The recent outbreak of the coronavirus has caused a surge in prices for surgical and N95 masks. The demand is so high for the masks that suppliers have been struggling to feed the market and counterfeits have become commonplace.
With all this going on, the question is: how do I get genuine surgical masks for a cheap price? Amazon has been trying to curb the price of masks, but they’re not having much success. Other countries have threatened pharmacies with a removal of their business license if they hike the prices of surgical masks, but this has led to businesses having to absorb the cost of the masks to the point where they’re losing too much money to even sell them.
To buy or not to buy
The US Surgeon General recently Tweeted for people to stop buying the masks, referencing the WHO and medical professionals who have pointed out that they’re not actually that effective to stop the spread of the disease and that they take valuable resources away from medical professionals.
Still, many people want to buy the masks, so we’ve done some research into how to get the masks for a cheap price and avoid the panic buying that has been massive price increases.
Where to buy cheap surgical masks online
This is actually not an easy one. Most online retailers genuinely are struggling to keep supplies up and there is always the risk of counterfeit products which aren’t effective.
Your best bet for reasonably priced and convenient access to blue surgical masks is to bulk buy them on Amazon. If you buy ten, then you’re not getting a good price, but if you buy 50 pieces for $36, then that isn’t so bad. The main thing here is that you can rely on the items being genuine and reliable. This is important to consider.
Aside from Amazon, you can also check AliExpress to get N95 masks. The site has retailers selling N95 for around $60 for 20 pieces. Seeing as these are much higher quality masks that last for longer, this isn’t such a bad deal. The main issue is that if you’re in the US or Europe, you’ll have to wait for quite a while to get the masks.
AliExpress used to have a problem with fake merchandise, but it has since cleaned up its act and is widely considered to be a reliable platform.
Consider buying offline
There is a risk that you’ll end up overpaying if you’re buying masks online in the US and Europe. In Asia, it’s easy to find masks online for a cheap price, but the authenticity of the masks cannot be guaranteed on many of these ecommerce sites.
If you’re looking for reliable masks, then we’d strongly recommend looking in your local pharmacy. While some pharmacies have been selling masks for steep prices, others have a more sensible approach to a potential virus epidemic and aren’t so quick to hike up their prices.
Other methods of prevention
You can also check out sites like eBay to try and find bulk deals on surgical and N95 face masks. It’s important to consider, however, that masks will only add a thin layer of protection to you and that your best bet for not contracting the coronavirus is to frequently wash your hands with soap. You can also use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face.
It’s likely that we’ll continue to see price increases in surgical and N95 masks unless the spread of coronavirus slows or governments step in to provide subsidies.