In the midst of the COVID-19 scare, many people resorted to panic-buying and others even took advantage of the situation and hoarded sanitary items in order to sell them at much higher prices.
One of the people guilty of this act is Matt Colvin. Along with his brother Noah, back on March 1, just a day after the report of the first coronavirus death in the US, the two went on a trip to buy as many hand sanitizers as they could.
Then, Matt started to list the items he bought for sale on Amazon, one of the most popular online shopping sites in the US. Matt said he had posted 300 bottles of hand sanitizer and immediately sold them all for between $8 and $70 each, multiples higher than what he had bought them for.
To Matt, it was “crazy money” but, to many others, he was one of the people who, instead of giving chance for others to buy the sanitary products too bought it all and is profiteering from a pandemic.
After receiving many reports about these resellers selling products at a much higher price, Amazon made their move. According to Yahoo News, Amazon pulled Matt’s items and thousands of other listings for sanitizer, wipes and face masks.
The company suspended some of the sellers behind the listings and warned many others that if they kept running up prices, they’d lose their accounts. eBay soon followed with even stricter measures, prohibiting any U.S. sales of masks or sanitizer.
Now, while millions of people search in vain for hand sanitizer to protect themselves from the spread of the coronavirus, Colvin is sitting on 17,700 bottles of the stuff with little idea where to sell them.
In his interview with The New York Times, Matt said, “It’s been a huge amount of whiplash. From being in a situation where what I’ve got coming and going could potentially put my family in a really good place financially to ‘What the heck am I going to do with all of this?’”
Matt is just one of the thousands of sellers who amassed all these hand sanitizers, face masks, soap, and even vitamins for their own sake without realizing their profit-inclined minds greatly affect the well-being of the whole of the people in the US and even the rest of the world.
May Matt’s experience serve as a lesson to all other sellers out there that it is never good to aim for so much profit especially in this time of a pandemic outbreak. What we need is every single person to be safe and the only way to do that is to give everyone equal chances to purchase this stuff needed for everyday hygiene.