Just yesterday I wrote an article about a grifting couple in Vancouver who were stockpiling and reselling overpriced Lysol wipes. Well, today the New York Times is reporting that a pair of brothers, Matt and Noah Colvin, stockpiled over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and soap. Immediately after the first death in America, they drove around Tennessee and bought out Dollar Tree, Walmart, Staples, and Home Depot. They repeated that shopping trip over the next three days, this time hitting stores in Kentucky and other parts of Tennessee. They even mass-ordered pallets of the same items from retailers selling in bulk on Amazon.
Once they received these items, they flipped and started reselling them online for up to $70 a bottle. The grift had started. They cleaned out the market, then attempted to cash in by reselling to desperate neighbors, friends, family, elderly, parents, and desperate schools and businesses. In contrast to the couple from Vancouver, Amazon DID act. They shut down the listings and suspended the sellers. Ebay did the same.
Now the grifting Colvin boys are sitting on over 17,000 bottles of desperately needed items and they cannot sell them.
Colin told the New York Times:
“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?’”
Do I feel bad? No. Should you? No.
To be clear, Matt and Noah Colvin, and Manny Ranga and his wife, Violeta Perez are not alone. Hustlers and scammers walk among us, always looking for a way to make a buck. Hello, one of the biggest grifters is currently occupying the White House!
Thousands of people nationwide have amassed despicable stockpiles of sanitizer, masks and soap, thereby depriving truly needy people from having them. Hospitals are in desperate need of masks and gloves, with some only having a few days of gloves left. ICU staff are having to clean their masks and hoods with bleach because they cannot afford to throw them away when stock is so low. Meanwhile, these walking piles of human feces have filled their sheds and garages with these items in the hopes of making a few dollars while people are LITERALLY dying.
After widespread condemnation, Amazon laid out strict rules about how they would handle this price gouging, going so far as to "restrict[ing][/ing] sales of any coronavirus-related products from certain sellers."
Amazon said in a statement:
“Price gouging is a clear violation of our policies, unethical, and in some areas, illegal. In addition to terminating these third party accounts, we welcome the opportunity to work directly with states attorneys general to prosecute bad actors.”
Price gouging is actually illegal in many states. An official from the Attorney General of Washington's office told the New York Times that they believe they could "apply the state’s consumer-protection law to sue platforms or sellers, even if they aren’t in Washington, as long as they were trying to sell to Washington residents."
Karma, please come for these hustlers.