Is It Immoral to Increase the Price of Goods During a Crisis?

Mar 16, 2020 · 516 comments
D Cam (Delaware)
They should be punished. Hoarding up then price gouging Isa crime and wrong. I'm not sure why this is even a question.
j (WA)
I believe that it's immoral for the Colvin brothers to take advantage of a situation where sanitizing products and other household items are in demand and more people are becoming unemployed due to quarantine, but I don't believe he should be punished by law. While he is also paying for the products in full price, by selling them for higher, families with low income or none at all during this time will struggle with finding anything affordable for their home. I would understand that this would often occur with resellers for collectibles because they're something that people will often seek out and willingly pay the price just to own something rare and will probably sell for more as time passes, but sanitizing products are something that is essential to medical facilities. Though this is a selfish act, he did not steal the products, the article states, "Nowhere to Sell Them," he's already at a disadvantage because not many are buying the price-gouged products, so he is looking to donate.
R (Mezache)
I do not think Mr. Colvin should be punished. While at first glance it may seem selfish, he could be doing a service for the economy. With many businesses and stores shut down, the economy has slowed down drastically. By increasing the prices as well as buying as hand sanitizer from stores in bulk, he could be generating cash flow, which would give the economy more momentum during the pandemic.
cali (IN)
I think Mr. Colvin and other people that take advantage are taking advantage and that is just not right. some people don't have the money to afford how much money people are selling this. Also they are not providing a service because buying something for less and then selling it for more like that is just wrong. I personally think that online compannies did a good job with banning people who do that and Mr. Colvin should be punnished.
Daysha (Chicago)
I personally believe that they are taking advantage of this pandemic. Not a lot of people have enough money to afford most of the essential products that they need to be provided, such as {Hand Sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and ,many more.} This is a very serious, and deadly pandemic which has already caught over 10 million cases already. Not providing the right amount of money for a single United States citizen is not okay. Not even just in the United States, they could also provide these essential needs to other places outside of the U.S. their covid-cases might not be as high but there's not telling if and/or when their cases will start to rise.
Jonathan (Chicago)
I feel like he should provide those supplies to other states because Tennessee has less deaths than other states.For example Illinois has more cases and deaths. There should be a limit for how many items you can buy because people just go overboard and buy as much as possible. He would not like it if it was him trying to get these items and find the item 20 times the original amount. This is just unfair for the people that actually need these items.
Laila Hall (Chicago)
Online retailers like Amazon and eBay has a lot of responsibility when it comes to this pandemic. I say this because they have to make sure everybody items get to the correct location and make sure nothing is wrong with items they are buying. No I don't think companies are doing the right thing by restricting corona-virus related products from certain sellers because a lot of people go into many other stores than stores that has corona-virus related supplies. For example many women and men go into clothing stores and if clothing store are selling products that will help them during this pandemic the shoppers will be able to shop for clothing and supplies which mean they don't have to travel around the world to get clothing and resources that get them through this pandemic.
Laila Hall (Chicago)
Online retailers like Amazon and eBay have a lot of responsibility when it comes to this pandemic. I say this because they have to make sure everybody gets to the correct location and make sure nothing is wrong with items they are buying. No, I don't think companies are doing the right thing by restricting corona-virus related products from certain sellers because a lot of people go into many other stores than stores that have corona-virus related supplies. For example many women and men go into clothing stores and if clothing stores are selling products that will help them during this pandemic the shoppers will be able to shop for clothing and supplies which mean they don't have to travel around the world to get clothing and resources that get them through this pandemic.
Christian (Miles Davis)
I think that raising the prices of goods is not a good thing because some people may not be able to afford it and you shouldn´t up a price on something necessary. What if some people need hand sanitizer or other goods but can not afford it cause the price is too high? People should leave the prices how they are or hand them out for free so everyone can be safe. Hoarding all of the goods and trying to make a profit is just heartless and selfish.
Argel (Chicago)
Raising prices for critical items is unfair, don't you think? I think it is unfair, people are becoming self-centered without even knowing it. They are sweeping stores, taking every last product. They leave behind nothing for hospitals, the ill. It is most important during the pandemic because the economy, is dropping and people are unable to buy products that used to be so cheap from strangers who are raising the price tenfold of what it was initially priced. Mr.Colvin should have not bought everything from the stores in the first place. He should not be punished because like other people he could have been in desperation and was confused about how to get money yet h should serve at least some community service or get fined for his actions of selfishness.
