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

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.

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.

Shoppers lined up at Costco on McGillivray Boulevard Friday morning.
Shoppers lined up at Costco on McGillivray Boulevard Friday morning. Submitted

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

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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 McGillivray
Boulevard Friday morning.

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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.

Empty shelves at Kenaston WalMart on Friday.
Empty shelves at Kenaston WalMart on Friday. Marek Tkach/Global News

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.

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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 a package toilet paper early Friday morning.

“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 on Friday with paper products in their carts.

Some carts at Kenaston Costco in Winnipeg on Friday morning.
Some carts at Kenaston Costco in Winnipeg on Friday morning. Marek Tkach / Global News

“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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WATCH: Photos of people hoarding goods amid COVID-19 outbreak go viral on Twitter

Photos of people hoarding goods amid COVID-19 outbreak go viral on Twitter
Photos of people hoarding goods amid COVID-19 outbreak go viral on Twitter