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eBay bans face masks, hand sanitizer sales

Online marketplace eBay is banning sales from U.S. listings for hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and surgical masks to stop a surge in price gouging hitting consumers desperate to protect themselves and their families from the coronavirus.

The decision comes after USA TODAY reported inflated prices on critical supplies on major online platforms including eBay that could violate price-gouging laws in some states. 

Sellers were told by eBay that they could no longer post new listings for N95 and N100 masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers.

This week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency during which “excessive and unjustified increases” of more than 10% on basic goods and services including medical supplies is prohibited.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose state has been hit the hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, said his office is investigating incidents and asked for residents to file complaints if they spot gouging.

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