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Man stuck with 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer after Amazon suspends sales

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2020 file photo, rows of hand sanitizer are seen empty at a Walgreens in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on hand sanitizer, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, file)
FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2020 file photo, rows of hand sanitizer are seen empty at a Walgreens in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on hand sanitizer, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, file) (Post Register no sales no mags)

After the first coronavirus-related death in the United States was announced, brothers Matt and Noah Colvin scavenged stores for hand sanitizer.

The pair visited multiple stores that, amid a global pandemic, are commonly unthought-of like Dollar Tree, Staples, and a Home Depot. They emptied the shelves at every store.

The Colvin brothers continued their buy-outs over a 1,300-mile road trip across Tennesse and into Kentucky, according to The New York Times. For three days, the brothers filled a U-Haul truck with 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and packs of antibacterial wipes purchased from hole-in-the-wall dollar stores.

Upon returning home, Matt Colvin listed 300 bottles of hand sanitizer on Amazon for between $8 and $70 each.

The next day, Amazon suspended thousands of listings for sanitizer, wipes and face masks, leaving the Tennessee man with a stockpile of highly-demanded products and nowhere to sell them.

In an interview, Colvin expressed the mental whiplash he’s experienced saying “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?’”

Colvin has since decided to donate to his hand sanitizers after being unable to profiteer.


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