Sophia Conorquie (Chicago)
The high demand for hand sanitizer and masks is necessary because this is a world wide high spreading pandemic that can kill you and those who you love. So, people would want to protect themselves and their families but making higher prices for these necessities is terrible because some people already don’t have enough money to buy these things at regular price and for you to buy everything in stores and higher the price to $70 is insensitive and careless. Also the people who have the money to pay for these things shouldn’t have to go online and spend way more than you need to to buy these necessities. Also you are buying everything in the store and you don't even need all of these things you're taking things from other people that they might need at the moment and that also does not help with the coronavirus taking all the necessities from the store and trying to sell them for higher prices just takes away protection from other people so they can get sick.
Jocelyn (Chicago)
I don't think they are providing good service, not only people online but also in person stores, now it is a mask for a dollar but before it was 1 dollar for 50 masks. I think Mr. Colvin was wrong because he would be better off letting other people buy the items like in places where they are more needed.
Nevaeh (lol)
Prices need to stay the same or go lower so things cant get out of hand. many people have lost thier jobs because of the crisis.😭
Jonathan Meza (Glenbard West High school)
Crisis or not, increasing the price for things is usually bad. If people still make the same amount of money, but things start to increase, everything will go downhill because people won’t be able to afford anything. And with this crisis going on, prices need to stay the same or go lower so things can’t get out of hand. Many people have lost there jobs because of the crisis so having to pay for things will make a damage on people savings. During this crisis, the best thing the government should do, is lowering the prices of things, and then go off from there. Well as of right now, prices have gone to there regular price, but some things are still on sale or the price is now down.
Kesar (New York)
An increase in prices of goods has always been an issue whether its the time of a pandemic or a normal regular where lots of people die opposing capitalism and protesting and asking for justice. Obviously, people need to be safe and for that, they need to take safety measures to go out on the roads. Nobody allows anyone in their stores or even in a line a person without a mask, so people have to have a mask in order to keep himself and others safe. But now the question arises that should people think about their own lives or help each other together because saying it doesn’t mean that you are together in this. When Colvin decided to buy all of the hand sanitizers at a low price and sell it off at higher, he thought about his profit but also didn’t feel guilty enough to sell them off at a high price thinking about the time and hard work it takes to ship them off to people to different parts of the world and people thinking the stores have nothing, buy it online from people like Colvin and have them let their profit. They are not wrong after all they have bought it from the stores and selling it to people to get back the money they paid to the store, just with a little extra hint of money. But this time is different, there is a whole pandemic going on, you don’t know when you touch the wrong thing and when you are no more. It’s a matter of life and death and this is what people don’t understand. You have a whole life to earn as much as you can, so why now? Yes, it is immoral.
Taylor (Brooklyn, NY)
It's immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis because the economy is decreasing and it is a necessity. Over charging for things like mask, hand sanitizer, and gloves is immoral because they are high demand for a reason and many need it to ensure that they are safe when going out or just being around others. Many have lost their jobs and when over charging for necessities that people need to stay safe. By Mr. Calvin buying more than his fair share of items and over pricing them he isn't helping anyone and hospitals are running low on supplies. Mr.Calvin is just trying to make a profit and isn't thinking about the well being of others especially the ones that may need it the most.
Bryan (New York)
@Taylor This is a great response!! I really like the grammar and persuasive writing from you. I agree with what you say and you show great evidence which can bring people's attention.
William Sinacori (Glenda Dawson High School)
Panic-buying and hoarding high-demand items led many online sellers to hyperinflate prices. Concerned by the spread of price gouging, Nicas presents data and anecdotes to educate his readers about this practice. Nicas’ article serves to enlighten about internet price gouging during the COVID pandemic. Price gouging exacerbates difficulties for many people already facing hard times. Low-income families are hit hardest by these practices. They cannot afford the higher prices for high-demand items, which are often necessities: disinfectants, batteries, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and gasoline. In crises, people panic not knowing if they will be able to get goods. They turn to hoarding, making shortages even worse, particularly for those lacking sufficient transportation. Some claim price gouging encourages consumers stockpile essentials and be prepared. But, many don’t have the means to bulk purchase and store items. The handicapped and elderly can’t carry bulk packages; small apartments can’t fit large stashes; and people living paycheck to paycheck can’t afford to buy ahead. Price gouging in disasters is immoral. It victimizes the poor. We must re-examine how price gouging is tackled in the age of the internet. An internet seller must be compensated for his shipping and web costs, but not immorally and unjustly price gouge. As Nicas also fails to stipulate, the most vulnerable members of our community must be protected from internet profiteering pirates.
