Brothers looking to profit off coronavirus now stuck with 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer

The Colvin brothers had a hand sanitizer get rich quick scheme that went sour.

A bottle of hand-sanitizer. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

With coronavirus spreading across the world, brothers Matt and Noah Colvin planned to resell antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers in efforts to make a ton of money off the nation’s hysteria.

The Colvin brothers first started to stock up wipes and sanitizers by traveling through Tennessee and Kentucky when the first U.S. coronavirus case was reported on March 1.

Their trek led them to buy out the available stock of a Dollar Tree, Walmart, Staples, Home Depot and places described as “little hole-in-the-wall dollar stores in the backwoods,” The New York Times reported.

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Early sales of the bottles proved successful as the first 300 bottles sold between $8 and $70 apiece, considered to be multiples higher than the purchasing point.

With money rolling in, the brothers would hit a hitch as online retailers like Amazon and eBay would notice price gouging tactics and pulled the items. They now have a garage filled with over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that they are unable to sell.

“It’s been a huge amount of whiplash,” Matt Colvin 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?’”

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Amazon restricted third-party vendors from selling health and sanitation products this past Wednesday to combat price gouging and deceptive marketing.

“You are receiving this message because you are currently selling, or have previously sold, products such as disposable face masks, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes/sprays, isopropyl alcohol or related products,” a message obtained by The Verge reads. “We have implemented more stringent requirements to sell these products in our store and as a result, your offers have been removed. We are not accepting applications to sell these products at this time.”

This past Thursday, eBay would also alert sellers listings for masks and sanitation products would also be restricted due to price gouging, The Los Angeles Times reports.

“eBay is taking significant measures to block or quickly remove items on our marketplace that make false health claims,” spokeswoman Ashley Settle said in a statement. “We are making every effort to ensure that anyone who sells on our platform follows local laws and eBay policies.”