eCommerce site OnBuy has pledged to protect sellers and small businesses.

Its competitor Amazon recently announced a decision to stop third-party sellers of ‘non-essential products’ from shipping to its warehouses.

In response, OnBuy has waived monthly standard subscription fee to any seller that has experienced disruption due to Amazon’s recent decision for the next three months. 

New sellers can join OnBuy with the code OB2020 to receive a 100% discount on standard subscription fees for three months, as long as they sign up and use the code by 01/05/2020. 

“We want to do what we can to help all businesses that find themselves cut off, albeit temporarily, from any of their revenue streams,” read a company statement.

“After the three months, they’ll benefit from our unique, industry-leading sales guarantee, where for any month they make under £500 in sales, the next month's subscription fee is waived.

“Our transparent fee guarantee will also apply to them as well, where all of our sellers pay the same selling fees, regardless of size or how much they sell.”

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CORONAVIRUS LIVE BLOG

The pandemic has also created an unsavoury marketplace for customers, where prices of high-demand items like hand soap are being drastically inflated, and product names are being inaccurately changed to entice buyers. 

The OnBuy team says it is working tirelessly to ensure that all products are marketed correctly, and that prices remain competitive but fair.

Over the past few weeks it has experienced an influx of new sellers flooding the site, and has had to stop more than 200 of them ‘profiting from people’s desperation’.

The top products that have been edited, either by price or name, in order to increase profits during this time are:

  1. Hand sanitiser gel 
  2. Oxygen canister 
  3. No-touch handwash 
  4. Non-contact forehead digital thermometer 
  5. Antiseptic disinfectant cleaner
  6. Surgical face masks 

Cas Paton, OnBuy.com founder and CEO, said: “Since the outbreak of Covid-19 we’ve noticed a surge in sellers flocking to the ‘medical, hygiene and cleaning’ sectors, where prices for products like hand wash and sanitisers are inflated, and the names of certain products are changed to entice panicked customers to buy them. For example, a product that previously read ‘surgical mask’ was changed to ‘coronavirus mask’, and ‘vitamin for good skin’, to ‘vitamin for virus’.

“To date, we have stopped 207 new sellers from either editing product names or hiking up prices and will continue to do so in order to protect our customers.

“On the other side of the market, a large number of independent sellers and small businesses are facing huge financial losses due to Amazon’s recent ban on its warehouse distribution.

“In these cases we have committed to waiving subscription fees so they can continue to operate online. This coronavirus has unexpectedly upset the once even playing field of online marketplaces, but we’re working hard to ensure everyone, both buyers and sellers, are treated fairly.”