Kevin Sanchez (Sunset Park High school)
High demand does not justify increasing the prices of necessities and it does not make it a "public service". Although times are tough right now for most financially, what Mr. Colvin did to make a quick buck is immoral. Take nurse Kozlowski as an example of who he is really ripping off; pregnant women and people that are prone to catching the virus. Going outside is a threat to their health, especially at the start of the pandemic when Mr. Colvin decided to clear shelves of masks, hand sanitizers, and wipes. Online shopping is the safest option for people who are a face physical challenges. Mr. Calvin used this new online demand for the items he hoarded for himself to multiply the price of the goods for people who need them like nurses. As stated in the article, hospitals are running out of supplies like masks and hand sanitizer, these doctors and nurses are risking their health to assist the hundreds of thousands of people who are ill. Not every person in the hospital is paid the same or as much as they should be, selling a bottle of hand sanitizer for $50 does not help them at all. Just because Mr. Colvin pays for $10 shipping and goes through a process to sell these products does not make this a public service, it's narcissism. He isn't looking to help the public, he's looking for a profit. It was a good decision for companies like Amazon and eBay to prevent Mr. Colvin from ripping off more people in need.
Bibi (Sunset park high school)
Yes because a lot of people lost their jobs and living through paycheck. I find it disgusting for someone to take advantage of a crisis to profit off of it. This time is really hard for people. Some people’s don’t even know when they gonna be able to afford their next meal and for things to get so expensive is really hard for some of us.
Kesar (New York)
@Bibi I truly believe your thoughts and agree with them. People nowadays don't know whether they are going to survive the next day or not and at this time thinking about profit is really not fair and I personally feel this has caused most of us to think before we buy something depending on the budget and the will to remain alive. It has been hard and difficult for us as you said to afford the next meal which is not acceptable and is immoral in such a crisis where a pandemic has covered the world and we are not the death ladder.
Evelyn Pintus (Sarasota FL)
I think it's terrible that there are people who are buying out supplies that people genuinely need, like hand sanitizers and medical masks, just to sell for a higher profit. It's horribly cruel that sellers such as Mr. Colvin are selling hand sanitizers for $70 a unit while others who desperately need these may not be able to afford them. Not only are people doing this taking away resources from the public, but they are making it hard for health care workers and grocery store employees to get what they need. Nearly everyone in the country has suffered financially due to the virus, but marking up essential items should not be the solution.
Jennifer (NC)
I find it extremely unsettling that there are many people who are buying out and hoarding supplies, such as hand sanitizers and medical masks, just to sell for a higher profit. It's rather cruel that sellers such as Mr. Colvin are selling hand sanitizers for $70 a unit while the US is experiencing the most severe unemployment crisis in history. Not only are sellers such as Colvin taking away resources from the public, but also is making it very difficult for essential workers such as health care and grocery store employees to get the protection they need. It is important that online retailers such as Amazon and eBay should do their part in preventing these sellers from monopolizing the market. Nearly everyone in the country has been impacted financially by the virus, and I understand that some people are going to greater lengths to make money, but marking up essential goods should not be what people turn to.
Mary (NC)
Mr. Colvin’s act was immoral; he should not have taken advantage of a dire situation, such as a pandemic. What he did was unfair to other people seeking the supplies Colvin hoarded and stockpiled. Higher demand for items during a public health crisis does not justify marking up prices extensively, especially as some citizens are unable to work during self-quarantine (within their homes). When prices are raised, those facing financial hardships due to the pandemic are at a significant disadvantage. It is unfair for those with insufficient funds to have to pay higher prices because they are unavailable in stores. Colvin did not need to obtain an extensive supply of hand sanitizer, but Mr. Colvin explains that he is striving to help the community through his "public service." If Colvin's intentions are pure and good-hearted, he could have found an alternative solution for people to access the items without an increase in price. When he first thought about a possible business opportunity, he saw people as customers or a means to an end. Colvin originally wanted to make a profit during this time and did not respect them as individuals who needed an essential material. Initially, Colvin's actions appeared extremely selfish. However, now that he seeks to donate his copious supply of hand sanitizers and masks, he can correct his past behaviors and make his situation more beneficial to others.
