Coronavirus: Panic-buying in Winnipeg brings out re-sellers and claims of price gouging

If you’ve been inside a large Winnipeg grocery store recently, you’ve likely been confronted with a concerning lack of cleaning supplies.

Toilet paper is especially hard to come by in larger stores, as all three Costco locations in Winnipeg said they were sold out Friday as shoppers lined up around the stores before it even opened.

Over at online marketplaces, people are starting to sell supplies like toilet paper and disinfecting wipes at marked up prices.

Rolls of toilet paper were for sale at noon on Friday, ranging from $4-$10 for a single roll, up to $1,000 for a 12-pack.

“There’s no paper products left, the checkout line it’s twenty five minutes to stand in line and get through the checkout,” says Kim Lay, who shopped at the Costco on Kenaston
Boulevard Friday morning.

Red River Co-Op is rolling out restrictions when it comes to buying paper products. Customers are now limited to only 3 boxes each of: Kleenex, paper towel and toilet paper.

When it comes to toilet paper and now paper towel, you’d be hard pressed finding any at Superstore and Walmart locations as well.

Tiny bottles of hand sanitizer were going for $5-$10, larger bottles commanding $30 or more, while some sellers wanted $12 for a bucket of disinfecting wipes.

Ads were being removed as fast as they were being reported.

One reader tells Global News that some stores are beginning to charge more for staples like rice.

Andy, a longtime Coscto member restocked on toilet paper, but not because he doesnt have any at home.

“If something happened, it may happen and you have to stay home you better be prepared. Even if you don’t need it, it’s always good to have it just in case,” he said.

He’s just one of hundreds of Winnipeggers seen at Costco today with paper towel in their carts.

“There’s two scenarios, maybe need it and that’s fine. Maybe don’t need it and that’s fine also, I’ll have to come to Costco and buy it,” Andy concluded.

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