Amazon should let us sell masks


From world.wng dot org: ( bolding mine )

Taiwan… has…23 million [people and] has only about 250 cases and two deaths as of Thursday [3/24/2020]

Taiwan was prepared for COVID-19 because of its experience with SARS in 2003, when dozens of Taiwanese citizens died from the respiratory disease. Then-health minister Chen Chien-jen, a renowned epidemiologist, helped stop the spread of the virus by providing training to major medical centers on how to improve hospital infection protocol, reorganizing the nation’s Centers of Disease Control, and setting standards for quarantine. Chen is now the vice president of Taiwan.

A year after the outbreak, the government created the National Health Command Center (NHCC) to coordinate responses from authorities at all different levels in case of another epidemic. It allows medical experts to gather data and investigate potential new cases.

But perhaps most importantly, Taiwan saw how China initially covered up the SARS outbreak and realized it couldn’t trust the Chinese government to provide accurate information: “What we learned from SARS was that we need to be very skeptical with data from China,” Chan Chang-chuan, dean of National Taiwan University’s College of Public Health, told The Guardian. “We learned very harsh lessons then and that experience is something other countries don’t have.”

So when China first notified WHO about cases of an unknown pneumonia on Dec. 31, the NHCC went to work. Taiwan officials started boarding planes coming in from Wuhan to check passengers for fever or pneumonia symptoms before they could deplane, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Then on Jan. 5, they began to check anyone who had traveled to Wuhan for the past two weeks with a fever or upper respiratory infection, testing them for different viruses and quarantining those with symptoms.

Once China finally announced on Jan. 20 that the virus could be transmitted between people, Taiwan began to ban residents of Wuhan from entering the island just as the Chinese New Year holiday was beginning. The ban expanded to all of China in February and now includes all foreigners, except diplomats and those with residency in Taiwan.

Beyond travel bans, Taiwan combined data from its National Health Insurance (NHI) database and immigration and custom database so doctors could quickly see if patients had traveled in the past 14 days. It also used the NHI database to find patients with severe respiratory symptoms who had tested negative for influenza, then proactively tested them for COVID-19. They found 1 in 113 cases were from the novel coronavirus.

To keep citizens from panic-buying face masks, the government began a rationing system that allows each person to buy several masks a week from pharmacies (and now online), ordered 60 new production lines for masks, and banned the exportation of masks. Today Taiwan produces 10 million masks per day.

Public transportation in the Taiwanese capital:


You can sell whatever you want from your own created store on shopify. And, you might be able to price it whatever you want too. Why do you need Amazon?


Because Amazon is big, and is the best distribution network in the country.

I might not trust some unknown seller on his shopify site. But everyone knows that Amazon will back a buyer if he doesn’t get what he paid for.

Amazon can sell a million masks in the time that I could sell one.


Slightly off-topic, but relevant, from Business Insider:

Federal agencies have a stockpile of 1.5 million expired N95 masks sitting in storage, despite reports of critical shortages at hospitals and medical centers treating coronavirus patients across the county.

N95 respirators are personal protective equipment used to shield the wearer’s face from airborne disease particles. The masks are primarily used by healthcare professionals treating the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus, as well as by officials at the US Customs and Border Protection.

Experts have warned that the US faces a shortage of critical supplies, as the number of cases continues to grow. Doctors have started storing their single-use face masks in paper bags so they can reuse them, prompting ordinary people to donate face masks and other supplies to help medical staff facing shortages.

Five people with knowledge of the stockpile told The Washington Post that the surplus of masks is sitting in a CBP warehouse in Indiana.

Three unnamed sources told The Post that the masks are part of the CBP’s emergency supplies and that the Department of Homeland Security has decided to offer the supplies to the Transportation Security Administration.

Officials have chosen not to ship the masks out due to their expiration date, the outlet added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for using expired masks in February, stating that masks that are past their manufacturer-designated shelf life are no longer certified by the CDC but can be considered for use in the event of an emergency, like COVID-19.

According to the CDC, expired masks can still be effective if stored correctly.

Despite the demand for N95 masks in hospitals and for those on the front lines treating COVID-19, sources told The Post that CBP has no plans to offer the masks to hospitals or to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been working alongside the White House and other federal partners to provide resources to state and local governments.

Representatives for FEMA did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

A spokesperson for the CBP declined to comment on when or where the masks would be shipped out.


I agree but then I understand why they are doing what they are doing. It’s not to protect the consumer, it’s to protect them. They can’t possibly police millions of listings for masks that would ensue and they could be liable for price gouging, fake masks that don’t protect people, false claims, etc. Jeff doesn’t want to be testifying in front of Congress in 2021 so they are making the safe choice by limiting access to sell certain products. That way they can claim that they did whatever they could to stem the price gouging and other issues and will likely avoid a full frontal government attack.


