Hunter Hoagland, a reporter with Chattanooga NBC affiliate WRCB, spoke with the man covered in a New York Times article this week who hoarded 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer intending to resell them for as much as $70 each on Amazon and Ebay.
"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, mostly from 'little hole-in-the-wall dollar stores in the backwoods,'" the Times reported Saturday.
After Amazon and Ebay prohibited the sale of such items to combat price gouging, Colvin was left "sitting on 17,700 bottles of the stuff with little idea where to sell them."
HAPPENING NOW: Matt did not answer our calls so we went to his storage unit. The AG’s office was on the scene facilitating with the donation. This is the 3rd stop they’ve been to this morning to gather the sanitizer. @WRCB https://t.co/SLOaEwJLOj pic.twitter.com/REJPNhiSbS— Hunter Hoagland (@HunterHoagland) March 15, 2020
Matt Colvin in Hixson, TN bought 18,000 bottles of sanitizer before the shortage surrounding COVID-19.— Hunter Hoagland (@HunterHoagland) March 14, 2020
He admits to cleaning out stores in multiple states— intending to sell for profit on Amazon.
Amazon took down his listings— he says he is considering donating. @WRCB pic.twitter.com/hfg8j0u43g
This pause is incredible https://t.co/3lHGscemEe— Dan Amira (@DanAmira) March 14, 2020
WRCB HOST: Panic buying has been on the rise amid the global spread of the new coronavirus, with consumers around the world stockpiling goods like hand sanitizer, canned foods, and toilet paper. Including one man in Hixson. It's a story that is dominating national headlines after the New York Times wrote about Matt Colvin stockpiling goods amid the coronavirus outbreak. Channel 3's Hunter Hoagland talked to Matt, who bought nearly 18 thousand bottles of hand sanitizer, while many are still searching to even find one.
HUNTER HOAGLAND, WRCB: For Matt Colvin-- a pandemic meant an opportunity.
MATT COLVIN: It went 0 to 60 really fast.
HUNTER HOAGLAND: After the first COVID-19 death in the United States, Colvin went state-to-state clearing out sanitizer shelves. He now sits with 18,000 unused bottles in his home and storage unit -- while people in the Tennessee valley struggle to find one
MATT COLVIN: The bulk of it was purchased just driving around to retail stores in the Chattanooga area.
HUNTER HOAGLAND: Colvin bought the sanitizer with the intention of selling them for profit on Amazon before they took his listings down -- now, feeling the same panic as many others.
MATT COLVIN: Oh crap, is the PG way to say it.
HUNTER HOAGLAND: Even though he would not discuss on camera the exact prices he sold the sanitizer for, he told the New York Times in a recent interview that some items were listed at 70 dollars a bottle.
MATT COLVIN: The pricing on Amazon was definitely higher than retail.
HUNTER HOAGLAND: Standing in a shirt that says "family man-- family business," he says he never anticipated the struggle other families would go through because of a shortage.
Would you say you're sorry?
MATT COLVIN: Sorry for purchasing -- sorry for buying all this? ... uhh ... No, I don't think that I would.
HUNTER HOAGLAND: After facing backlash online, Colvin says he's making plans to donate the rest of the sanitizer.
MATT COLVIN: With business, there are wins and losses, and this is a situation where cutting my losses is the right thing to do.
WRCB HOST: Tennessee price gouging laws make it unlawful for individuals to charge unreasonable prices for essential goods. It's not clear if hand sanitizer is considered one of those items.