Coronavirus: Panic-buyers bidding thousands for toilet paper on eBay

In preparation for a possible COVID-19 apocalypse, panic-buyers are stockpiling toilet paper at an alarming rate - forcing companies to assure no one will be without their beloved soft-touch toilet tissue amid the crisis.

Australians are particularly frenzied, with supermarkets Coles, Aldi, Woolworths and Costco reportedly setting restrictions on how much toilet paper a customer can buy. Footage on social media shows barren shelves as people flock to stock up on essentials in case of potential self-isolation. 

Recent listings on eBay Australia show a number of users attempting to cash in on their bulk-buy bog roll - and people are actually bidding.

On one listing, the top bidder has offered AU$10,100 (NZ$10,500) for a 20-pack of Quilton, showing just how priceless toilet paper has become. 

The "Quilton three-ply white toilet paper 20-pack softness white 180-sheet 1110cm" has attracted 57 bidders, with international postage an additional AU$106.20.

The seller, who lives in Melbourne, has a 98.9 percent rating based on previous sales.

A 24-pack of three-ply Quilton toilet paper has also been listed with a starting bid of $15,000.

A nine-pack of Quilton, with a set price of AU$300, is currently on 11 people's watchlists.

"Even if you're not freaked out about a pandemic, you worry that everyone else is & they'll stockpile," a US economics professor explained the toilet paper psychology to Twitter on Wednesday (NZ time).

"You don't want to be the left paperless. So you stockpile to avoid being shut out by others.

"So you run and get toilet paper not because you need dozens of rolls, but because you fear that others are going to stockpile leaving none for you.

"And they’re buying because they fear (correctly) that you're running to the store to stock up, leaving none for them."

So in case shit really hits the fan and everyone is forced into self-isolation, maybe try stocking up on your savings - because toilet paper is going to come at a cost.