If You Can’t Find Hand Sanitizer And Toilet Paper In Your Local Store, You Can Thank This Guy
by Scott Faith
I guess you could call it karma. A man who contributed to the shortage of protective cleaning goods during the COVID19 pandemic by buying them in bulk and then re-selling them at grossly inflated prices is now out of business. And after he was shut down he had over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and a stockpile of other cleaning materials still in stock.
As reported in the New York Times, the Colvin brothers in Tennessee logged thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars driving around Tennessee and Kentucky, buying up all of the hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, and other supplies that they could find After clearing the shelves of these products, they then sold the items online, in some cases for several times its pre-corona-crisis value.
One of the reasons people were willing to pay outrageous prices for these types of things is because people like the Colvins created an artificial shortage by hoarding all of the supply. So if you can’t get hand sanitizer or toilet paper at your local store, you can thank the Colvins and people like them who are seeking to profit of of the panic of their fellow citizens.
Soon, however, Amazon and EBay got wise to these price gouging schemes and banned the Colvins and many other merchants. So then there are over 17,000 products taking up space in a garage in Tennessee–and countless other locations around the US–with no easy way to get them into the high-demand market that the speculators and price gougers helped create. That, of course, creates an even-greater shortage, since soon none of these high demand items will be available on the open market at any price, until producers can react.
After finding out that he was being investigated for illegal price gouging by their state’s attorney general, the Colvin brothers donated approximates 2/3 of their hoard to the local community… the same one that their prior actions deprived of these goods in the first place. The State of Tennessee confiscated the remainder.