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‘It’s lower than low’: Children’s medicine sold for thousands on eBay

PUBLISHED: 14:16 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:26 19 March 2020

Orderly queues for the checkout in Sainsbury's on Pound Lane in Norwich during the store's reserved hour of shopping for elderly and vunerable customers following the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Sarah Ravencroft

Orderly queues for the checkout in Sainsbury's on Pound Lane in Norwich during the store's reserved hour of shopping for elderly and vunerable customers following the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Sarah Ravencroft

Archant 2020

A father has described his disgust after finding children’s medicine being resold online for thousands.

Andrew Roebuck has been struggling to buy Calpol for his son. Picture by: Sonya DuncanAndrew Roebuck has been struggling to buy Calpol for his son. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Andrew Roebuck, 49, from Rockland All Saints, near Attleborough, has been trying to buy Calpol for his eight-year-old son in case he became ill.

But after searching 15 different stores he was left empty-handed.

“I have the same frustration everyone has. You go to the shops and people have acted in a petrified manor and panicked bought.

“I have paracetamol and ibuprofen. I’m not trying to stockpile all I want to do is get a bottle of Calpol six-plus or a non-branded alternative. I just had it in mind on the way home from work but each night I’d stop off and see if there was anything but the shelves were bare. Then I started to extend the search as I got a bit worried.”

Calpol is being resold online after a shortage in shops. Picture: EbayCalpol is being resold online after a shortage in shops. Picture: Ebay

Mr Roebuck went to garages, large supermarkets and chemists but was unable to find the medicine. After the failed search he decided to look online and saw it being sold for more than five times the original price.

The team leader at Access Community Trust added: “There was nothing on Amazon and I checked eBay and nearly fell off my chair.

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“The one I found was 12 sachets for £52. I was very shocked and it really goes to show the worst in people. I checked back on it later out of interest and it finished at about £7,000.

Huge queues at Morrisons in Norwich amid the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Alexis ChipperfieldHuge queues at Morrisons in Norwich amid the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Alexis Chipperfield

“Whether it’s a crazy joke or someone paid that, it’s profiteering. Someone has bought it just so they could sell it at a high price because if they had had children they would keep it. It really is lower than low.

“It’s totally ridiculous that this is happening; it makes me ashamed of the people doing it.”

Customers are able to report the sales to eBay, which can remove the listing.

A spokesman said: ““eBay does not tolerate sellers exploiting other users. For several weeks we have had filters in place designed to prevent the listing of items at unreasonably inflated prices and are constantly updating our measures to control listings as the situation evolves.

Early-morning queues outside the Harford Tesco in Norwich. Picture: ArchantEarly-morning queues outside the Harford Tesco in Norwich. Picture: Archant

“We continue to work closely with authorities including Trading Standards, and our international security teams have been working around the clock to remove any unreasonably priced listings. Where sellers are attempting to circumvent our filters, we are taking necessary enforcement action.”

The shortage comes as stores across the county see large queues from as early as 6am. Many stores have introduced early hours shopping for vulnerable people and introduced a limit on bulk-buying.

Despite this, shoppers have been greeted with empty shelves, with toilet roll, pasta products and bread being amongst the worst hit.


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