Ellie P. (california)
I do believe what the Colvin brothers did was wrong. He definitely took advantage of those in need
Jayda (sarasota fl)
I think it is immortal to resell items for more during times like this. People are taking advantage of others. Many people are losing their jobs and do not have the money to pay 20 bucks for toilet paper. This forces people to buy the products because its all essential items that prices are being raised.
Jordyn (Booker High School)
I think it’s wrong to resell items for more because it’s being greedy. People are losing their jobs and do not have money for $20 hand sanitizer. Especially since it’s not in stores due to the pandemic, I would rather make my own for a lot less.
Gio (Las Santos custom)
I think that it is wrong to resell things people need at a higher price for a profit. People like that leave stores empty with out supplies and people will have to pay for it at higher prices.
Yadira Gaytan (Oregon)
While reading this article and noticing the amount of materials he get just to sell online 2x the amount it coast at stores. As well thinking and realizing that theirs people that cant even have just one bottle of hand sanitizer for their family. When he started selling the materials he should of been less stubborn and cell it at a reasonable price, and even more during these hard times. We should be supporting each other. And when being in stores we should be reasonable and stock up on supplies for the month and not for a year. Other family´s cant afford to buy a lot of amounts of supplies in one run. I just believe that selfish. At least give some for your neighbors, family, homeless, hospitals to avoid the spread.
Camryn Powell (Houston)
I think is super wrong for people to gouge prices for needed material like this. It is almost criminal to me for someone to buy all of a product they know will be needed to charge people high prices to make a profit. Millions of people have lost their jobs and don't have the resources to spend high cost money to buy this stuff. I personally don't see how they can look in the mirror and call themselves Americans let alone Christians. I believe in karma and the karma they receive they will not be able to take. What if it was their family who needed the product and a stranger was buying up everything and charging them more. I don't think they would think it is right.
Juan (El Salvador)
I think that taking an advantage of this situation is immoral not only because those persons sell the products in a higher price but also because they buy large quantities of these products and leave stores without these products. This force people to buy from them and if they don’t have the money to pay they deprive them of buying it.
LV (El Salvador, not Brazil)
Lots of people agree on the immorality of their actions, "they shouldn't have increased the price to make money while people are dying because of the lack of those products they massively have", the idea goes around those lines. It is a great depiction of human kindness, an ode to a good human nature to support that idea. However, it is also a contradiction when it comes to our way of life. If we consider these acts as immoral, then we are assuming we base our morality in humanity. But, the lack of this humanity is displayed in great splendour daily. Inequalities are all around us, profit is based on other's disgrace. The products we are eager to buy come from the hard work, lots of times, underpaid and terribly alienating, of millions of faces we don't see. Is it really necessary a pandemic to realize how inhumane our systems are? It seems so. When putting humanity before economy means morality, then we become a joke. Because that is not what we do. So, is it immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis? I want to tell people yes, many people want to say yes, maybe yes is, in fact, the only answer. But, maybe, we should truly realize what saying yes means.
Jei I.T (Beaverton High School in Oregon)
What Mr. Colvin did is without a doubt immoral. Not only did he take advantage of this pandemic by essentially putting others at risk for his own personal gain, but he also didn't seem to see anything wrong with it and rather seemed to believe he was doing public service through this selfish act. Doctors and hospitals are at the most risk right now doing their best to keep us safe and they are having to ration these items. Sure, Mr. Colvin isn't the only one and many companies will find ways to profit from pandemics by taking advantage of people, but it still doesn't make it right. Doing something like this just because others do it doesn't make you any better. Colvin said, “The Dollar General in the middle of nowhere outside of Lexington, Ky., doesn’t have that” regarding the demand for supplies, but the article clearly stated they hit many stores including Dollar Tree and Walmart and that "at each store, they cleaned out the shelves." They went as far as taking "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.'" They even stated that "the major metro areas were cleaned out.” They didn't think to leave supplies for those who lived in the area or potentially couldn't have afforded to pay $20 for them. They thought selfishly and with greed. But at least now they've donated the supplies.
