Shopping for Hand Sanitizers Online in the Age of COVID-19

On 4x price increases, rapid price fluctuations, upstart brands and fake listings

COVID-19 has led to a spike in demand for products like hand sanitizers and face masks. Manufacturers of these products, many of whom were blindsided by this spurt, have been struggling to meet consumer needs, leading to empty supermarket shelves across the world. In the online world, this void has given rise to a different set of supply dynamics – since the barrier to introducing new products and dynamically altering prices is lower on ecommerce marketplaces, we’ve seen the emergence of new brands, new sellers, new products and a certain degree of predatory pricing behavior.

Consider the hand sanitizer category on the Amazon US marketplace. NONE of the traditional best selling brands and products are in stock. You’d be hard pressed to find any Purell or store brand Solimo goods that are in stock.

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