The omicron variant has been causing chaos all over the country. Not only are infections at an all-time high, but thousands of flights have been canceled, creating a situation that is rife with scams.
Many people are desperate to get tested and have turned to at-home testing. These inexpensive tests can be delivered to your doorstep without going out in public.
But at-home tests are in such high demand, that several businesses have been accused of price gouging. Read on for ways to get your hands on a reasonably priced test kit.
Here’s the backstory
At-home tests were readily available through online retailers like Amazon or local pharmacies for most of the pandemic. But when supply shortages come into play, it creates an unfair pricing system.
When demand is high and supply is limited, the price of an item could skyrocket. And that is precisely what has been happening with at-home tests in the U.S. It has become so bad that businesses, from liquor stores to restaurants, are selling kits on food delivery apps at inflated prices.
According to Vice, a New York liquor store is selling a testing kit on Seamless for $80. The two-pack Binax rapid tests usually sell for around $24.
But there are other ways to find in-stock test kits at reasonable prices. Some tools and websites keep track of stock levels across various retail outlets. Once you set up an alert for something, the website will let you know when, where, and for how much it is in stock.
What you can do about it
Websites like NowInStock.net, Zoolert, and HotStock.io can be used to track anything from COVID-19 at-home tests to computer components. The sites keep an eye on retailers like Walgreens, Walmart and Amazon to alert you to availability.
It is important to note that NowInStock.net can’t track stock levels for local stores. It only tracks online sales shipped to residential addresses. To start tracking at-home kits, you need an account.
- Go to NowInStock.net to register your account.
- Enter your email address, a secure password and tick the agreement box.
- When successful, you’ll receive an email to confirm your account. Open the mail from NowInStock and read through it carefully, only clicking on Confirm if you agree with the terms.
- You can now go back to the main website and log into your account.
Your account dashboard is where you manage settings, alerts, and products for tracking. On the left-hand panel, you can choose whether you want to receive email alerts or text messages. The website also encourages users to make use of Telegram or Discord.
To add items to your alert list:
- Click on Add Items [+] to your account in the middle of the screen.
- At the top of the page is a drop-down menu. Use it to navigate to the product category and item. COVID-19 test kits are found under the Home & Appliances section, and then under the Health & Household heading.
- After the page loads, a list of retailers will be displayed that sell at-home kits. To add a specific item to your account, click on the Add Item button next to your preferred store.
But tracking test kits on the site does come with a warning. The website warns that “this tracker has reached critical mass,” which can cause delays in alerts being delivered.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.