Shopee steps up efforts for face masks supply

Report to us on any overpriced face masks as we do not encourage any sellers to sell above the regulated retail ceiling price

By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

GIANT online retailer Shopee is working closely with its local and regional networks of manufacturers and distributors to ensure there will be adequate supply of face masks on its platform.

Shopee regional MD Ian Ho said the move is part of an ongoing effort to meet the increasing demand for face masks to which the country is experiencing supply shortage due to the increasing Covid-19 cases.

“The platform now supports both local and cross-border mask sellers who are able to offer large quantities with good pricing to customers.

“With the increase of supply of face masks on the platform, the prices are expected to go down as well,” Ho said in a statement.

He stressed that while Shopee is an open platform for traders to sell and they do not have any control over the selling prices of goods, they have cautioned the sellers to exercise care and concern, so that these masks are affordable enough for Malaysians.

“As a result, the sellers are now offering each box of 50 pieces of 3-ply surgical face masks at between RM60 and RM85, which is below the regulated retail ceiling price of RM100,” he said, while urging consumers to report overpriced face masks and stay away from such products, as Shopee actively bans these sellers who sell above the regulated retail ceiling price.

“We want to keep the online environment fair for all and we want to call on Malaysians to join our efforts in keeping essential products affordable for all.

“Some general things we are asking consumers to do include reading the product description and reviews before making a decision, as well as using the Shopee Live Chat option to verify queries,” Ho said, stressing that these tips are for consumers buying across the board, not just for face masks.

Separately, Ho said with the Covid-19 outbreak being under control in China and companies are slowly resuming operations, this will ease the face masks production in the coming weeks.

“As such, the supply will be improved and combined with the ban on export and tax relaxations on face masks, there will be generally stronger supply of face masks in Malaysia,” he added.

Separately, Ho advised consumers to continue being considerate and not buying or hoarding what is not needed.

Ho assured that they are committed to ensuring that all Malaysians have access to essential goods and will continue to do so.

Ho said since the implementation of the Movement Control Order, the platform has seen a surge of Malaysians including Sabahans and Sarawakians shopping online for daily necessities and household goods.

“To this end, we have curated a special ‘Shop Safely from Home’ campaign from now till April 4, 2020, for users to purchase their necessities at one place without breaking the bank.

“During this period, there will be deals starting from 44 sen and discounts up to 80%,” he said.

However, Ho cautioned that although there might be slight delays in shipment, the logistics department has been working tirelessly to fulfil the consumers’ needs.

“In addition to Shopee Express, most third-party logistics providers have implemented safer and simpler delivery processes to discourage prolonged contact between buyer and delivery personnel.

“Precautionary measures have also been taken such as disinfection of warehouses and vehicles, while temperature checks are done for workers, drivers and riders in the interest of safety,” Ho said.