N95 Virus Masks Sell Out Across The U.S.

Sunday, January 26, 2020
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 01/26/2020

We noted last week how worldwide and U.S. internet searches for “virus mask” and “n95 masks” have exponentially increased as the deadly coronavirus spreads across the world.

Our report from Friday confirmed virus masks and hand sanitizers were in short supply across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, Japan, South Korea, and other regional countries.

A Japanese seller on Amazon marked up a pack of 50 N95 Disposable Respirators to $638, a 16x price increase from a suggested retail price of around $40

Short supplies aren’t just across Asia. New reports suggest a run on virus masks has already begun across the U.S.

Search trends for “N95 mask” started to pick up around January 13, and have soared since January 20, as the spread of coronavirus has become uncontrollable across the world.

Americans in nearly every state are googling where to buy N95 masks, including search-related queries for “n95 mask walmart” and “n95 mask home depot.”

With three confirmed cases in California, Washington state, and Illinois, along with dozens of suspected cases, masks have been selling out across the country since Thursday.

A simple google search of your local Home Depot or Lowe’s will reveal the N95 mask hoarding has begun.

Amazon sellers in the U.S. have already been hit by a run on N95 masks. The buying started early last week, and since then, many sellers have sold out. Remaining sellers have jacked up prices nearly 400%.

One Twitter user said, “Anyone I know on twitter that has a surplus of surgical masks or N95-compliant masks? I have a feeling it’ll be necessary soon, but it’s all sold out on amazon or incredibly overpriced :/”


Another said, “Top 3 results for “n95 masks” are all sold out on amazon now. If you haven’t already purchased a mask to reduce your chances of dying in this global pandemic from 4% down to 0.01%, why not? #CoronaOutbreak #coronavirus.”

The CEO of Binance tweeted, “All N95 masks in China, Japan and surrounding regions are sold out. We bought 8000+ medical masks but also having difficulties sending them to Wuhan. If you know of logistics channels that still work, please do share.”

@TradeTraders said, “Home Depot Canada N95 masks all sold out.”

@ag_trader said, “crazy anecdote i just heard about… a lot of the Chicagoland Home depots, Menards ..even Sherwin Williams paint stores are sold out of the N95 masks! Chinese relatives here are buying them all up by the 100s, and shipping back to China.’

@drugscirclejerk said, “my local home depot is sold out of the 15 and 20 count packs of n95 respirators boston staying vigilant.

The Thatdealguy on RedFlagDeals.com said, “You can now buy N95 masks at Costco. HURRY AND BUY THEM BEFORE THE HOARDERS BUY IT. There are many Chinese shipping companies bought all the stock at Richmond location and selling it for $3-$5 per mask Regular costs = $18 per 20 masks. (1 box).”

He also said, “Amazon = sold out Walmart= sold out Staples = sold out Canadian Tire = sold out Pharmacy stores = sold out Shoppers Drug Mart = sold out London Drugs = sold out.”

A working hypothesis of Jonathan Read, a U.K. expert on the transmission and evolutionary dynamics of infectious diseases, has warned the spread of coronavirus could reach hundreds of thousands of people in the coming weeks. This would mean the evolution of the virus is far from contained and likely to worsen, which would mean N95 masks are a hot commodity.

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