Buzz Convenience Store Masks Faux Pas



There was an article on The New Paper that generated a lot of  Buzz




If you have read the article, it is about how to keep one safe from the coronavirus. The writer suggested the use of serving utensils, washing your hands and mask up. There was also a shoutout for Buzz Convenience Store whereby it stated that they will be selling V-Isolation masks that offer high protection and are hypoallergenic. They will be available at selected Buzz convenience stores from today at 3pm.




This message was a godsend for many as nowadays, finding masks is like finding a needle in the haystack. A similar article appeared today on Lianhe Zaoboa.


Screenshot from FB





This created a few buzzes online and there were people who shared the post put up by Buzz Convenience Store (BCS). Conveniently, the price was left out of the original article but was provided by BCS this morning at 945am. The price turned out to be $35 per box of 50 masks.


Prive reveal at 10am
Immediately, this creates a bigger buzz on the FB page. Angry emoticons were posted and comment such as 'daylight robbery'  and report to CASE began to flood the post.



To put things in perspective, Watson was selling a box of 50 masks for $12 and Unity was selling 10 masks for $3.50 last week. At the price quoted BCS was selling for 100-200% more than them. To be fair, the supply of masks had been dwindling and to secure a large shipment might incur additional costs, hence the price at $35.


Screenshot from FB
With the negative Buzz around the internet, BCS had decided to stop the sale of the surgical mask at the selected Convenience Stores citing it as a misguided attempt to meet public demand for masks. They had decided to donate the masks to charities and this is an error in judgement. 
This was done at 130 am , barely an hour plus before the sale starts.

Was this a case of good intention, misguided judgement or profiteering?

Given the sensitivity around the sale of masks, we reckoned that one should be transparent about pricing, especially if you  'advertise' on National Papers. To create the hype and only reveal the pricing on another platform does create a sense of distrust especially in today's context. Stating that it is an attempt to meet public demand for masks and yet pricing it at a perceived premium seemed to contradict the actual motive for the buzz. In all fairness,  they are donating the masks to charity. Given the faux pas, it would be the right thing to do.


In case if you are queuing up for the masks, it will no longer be on sale.

Stay safe and vigilant!



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