made today, we're still in process of removing these items, so you may see them on the marketplace for an indeterminate time until they are removed," an OfferUp spokesperson said.
In July 2019, OfferUp said that it had 44 million users.
As recently as Friday afternoon, a quick search for toilet paper in the Seattle area - one of the hardest-hit regions of the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and where OfferUp is based - pulled up results featuring users selling products for at least double the retail price.
"Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, protective masks, and disinfecting items" join OfferUp's list of prohibited items, which OfferUp says it actively removes on its own and also invite users to report. OfferUp previously banned any items claiming to prevent or cure the illness caused by coronavirus.
Amazon is also working to track down third-party sellers who are taking advantage of customers concerned about the coronavirus, showing how online retail platforms are hustling to keep up with predatory behavior on their platforms as the pandemic continues.
Earlier Friday, OfferUp said it was actively removing items with "prices that are clearly inflated above standard market value" and that its investigations team works with law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. to investigate illegally price items.
"Additional actions, including blocking users and/or referring them to Law Enforcement, may be taken for severe or repeat offenses," the spokesperson said.
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