Mask Prices Surge on Online Flea Markets amid Coronavirus Scares

Society Lifestyle

Osaka, Feb. 3 (Jiji Press)--As the shortage of face masks continues in Japan amid the spread of a new coronavirus originating in China, their prices are shooting up on online flea markets.

Some people are apparently cornering masks at drug stores and other shops, and selling them at excessively high prices on online markets for which there are currently no regulations on resale.

Due to the new coronavirus outbreak, masks with regular prices have now been unavailable at online retailer Amazon.com because it has run out of inventories.

Meanwhile, large volumes of masks are on sale at inflated prices on online flea market sites. For example, a pack of seven masks, normally selling at around 400 yen, is priced at about 4,000 yen on one such website.

At a drug store in the western Japan city of Osaka, a female corporate worker in her 20s said: "I'm now visiting a fifth store for a pack containing a large number of individually wrapped masks. But I can't find it at all.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press