Canadian Couple Made Over $70K Reselling Lysol Wipes On Amazon: 'We're Hustlers'
A Canadian couple claim to have made around $100,000 ($72,000 USD) by bulk-buying Lysol wipes, and then re-selling the products at inflated prices on Amazon, the Toronto Star reported.
Manny Ranga and his wife, Violeta Perez, of Vancouver told the publication they began their price gouging scheme weeks ago when they realized they could capitalize on the coronavirus and the fear it has instilled in people.
They realized their opportunity right away.
During their first shopping trip, they were stopped in a Costco parking lot by a woman who offered them double for their purchased supplies.
That was when the duo spied the perfect opportunity to make some money, and they set off to buy as many packs of Lysol wipes from stores in their area as possible.
Whenever they saw new shipments of wipes and cleaning liquid coming in, Ranga and Perez would load up their truck. They didn't bother bulk-buying toilet paper though, because it's difficult to store and ship.
The couple estimates they spent around $70,000 buying up their collection of Lysol wipes.
They then turned around and sold their stash online.
While one six-pack of wipes retails for around $20 at Costco, Ranga and Perez were selling them online for as much as four times that amount.
For reselling, they turned to Amazon.
Their Amazon marketplace account, "Violeta & Sons trading ltd," was reportedly listing the wipes at various amounts, with one costing buyers $89 (around $62 USD). In total, they made over $100,000 ($72,000 USD).
Ranga told the Star that he and his wife know their "business" is going to be short-lived.
"It's a big opportunity with all these products," he explained. "I've got to pay the bills. With a regular job, I won't be making this money... I know it won't last forever."
His wife added, "Everything we do, we're in the moment. We're hustlers."
However, these "hustlers" were soon out of the business after Star published their story and it went viral.
Word quickly spread about the Canadian couple who were cashing in on public fear during such a delicate time.
Which prompted Amazon to disable their account, officially shutting down Violeta & Sons trading ltd.
"There is no place for price gouging on Amazon," the company said in a statement on its website.
Last week, Vancouver Premier John Horgan condemned re-sellers like Ranga and Perez.
“I’m profoundly disappointed in people who are hoarding and then selling online," he said at a press conference. "I think that’s just offensive and most people would bristle on that.”
More and more online marketplaces are cracking down.
The online buy-and-sell site Kijiji has also announced it will be banning listings for toilet paper, hand sanitizer, face masks and other items to prevent price gouging. Facebook has also banned the sale of face masks through its website.
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