Coronavirus: Greedy brothers who hoarded 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer to make profit face investigation
As per video footage, two brothers hailing from Tennessee have been donating boxes of hand sanitizer after they were ordered to cease attempting to sell 17,700 bottles online due to suspected price increases by the state's attorney general.
The two brothers, Matt and Noah Colvin had bought the sanitizers for around $1 and had tried to sell them at as much as $70 each amid the coronavirus pandemic. The brothers say that they have "nothing to hide" in response to a state investigation that will be taking place.
The attorney general was forced to intervene after the brothers spent around $15,000 stocking up hand sanitizers and other items which are currently in high demand all thanks to the global pandemic that has already killed thousands and is likely to infect many more.
The brothers had placed the items for sale on their Amazon online store and had actually tried to sell them $70 per piece before Amazon had shut them down. As per a WRCB report, the Director of communications Tennessee Attorney General, Samantha Fisher, said, "I just want to make clear that donating the sanitizers does not mean they are off the hook legally."
"If evidence establishes they engaged in price gouging we will seek appropriate penalties," Fisher added. Both the brothers drove around 1,300 miles across the state after the first coronavirus death was reported in the US.
The Colvins saw this as a business opportunity and filled up a U-haul truck with many thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes that they "cleaned out" from various stores such as Dollar Tree, Walmart, Staples and Home Depot.
It is believed that Matt Colvin had posted around 300 bottles of sanitizer and immediately sold them all for $8- $70 each which is a much higher price than what he had bought it for, NYT reports. To Colvin, "it was crazy money".
In total, the brothers spent around $10,000 to around $15,000 in stocking up on items that are currently in high demand as the world fights off the pandemic. Matt Colvin shared, "The bulk of it was purchased just driving around to retail stores in the Chattanooga area."
Matt spoke to the Times after Amazon had shut him down, saying he would have to sell the products locally. The brothers were slammed on social media and even received death threats which led them to decide to donate the products.
While speaking to WRCB, Matt shared that he wanted to offer an apology. "If by my actions anyone was directly impacted and unable to get sanitizer because I purchased it all, I am truly sorry for that," he said.
The Tennessee Attorney General's Office confirmed that the brother's items were donated to a local church. Matt's website stated, "As of today 3/15/2020 all items referred to in the NYT article have been donated to a local church," he said.