Panic buying of masks is wrong but I’m worry

Our government made an announcement. They shared that they will be giving each household a pack of 4 masks so to ensure that everyone household is equipped should they need to use.

One of the main reason that result in this action is because that there is panic buying in Singapore.

Singaporeans should never succumb to short-term fears and behaviours such as panic buying and hoarding of masks, as these will “destroy the entire system” that the Government has built to counter infectious diseases, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Thursday (Jan 30). Via Link

Minister is right

He is right. No matter how much we have in stocks. It can never be enough if we start panic buying. Moreover, it’s not us looking for stocks. All countries are looking for stocks and Taiwan also barred the export of masks which cuts supply even more.

Rotten apples, maybe not?

One of my worry and confusion is the rotten apples 🍎 in this crisis.

  • People who hold supply of the masks to inflate the price
  • People who stockpiled and resell again a higher price, sometimes 4-7 times higher

In an open market, if there are willing buyers and sellers. Should it matter? Because maybe the buyer really needs it and is willing to pay 💰 typical demand and supply

Eg: When someone sells a 10 piece masks for $12 when retail it could be $2.30 and there is a willing buyer.

Now should marketplace platforms stop this behaviour?

If I were to run the platform, I would. Largely because the situation is different, it’s a global health issues. If platforms does not put some limitations on masks price. It might create a situation where only those who could afford have the masks and those who can’t will suffer.

However at the same time while They are asking us to stay calm and not panic buy. The worst case which actually happened is that people are willing to pay, stockpiled and send it overseas this reducing the supply in Singapore even more.

All that above said, what’s my stand?

It’s a tough situation and decision. What is right or wrong? Demand and supply but I learn that today’s solution is tomorrow’s problem.

One thing I could agreed on is that It’s smart for distribute masks to every household. Helps to reduce the panic buying. And by the time this post goes up, we collected our masks too.