A couple of weeks ago, you could have ordered a box of 100 generic surgical masks for about $3.

Oh what a difference a day and a pandemic outbreak makes.

While the stock market is taking a hit (and amazingly enough gas prices are going down) amid concerns about the Coronavirus and it's "inevitable" outbreak in the United States, the prices of surgical masks are skyrocketing.

And Amazon is cracking down.

Amazon has alerted merchants about face masks that are “not in compliance” with its pricing policies, according to an email provided to WIRED. One consultant who works with Amazon sellers said that listings for overpriced face masks had been deleted from the site. The topic of “coronavirus and price gouging” has also been hotly debated among users on Amazon’s official selling forum over the past week. Amazon did not respond to two requests for comment. (Wired)

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The top best seller in Amazon’s “Medical Face Masks” category, a package of 100 generic blue disposable masks, is going for $15, almost four times what it cost only a few weeks ago. The price of a box of 20 particulate respirators made by 3M and sold by independent merchants has almost quadrupled from $17 to $70 since the end of January. A package of 20 respirators made by Honeywell, another major supplier, and also sold by third parties has quintupled from $12.40 to $64. Representatives from both 3M and Honeywell said they haven’t raised list prices for their products but can’t control how much third parties charge. (Wired)

Also, here's something to think about. With the demand for these masks, you are now looking at pre-orders that won't arrive for several weeks. We're talking into the beginning of April.

And please note who is fulfilling your order. Is it coming via Prime and through Amazon? Or is your third party shipping from China? Because...well.

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