Everywhere we go now, there is a shortage of toilet rolls, hand sanitisers and masks. Over the weekend, lots of other products have been flying off the shelf because the people are in panic buying mode.
This man in Tennesee, USA was one of the people who went store by store to hoard crucial supplies in these troubling times. Matt Colvin is a former Air Force sergeant and ever since he stopped that line of work, he became an online seller. He has made USD 90,000 (RM386,415) from selling his pandemic packs online.
Feeling very good about what he does, he and his brother then went to little shops around Tennessee to buy any available hand sanitisers. And if it wasn’t enough, they drove all the way to Kentucky, which is about 330 kilometres away, to do the same thing! That is certainly very selfish behaviour!
When they got back home, they started listing all of their haul onto sites such as Amazon and eBay. On the first day, they sold about 300 bottles of sanitisers for up to USD70 (RM300) each! The following day, karma hit him hard as Amazon suspended his account and took down all his listings. eBay did something similar as well and prohibited any sale of sanitisers and masks at all.
While people were running around looking for sanitisers and other supplies, Matt has most of them but no idea how to sell them.
According to New York Times, on Sunday morning (15 March), he donated all his products to the church and also to the first responders just as Tennessee officials started investigating him for marking up prices of essential items. The church took 2/3 of his supplies and plans to give them out to the needy in Tennessee, while a third of it goes out to the people in Kentucky.
In an interview, Matt says that he regrets doing what he did as his life is now in shambles. His house address was leaked online and he gets flooded with hate calls and e-mails from angry strangers. An example would be:
“Your behavior is probably going to end up with someone killing you and your wife and your children.”
This is certainly a case gone ugly. We would also remind people not to panic buy as it will not help deter the Covid-19 but will cause a run on supplies that keeps others from getting what they might need.
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