Actually, they could. If it was FBA only, and Jeff had a hand picked team to look at every box that came in, they could be moving tens of thousands of masks per day.
Sure, most sellers would be told to wait while that team of mask inspectors goes through each incoming load - chosen at random. They don’t need to check every mask, just one mask from one or two boxes in every load.

It would be a bottleneck at first, but if Jeff gets a few hundred well-trained mask inspectors working, Amazon could be moving a million masks per day.


Yeah, we got a whole bunch of those federal stockpile supplies recently at my day job (I work in the medical field). Most of them were expired. We had to throw them out.


The perfect is becoming the enemy of the good.


Amazon Seller 99

one of my nieces --Works in a high risk Clinic in NYC… lives in an interesting pod Apartments , they basically do a survey type things or like a dating site and they throw people together …

I thought about sewing her some masks… except that I need a roll of good elastic, normally I would just go down to the Fashion District to one of the trim shops and buy a roll for huge / big for $5 cash --I could check the stretchiness of, hop on my Vespa, be gone…

The entire Fashion District is closed, unless you have a wholesale account and want to drive up to the dock with social distancing pick up your widgets, trims bolts of fabric…

I don’t have any wholesale accounts downtown , so it’s not like I can just get some elastic easily… I have tons of cotton… I could go everywhere from the tropical beach scene to something more sedate fabric wise…

And I would probably sew her a couple of weeks worth, hope she didn’t give them all away-- include a lingerie washing bag, so they were easy to wash… I have a few of those fresh off of Amazon you just sew a couple of loops on them… easy to hang, in case they’re not quite dry…

Everybody at her Clinic has children – so there are only four of them actually working …

Now – she’s a fairly healthy size girl, just may be too empathetic, for the current situation…

Apparently everyone that comes into this place test positive for some sort of social disease…

Surely must be interesting…

And New York is a young town, a place where people go to explore, invent themselves , and even visit all the sightseeing places…

So- I’m not sure if her Clinic would actually even purchase some of these things… they sound like they don’t have a lot of money to begin with???

This is a monumentally horrible situation… one of her little sisters one of the twins, has been running track for years… big cut an immense amount of runners or would Be’s off of the Olympic USA team, hopefuls…

She has managed to now have a dual passport, with Armenia, has traveled there with her new husband to run for the country… they are delighted-- having a grandfather from the old country can possibly be a good thing… salt-of-the-earth wonderful man now gone, along with his lovely spouse… wonderful woman…

They visited Armenia, met up with some long lost cousins, and were almost treated like royalty…

That’s now postponed for a year , I hope she doesn’t get pregnant or injured??

So I think there are few bigger things happening than somebody that wants to sell masks… with profit in mind…

Maybe they should move on from that preoccupation, find something else helpful to sell…

The Korean Yuppie children next door, had made a bunch of sanitizer, wanted to know if I needed some??.. wanted to make sure I was being extra careful , about who I was exposed to??

Just my thoughts…


Not sure what that means, but once they’re expired they’re no longer guaranteed to be sterile. Once they’re no longer considered to be sterile, we can’t use them.


According to Business Insider:


Not in my business. We have no way of knowing how they were stored.


This policy by Amazon is a GOOD one.
Do you know how many thousands of unscrupulous hungry wolves from China are waiting to sell and list masks and gloves now? Who knows about the quality or safety certifications?!

Nearly EVERY Chinese supplier I have has sent me an offer to buy masks.


Sadly, that possibility is baked in to the pie - as the recently-retired (Jan`20) Director of the SNS (“Strategic National Stockpile”), Greg Burel , opined in yesterday’s front-page USA Today piece on this topic, there are hard realities in juggling the various impinging priorities that are not easily, nor readily, addressed - no matter how much money we prove willing to throw at the problem.


You could donate them. Not everybody works in a surgical room. Expired masks still can protect from the virus.


wikipedia: Perfect_is_the_enemy_of_good

Moderator Edit (James_Amazon): External URL Removed


think solar eclipse glasses…


i know, right? lol…and most are NOT in that industry at all; im like, “why is an eyeglass case maker asking if I want to buy face masks?”.


According to Yahoo news, sterility is not the issue. I don’t know what your employer was thinking, but they had apparently not read the details of the CDC opinion: ( bolding mine )

Late last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its guidelines on using expired masks, saying they could be used during the coronavirus pandemic as long as they had been stored properly. The risk comes if the mask’s elastic bands have deteriorated, and there isn’t a proper seal against the face.


Yepper - the parallels between the present situation and that one - re: depriving the Amazon Buyer Community of access to health care-oriented goods, in service of preventing possible legal difficulties - are quite clear.

I had not seen that clarity before you astutely drew the parallel between these two situations, my friend - thank you, and please do Stay Safe.