But while more and more people here in Japan are receiving their shots, some people are looking for other ways to keep safe, like panic-buying and hoarding. Panic-buying isn’t something new, or even exclusive to Japan — the No Toilet Paper Era is sure to remain in our memories for years to come.
Japan had a pretty big flour shortage last year as well, but while brick and mortar stores were flour-free, a quick glance on Japanese flea market app Mercari saw unscrupulous users offer bags of flour for sale at a significantly higher price than normal.
▼ Enjoy this cake, because the ingredients cost a small fortune.
A year on, flour stock seems to have returned to normal, but Mercari has a new hot ticket item that users are rushing to buy — canned oxygen. Usually used by athletes, mountain climbers, and those who need an oxygen boost after a workout, oxygen cans have been flying off the shelves in shops as COVID-19 cases surge.
Naturally, with any “high demand low supply” item, Mercari users have started rubbing their hands in anticipation of some quick cash grabs. According to retailers Iwatani, a normal can of oxygen sells for about 700 yen (US$6.40), but listings on the site have asked for tens of thousands of yen for them.
The representative of the manufacturer was perplexed, saying, “We have had a surge of inquiries about oxygen canisters this month, and since they are not for medical …continue reading