One of the world's fastest-growing marketplaces, OnBuy, has announced it will absorb all operational costs on selected household essentials over the next three months.

OnBuy has removed operational and transactional costs, as well as seller fees, from all products listed under the 'Global Pandemic Provisions' section of its website, in order to help the public access a variety of essential items at the lowest price it can offer.

The marketplace has invested more than £250,000 to ensure members of the public have access to the items they need during self-isolation.

Items available in the list of 'Global Pandemic Provisions' include:

  1. Hand sanitiser gel
  2. Handwash
  3. Antiseptic disinfectant cleaner
  4. Surgical face masks
  5. Oxygen canisters
  6. Cleaning wipes

The announcement comes after several major supermarkets including Tesco* introduced new rules restricting purchases of in-demand groceries last week.

Cas Paton, CEO and founder of OnBuy, said,

"Over the last month we have seen shelves emptied in supermarkets across the country as panicked customers purchase excessive amounts of essential items ahead of a rumored lockdown. While we understand that people are concerned about access to food, toiletries, cleaning products and other products, it has meant that those most at-risk of contracting Covid-19, or those unable to stockpile for financial reasons, simply can't get hold of the products they need, when they need them.

"This coronavirus has brought about a period of unprecedented global disruption, and we want to ensure our customers know that we are doing our very best to ensure that everyone has fair and affordable access to the items they need.

"While we have limited-to-no control over the prices our sellers set, we as a company don't want to profit from a pandemic. It's why we've made this decision, we feel it's our moral obligation to support customers and help them get what they need, especially in times of hardship, without paying over the odds. As well as removing all of our margins and fees, we are imploring sellers of these key items to reduce their price as much as possible.

"As part of our commitment, we will now be absorbing any external costs involved in selling essential products on our website, to help people around the world access important provisions at the lowest possible price."