Victoria Crouse (Beaverton)
Jei I.T I completely agree, if he truly thought he was doing a public service he should've donated them directly. If he doesn't care about the profit like he says, "If I can make a slight profit, that's fine," and he seriously wants to get the supplies to areas of need, he should've done things differently. Yes, it can be costly, but if what he says is true he could've contacted donation center in areas of need and figured out a way to get the supplies to those areas. Like how some local transportation companies have repurposed their vehicles to deliver food and resources so they can continue to help and pay their workers.
Mary (NC)
@Jei I.T I agree. Their actions were selfish, and the way they handled the situation was done poorly. Colvin's actions are not justified because he was one of many companies attempting to profit off the public's situation. What one individual does can affect a multitude of people. If the Colvin brothers had pure intentions on helping the public, their first ideas should not have been on how to make money but rather immediately think about donating their supplies. At least now, they are taking steps toward donation.
Michelle (Florida)
I believe hoarding items like hand sanitizer and medical equipment during a pandemic is very immoral. Not only does it put the general public at risk, but it also endangers the lives of the doctors who take care of sick people. Medical professionals are people who risk their lives every day to take care of people who are suffering from the virus, and by not allowing them to have masks and santizier available to them, selfish people are making doctors' and nurses' jobs even harder. Although I know it is immoral, I also understand that it was an unavoidable part of a disaster. In any disaster, people will find a way to make a profit, whether it's by selling snake oils or raising the prices of products. No matter how immoral it is, it would've happened no matte what.
Florence (El Salvador)
During such a pandemic crise, I think that buying all those goods and re-selling them to a higher price can be considerate inmoral. This because it is searching to benefit himselves at coast of the desesperation and health of people. They could even being depriving some other people of this good. In contrast, it is more difficult to think about it as inmoral when they are provinding this products to people of other cities or countreys where they could'nt find it anymore, and it could be more understandable sell it to a higher price. This because he has to send it to other place and it could be more expensive. But even in that case maybe the solution could be freeze a price to those products considering different situations, for example a person that is sending it to other countreys, because this would be more expensive. As a result some people wouldn't put an exorbitant price, thing that can be inmoral, but at the same time, some persons wouldn't lost money by sending it to a far place.
Daniela (Houston, Texas)
If we are talking logically it is very immoral to increase prices, specially during a time like this. Do to the fact that many citizens are not able to work thus they don't have a steady income or they might not have an income at all. So increasing prices specially to items that are necessary and highly demanded for health purposes only to make a profit out of them, not only id immoral but is also selfish. This being said the thought of making a big profit out of people's misfortune by using a product that has become indispensable, is the perfect example of the american economy and how business is lacking humanity.
Cathy Truong (Portland, OR)
While this is an issue that is unavoidable, it is still morally wrong to increase the price of products that are in high demand during a time of crisis. While it is understandable that many are looking for a means of income, you must understand that you are not the only one. Many are left without a job and are struggling to provide for themselves and those around them. Increasing the price of items that are in high demand and are sold out in most stores is unethical when many would struggle to afford these products at their original price. No one should be profiting off of someone else's fears.
Lucia (El Salvador)
While the thought of making profit from an item is very criticised at the moment, we must understand that this is what everyone has been doing since the beginning. Some articles out there informed us how global companies make an enormous profit every day from every item they sell, but this did not bothered us at all. Now, the world is facing a pandemic and many are taking huge opportunities. Of course that when we see the moral part of this, we all agree that it’s not okay to stock, what is now labeled as necessity good, to sell them at an outrageous price and make profit of it, while many struggle to obtain it.
Pedro 18 (El Salvador)
It's in fact immoral and selfish but a great example of american economic vision and policies and how the Americans act in many ocations with prime resources. Even tho we can also observe a great profit opportunity many will take because of greed and people compulsive consuming spree. This on the short term might be a money injection for this people but on the long therm they are just hurting the economic balance of the community and priving those who have less from accessing basic covid-19 prevention supplies.
Sophie Woolfrey (Portland, Oregon)
I think that it is immoral and wrong to increase the price of essentials during a pandemic like this. The unemployment of American citizens is increasing day by day due to COVID-19, therefore it isn't fair to try to make people pay more for things that we need to STAY ALIVE, or save lives. If someone can't afford to be spending extra money in this time of need, the person stocking up and reselling is essentially taking lives. In this crisis, we need to support the people around us and help everyone get through this challenging time.
