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Online shops ‘must act’ as hand gel for sale at £100

Cleaning up: Seller starts the bidding at £99 for hand gel PICTURE: ZHIVKO MIRONOV

ONLINE marketplaces are being urged to clamp down on profiteering after consumer group Which? found some everyday products being sold for vastly inflated prices.

A digital thermometer worth £40 was found listed for nearly £300 on eBay — with £1.50 bottles of hand sanitiser going for more than £100. On Amazon Marketplace, £1 hand gel bottles cost nearly £10, as did £3 disinfectant.

Which? urged marketplaces to bring in stricter controls and communicate them to sellers. Its head of consumer protection, Sue Davies, said: ‘These companies must make good on their pledges to stamp out coronavirus profiteering, and, if they fall short, the Competition and Markets Authority must be ready to take strong action.’

Both eBay and Amazon said they are taking action against ‘price gouging’, including banning accounts.

The items flagged by Which? have been removed, eBay said, adding: ‘We have been introducing increasingly tougher measures to tackle this deplorable practice.’ Amazon said it was ‘disappointed’ by price gouging, adding: ‘In line with our long-standing policy, we have recently blocked or removed tens of thousands of offers.’