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CE Retailers Warned By ACCC Over Coronavirus Pricing

CE and appliance retailers in particular, online operators have been put on notice by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to not take advantage of the Coronavirus to lift prices.

The ACCC claim that some operators may be breaching Australian consumer law if they make misleading claims about the reasons for the price hike, the ACCC has warned.

The consumer watchdog said increasing prices was not “of itself conduct that breaches the competition and consumer laws,” but retailers had to be transparent about the reasons.

The warning came as enterprising individuals used the panic buying chaos to offer bulk packs for sale well above retail price online and selling them in the hundreds.

ChannelNews understands that several retailers have moved to secure stock and that goods that were in the past being discounted are now being sold at the recommended retail price.

In the none tech space hundreds of people are trying to take advantage of the virus outbreak online.

The three top posts on eBay’s Australia website that return when “toilet paper” is searched offer toilet tissue for sale over twice the supermarket retail price.

A 48 pack of two-ply toilet paper is offered for $49.99 with $14.48 postage, over twice the cost of a 48 pack of higher-quality three-ply toilet paper from Costco’s online store, which comes to $31.99, including delivery.

Despite the high price of the eBay offering, 48 units of the product have been sold.

On classifieds website Gumtree, one enterprising Sydney individual is offering a “coronavirus safety box” for $100 with express postage. The seller claims the box contains “the 3 main items to help protect against coronavirus”: hand sanitiser, toilet paper and a face mask.

The quantity of each item in the box is not listed – but free express shipping is offered according to The Australian.

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