Carousell enforces active measures to curb sale of surgical masks at inflated prices

Consumers are known to flock to Carousell and resell popular items at inflated prices, such as concert tickets or the McDonald's loungewear which was available for a period of time last year. The recent Wuhan coronavirus has certainly not stopped consumers from making a quick buck, despite it being a legitimate health concern.

According to recent multiple media reports, surgical and N95 masks were resold on Carousell for as high as SG$288 for a box of 20. A quick check by Marketing found that those particular listings have been removed, but new listings have since appeared on Carousell selling masks between SG$50 to SG$100. There are more than 60 listings for N95 and surgical masks at the time of writing.

Su Lin Tan, Carousell's VP of operations, told Marketing in a statement that in light of the recent Wuhan coronavirus, it has reached out directly to sellers, advising them to price their masks reasonably in order to allow a fair distribution of masks. She added:

We are rolling out measures progressively including advisories on Carousell News and curating a collection of reasonably-priced items to keep our community protected.

Listings with unreasonable pricing will be asked to observe corrective action or may be taken down. Carousell is an open marketplace that does not regulate prices for buying and selling, but in light of the escalating public health situation, Tan said the company is stepping in to do its part to manage the situation by making sure that buyers who need masks can gain access to them fairly.

"We advise our users to abide by our community guidelines, and encourage our community to help one another, take care and exercise precaution," she added.

Last year, Carousell came under the spotlight when several listings on its site showed Singapore's Bicentennial notes inflated by five times, with each SG$20 note sold for SG$100. Listings for Singapore’s Bicentennial notes are mostly sold in bundles, with those with auspicious serial numbers being sold at an even higher price, up to SG$988. One seller, in particular, listed SG$88,888 as the price, asking interested buyers to send him a private message with an offer to bid.

This came shortly after consumers were seen reselling limited merchandises and tickets on Carousell for Marvel’s latest Avengers: Endgame movie last year, with tickets costing as much as SG$888 for a pair. The original price of the ticket begins at SG$9.50. Meanwhile, Carousell also worked with Changi Airport Group last year to investigate the sale of Jewel Changi preview tickets on the online marketplace. The tickets were either sold between SG$4 and SG$10, while some were listed as free of charge.

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