Toilet paper becomes Amazon 'best seller' ahead of Covid lockdown

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As Victoria announced another snap 7-day coronavirus lockdown, Melbourne supermarkets have already seen many of their shelves stripped of toilet paper.

For the next week, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for five essential reasons; work or education, essential shopping, two-hour exercise, medical treatment or assistance, and to get vaccinated.

Shoppers have loaded up on toilet paper ahead of a snap lockdown. Source: Twitter
Shoppers have loaded up on toilet paper ahead of a snap lockdown. Source: Twitter

The unnecessary rush for loo roll has also appeared to spread to online, with Amazon Australia's top three best sellers in the Health, Household & Personal Care category as of Thursday afternoon being various brands of toilet paper. With one of them already temporarily 'out of stock'.

Face masks and tissues are also some of the most popular on the online marketplace.

Amazon toilet paper out of stock
One of the toilet paper best sellers is already temporarily 'out of stock'. Photo: Amazon

"So over idiots panic buying, there is no need for this," was one frustrated comment on social media on Thursday.

Supermarkets rushed to assure customers there will not be any shortages of essential items, with Coles asking shoppers to "stay calm", telling Yahoo there were no plans of introducing any stock limits for Victoria.

Amazon offers free delivery on its top selling Quilton toilet paper, and can even get face masks delivered to you within a day. At the time of publishing, the online still had stock available of its Quilton 3 Ply Toilet Tissue Pack of 45.

Quilton 3 Ply Toilet Tissue Pack of 45
Quilton 3 Ply Toilet Tissue Pack of 45 is still available for $20. Photo: Amazon

You can also still get the Quilton 4 Ply Toilet Tissue Pack of 30, and TINAWELLS 50Pcs Face Masks.

The reason people are panic buying toilet paper

At the peak of the pandemic shops in Japan, the US and New Zealand were also running low on the precious sanitary rolls. In Hong Kong in 2020, ambitious thieves even held up a supermarket to steal a delivery.

But why toilet paper?

Niki Edwards, School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, told Yahoo News previously that toilet paper symbolises control. 

"We use it to “tidy up” and “clean up”. It deals with a bodily function that is somewhat taboo," she said.

"When people hear about the coronavirus, they are afraid of losing control. And toilet paper feels like a way to maintain control over hygiene and cleanliness."

David Savage, from Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, added toilet paper was the "perfect product". 

"It is completely non-perishable and one of the few products that you can stock up on that you are guaranteed to use eventually."

Yahoo Lifestyle Australia is in partnership with Amazon Australia and some of the links in this article may return revenue.

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