Guy banned for overpriced items, now stuck with 17,000 hand sanitizers he can't sell

A guy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, tried to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic but he’s now stuck with 17,000 hand sanitizers he can’t sell after Amazon and eBay banned him for overpricing.
Guy banned for overpriced items, now stuck with 17,000 hand sanitizers he can't sell

As millions of people across the world fear getting infected by COVID-19, there are also many who are trying to profit from the pandemic because they know that people would be forced to buy the goods even at much higher prices. Matt Colvin was among these people – and he actually succeeded on his first try.

Back in early February when the virus was still largely ignored by most of the world’s population, Matt was able to get his hands on a ‘pandemic pack’ from a nearby liquidation firm who was selling 2,000 packs for $5 each. He offered to buy everything for a discounted price of $3.50 each. Eager to dispose the items, the company agreed.

Matt, a 36-year-old former Air Force technical sergeant who’s enjoying a six-figure career through online selling, posted the items on eBay. Each pack came with 50 face masks, four small bottles of hand sanitizer and a thermometer. Everything was sold out in a matter of days, even if he sold each pack for at least $50!

Hoarding hand sanitizers

Seeing the demand for these medical supplies, especially after the US saw its first death to COVID-19 on March 1, Matt and his brother Noah went to every major store in their city to buy out all the hand sanitizers.

Projecting that more people will be buying in the coming days, the two decided to seek out other stores in the state. The brothers even took a U-haul truck to store their hoard as they traveled across Tennessee.

Then, Matt stayed at home to start posting the items on eBay and Amazon while Noah spent the next days going as far as Kentucky in a 1,300-mile trip to add to their hoard.

Guy banned for overpriced items, now stuck with 17,000 hand sanitizers he can't sell
Photo credit: Doug Strickland / The New York Times – Yahoo! News

“The major metro areas were cleaned out,” Matt happily shared.

After packing up the crates and arranging everything at his home, Matt began posting the items for sale. The items sold like hotcakes, even if he increased the prices to as high as $70 each, sometimes even more!

Banned by Amazon and eBay

What he didn’t know is that Amazon and eBay have began cracking down on sellers for price gouging – and his listings on the overpriced hand sanitizers were removed just a day after he posted them. Shocked, Matt realized that he has a haul over 17,000 hand sanitizers, with no one to sell them to.

“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?’” he admitted.

But many people felt no sympathy for him, even saying that this is karma for his heartless profiteering in the middle of the pandemic.

panic buying around the globe
Photo Credit: Yahoo News Australia

Matt doesn’t think he is doing anything wrong. He said that even if buys an item for $1 but selling it for $20 or more, the people are simply paying him for his labor.

“I honestly feel like it’s a public service. I’m being paid for my public service,” he explained. He hopes he can still sell the items locally.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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