Where to go when your stock of household essentials runs out

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, we see bare shelves everywhere.

As COVID cases continue to rise in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, people are starting to panic buy again across Australia. And these high levels of demand combined with supply issues are leading to stock-outs everywhere.

Aussies are stocking up on everything from toilet paper and hand sanitiser to face masks, bleach and beyond. The threat of catching COVID and running out of these essential household items while having to self-isolate is sending the country into a spiral.

Although the concern is real, the need for several months of home supplies is unnecessary. However, it is undeniable that the products currently in short supply are those that no household can do without.

With that in mind, we’ve created a roundup of all those hard-to-find products. We have also spotted some reputable online stores that currently have stock available. Scroll to find out more.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT)

  • Kogan- Order now

  • HiCraft- Order now

  • Werko- Order now

  • Amazon – Sold out

  • Clinical Supplies – RAT – Sold out

  • Little Whales – Order now

  • Rapid Antigen Australia – Order now

  • Woolworth- Sold out

  • Socket – Sold out

  • Healthy life – Sold out

  • Chemist Warehouse – Sold out

  • COVIDtestonline – Sold out

  • Quick proof – Sold out

  • AUSTIC – Order now

  • MyDeal.com.au – Sold out

  • Coles- Sold out

  • Medical cart – Order now

Always as eager for life to return to normal, customers snapped up rapid antigen tests as soon as the stock arrived. As a result, we are seeing many customer reports of missed deliveries and disappointments.

In an effort to help you, we have created a guide which is updated hourly by our teams 24 hours a day. For those looking for where to buy a rapid antigen test online, with fast delivery and real physical stock right now, check out this guide.

Toilet paper

A staple that no home should be without. Toilet paper is one of those must-have products that we tend to take for granted until it’s no longer readily available. Bare shelves of toilet paper have caused chaos among shoppers. Which is understandable given that no one can really live without it.

If you’re looking to replenish your stock of toilet paper rolls, look to eBay, Amazon or AliExpress. These multi-vendor platforms have abundant inventory right now. See our guide for more information on where to buy toilet paper online.

Hand sanitizer

One of the best ways to protect yourself from infection is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water. That said, there are a bunch of times when you won’t have immediate access to soap and water. This is when a bottle of hand sanitizer really comes in handy.

As a result, this is another key product that is proving impossible to find in your local grocery stores. If you want to pick up a bottle or two of hand sanitizer to prepare for when needed, check out Touch Australia, Nourished Life or Biogenic Health Australia. All of these retailers have excellent stock levels right now. Other online sources for anyone buying hand sanitizer online can be found here.

Face masks

Face masks are still a mandatory requirement for many Australians in any indoor setting outside their own homes. In New South Wales, anyone over the age of 12 must wear a face covering in the majority of indoor settings, and in Victoria this applies to anyone over the age of 8. Western Australia’s stance is only slightly relaxed and anyone over the age of 12 must wear a face mask when entering any high-risk environment, including hospitals, residential care facilities and airports.

With that in mind, many Australians feel the need to ensure they have a steady supply of face masks. This, along with supply chain issues, is why we are now seeing store shelves stripped of face masks. Don’t panic though! There are a bunch of online retailers that have plenty of stock available.

Check out our online guide to where to buy face masks for a full roundup of retailers that currently have stock. Or, you can simply head to Etsy, Clear Collective, or Quality Medical Supplies now to easily replenish your supply.


When it comes to killing bacteria in your home, bleach is one of those must-have products. It is convenient for deep cleaning, stain removal, disinfecting surfaces and toys, etc. These versatile qualities have put bleach on our radar as being in high demand right now.

If your local grocery store shelves are seriously short of bleach bottles, look to online retailers instead. Chemist Warehouse, Amazon and eBay are just a few of the options to consider when buying bleach online. Check out our full list of online destinations with abundant bleach supply here.


The general lack of groceries and fresh produce on the shelves right now is definitely disappointing. This is less due to panic buying and more due to the large number of truck drivers who have to self-isolate at the moment. However, this still turns out to be a problem.

If you’re struggling to find your favorite groceries in-store or can’t self-isolate, why not try ordering online? Amazon, eBay and Catch all offer regular deals on pantry essentials to keep costs to a minimum. And, if you want to check out our full list of online grocery specialists, just click through to our guide.

And, if you’re looking for inspiration to mix up your weekly menu, you can always try meal subscription services like HelloFresh and Marley Spoon. Get fresh ingredients and tasty recipes delivered to your door when you need them.

What is a supply chain?

We’re hearing a lot about issues in the supply chain when it comes to everything from rapid antigen tests to household essentials right now. A supply chain is a sequence of steps that lead to the final product being accessible to us.

The key stages of a supply chain include:

  • Planning. Inventory and manufacturing processes must be carefully planned to ensure that supply and demand are satisfactorily balanced.
  • Manufacturing. Materials must be sourced and processed to create the final product.
  • Assembly. The original materials must be assembled and tested to ensure that the product meets the specification requirements.
  • Packaging. The product must then be packaged ready for shipment.
  • Transport. Once shipped, the finished product must be delivered to distributors and retailers.
  • Replenishment. When the delivery has been received by a retailer, the inventory should be checked, verified and then posted ready for purchase.

Any break in this chain can easily lead to unfortunate stock-outs.

About Nicole Harmon

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