Online marketplace eBay has restricted sales of a raft of products in an effort to stop profiteering during the coronavirus crisis.

eBay, which had already limited sales of masks and hand sanitiser products through its emergency listing restrictions policy, widened the products covered to include toilet roll, baby formula, nappies, baby wipes and tampons.

Consumers are no longer allowed to sell such goods on eBay. Only business sellers will be permitted to retail them, “at appropriate prices”.

eBay said that since the coronavirus outbreak it had noticed “a small but growing number of sellers attempting to exploit other users by listing in-demand products at unreasonably inflated prices – an activity known as ‘price gouging” and so far has taken almost half a million items off the site and suspended “hundreds” of seller accounts. The platform has also doubled the size of its monitoring and enforcement team.

eBay UK vice-president Rob Hattrell said: “We do not tolerate price gouging on eBay. For almost two months we have been introducing increasingly tougher measures to tackle this deplorable practice and will continue to suspend the accounts of those who try to exploit other users.

“eBay is a marketplace that depends on our seller community, so we hope that these measures will deter the instances of poor behaviour we have seen. However, we will continue to review our policies, and if necessary, will take even further action to ensure customers only see fairly priced items.

“The wellbeing of our users in the UK has always and will always be eBay’s priority, and we are absolutely dedicated to ensuring everyone can find the products they need at reasonable prices during this difficult time.”