Once upon a time, gangsters hellbent on earning “crazy money” would peddle drugs to their community from the backs of their car. But these days, it appears the gangsters have instead taken to peddling greatly overpriced hand sanitizer and toilet paper — sometimes from their car, and other times from the Internet.
Veritable gangsters like two Tennessee brothers who tried to earn big profits from the coronavirus crisis (kind of like Democrats) by purchasing thousands of bottles of much-needed hand sanitizer and then reselling them for unbelievably high prices on Amazon:
Somebody on Amazon said $150 for two 1 liter bottles of hand sanitizer ? pic.twitter.com/THy8qoHQRN
— Cassie ?? #HIVESZN (@akadevildoll) March 8, 2020
According to a profile by The New York Times published Saturday, as the coronavirus crisis unfurled at the start of the month, brothers Matt and Noah Colvin set out to empty as many stores of their hand sanitizer bottles as possible.
“Driving around Chattanooga, Tenn., they hit a Dollar Tree, then a Walmart, a Staples and a Home Depot. At each store, they cleaned out the shelves,” the outlet reported.
“Over the next three days, Noah Colvin took a 1,300-mile road trip across Tennessee and into Kentucky, filling a U-Haul truck with thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and thousands of packs of antibacterial wipes.”
Meanwhile, Matt began selling the sanitizers on Amazon for prices ranging from $8 to $70 a pop, thus earning him and his brother what he described to the Times as “crazy money.” But that all soon came to a halt once Amazon realized what was happening.
“The next day, Amazon pulled his items and thousands of other listings for sanitizer, wipes and face masks,” the Times reported, adding that the brothers are now stuck with 17,700 bottles of otherwise useless sand sanitizer.
“It’s been a huge amount of whiplash,” Matt said. “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?’”
Learn a lesson perhaps? One that it appears is apt to be learned by a vast number of other wannabe gangsters in the coming days.
An undercover investigation by Denver station KCNC conducted last week found a whole “underground network of scalpers and gougers re-selling personal hygiene items at vastly inflated prices.”
“Facebook marketplace and Craigslist are littered with ads offering personal hygiene items at increased prices,” the outlet reported. “One man was selling a bottle of hand sanitizer for $100 that normally sells for $15. Another offering a 32-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer asking for ‘best offer.'”
“Another Craigslist seller was offering to sell containers of 75 Clorox disinfecting wipes for $20 each. They normally retail for about $5. “Cash only,” wrote the seller, “No holds, first come first served.”
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The Times estimated thousands of money-hungry people have stockpiled needed goods and are now using price gouging to earn “crazy money” from them.
According to Mikeala Kozlowski, a nurse from Massachusetts who just gave birth to her first child weeks ago and has desperately been searching for hand sanitizer, every single one of these people is despicable.
“You’re being selfish, hoarding resources for your own personal gain,” she said to the paper.
Not that they seem to care. If anything, they seem to be awfully concerned with their own self-made anguish.
Take the case of Chris Anderson, a Pennsylvania man who bought 10,000 medical face masks from stores and began selling them for $40 to $50 a pop, earning $25,000 in profit.
“Mr. Anderson is now holding 500 packs of antibacterial wipes after Amazon blocked him from selling them for $19 each, up from $16 weeks earlier. He bought the packs for $3 each,” the Times notes.
Then there’s Eric, an Ohio man who also bought 10,000 masks, earning up to $40,000 in profit.
“Now he has 1,000 more masks on order, but he’s not sure what to do with them. He said Amazon had been vague about what constituted price gouging, scaring away sellers who don’t want to risk losing their ability to sell on its site,” the Times notes.
FYI, here’s how the public feels about guys like the Colvin brothers, Anderson and Eric (*Language warning):
Boo hoo. Fuck these guys.
Retail arbitrage in the digital age during a pandemic did NOT work out for them.
— Trotman’s Travels! ? (@TrotmansTravels) March 15, 2020
Oh boohoo. So what. Amazon stopped many like you who are using a pandemic to overcharge people in a time of crisis. It’s plain selfish and you deserve to be stopped.https://t.co/MWrvZPY9qx
— LylakLavender (@LavenderLylak) March 14, 2020
I don’t care if he has a wife and kid, this guy is garbage. I can’t believe we have a society where this behavior isn’t treated with the same contempt we have for muggers and con men.
— Cynthia O’Laoghaire (@RoseWrites) March 14, 2020
“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?’”
Is he expecting someone to feel sorry for him?
— Joe (@joebigapple) March 14, 2020
I can’t deal with this article knowing my sister (an ER nurse at major NYC hospital) and her coworkers are struggling and pleading for supplies. Having to use the same one mask all week long while treating patients.
— Britni (@brrriitttnnii) March 14, 2020
The way this article is written and the way the photo was taken implies that we’re supposed to feel bad for him. Honestly, he deserves it. People who take advantage of emergencies are the worst kind of people, and he deserves the financial loss that he got.
— ? Lea ? @ ????? (@LeaC_Official) March 14, 2020
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