Carolina (El Salvador)
If we talk about immorality, such a term doesn't really exist in business. As we all know, the business industry seeks for the biggest profit and how to get it. There is no such a thing as morality or immorality, at least in this human science or area. Economy, which is of course directly linked with business industry, is one of the most greedy sciences ever created by the human kind, yet this is how the world works. If I offer a service that is very required, as a business, of course I'll be looking to fulfill my customers needs but by doing so I'll be pointing for my own benefits, which is the priority as an enterprise. Therefore the idea of increasing prices during a crisis (in this case the COVID-19) is literally having a very capitalist mind, we could even take him as an entrepreneur in a kind of way nowadays. On the contrary we have the terms of morality that we are taught as children under which taking advantage of the situation is totally often frowned upon by others. Since by doing this you are straight forward damaging or leaving unprotected other people who actually needs these goods, which shall spread terror and panic among the society causing a disaster.
Anna (Eugene Oregon)
I think that it is wrong to increase prices on goods during a pandemic because people are already losing money to rent that they can't pay because they have no income. Hoarding masks to sell them at high prices is wrong. I mean, hospitals need these masks to save lives! It's just so selfish to save them for personal gain when people need them. It makes me so mad. I see that people will take advantage make money, but during a world wide pandemic is not the time to take advantage.
Grace H. (The Mariana Trench)
@Anna You are right it is so wrong to increase prices for essentials in a crisis. If any thing they should be dropping prices! People who are selfish and only care about them selves are the reason this world is falling apart. There are tons of people in Eugene that have little to no money and by raising the price of essentials it puts peoples lives at risk. The hospitals need masks more than people who are staying at home do.
Christian (B.)
In such a crisis like the corona-virus pandemic, random acts of kindness are very rare. As Doyne and Gonchar thoroughly portrayed, they along with Mr. Colvin both know he will be making little to no profit off of his stockpiling practices, and what is a single man going to do with such a large amount of hand sanitizer. Thus, holding on to the supply is worthless, and there are countless homes in need of such a commodity, so donating the supply would not only alter his persona to the public, but also help those in need.
Danil Musienko (St.Petersburg)
it is very wrong to increase the price during a crisis especially one like the corona virus.
Daniela (Houston, Texas)
@Danil Musienko I do agree that is considered immoral. But if you are talking business, that is the sole purpose. Increasing prices of products on high demand in order to have more profit. So even though we think is immoral and we are realizing this now because of the situation that we are in, companies have been raising the prices of any product that has a big demand since forever.
Brandon Dowdy (Pinellas Park)
In a crisis like this, profiteering is not welcome by anyone except those doing it. But, the man does make a valid point. A backwoods dollar store is not the center of demand. While maybe the exorbitant prices absolutely should not be tolerated, demand is demand, and whether the price is justified or not, these things should not be barred from selling. If anything, there should just be a pricing roof on such products. Amazon could have handled this situation much differently, and while the same can be said for those gouging prices, Amazon's job is to monitor and stop those sorts of things in a manner that does the least harm. So, in conclusion, I say that price gouging is not okay in any situation, but neither is the barring of essential goods from the market.
Emma Shepherd (Dixie Hollins High School)
Is it immoral to increase the prices of goods during a pandemic? In this situation, yes it is. We are in a terrible crisis and many Americans are still in desperate need for many goods such as food, water, toilet paper, and cleaning products. Many Americans are losing their jobs because they were forced to close, so if the prices of goods rose then many Americans wouldn't be able to afford them. Yes, the seller might run out of goods more quickly or they might not be selling much at all, but it is immoral to raise the price of goods when this country is in such desperate need of supplies. I think that the prices of goods should stay the same so people can still afford them.
Jordan Jacobs (Florida)
It is very immoral to increase the price of goods during this time. Many people have lost their jobs because they aren't considered necessary at the moment. These people are struggling financially and might be having a hard time support themselves and their families. Increasing the price of groceries and other necessities will only make it harder for these people to take care of themselves because they can already barely afford it. Also, grocery stores are receiving more business in general because people want to stock up on things. They don't want to leave their house any more times than they need to. Some shelves are even wiped clean. Grocery stores are already making way more money than usual and I would know because I work at one. There is definitely no need to raise prices for anything.
Kali Hatcher (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Increasing prices is very controversial. While this negatively affects the customers, the seller has to pay the bills too. With sales decreasing because of stay at home orders it can be hard for the shop owners to stay a float. There is also always a cheaper option if the customer does not want to or can't pay the prices. On the other hand some people are just trying to scam the desperate. If the extra money that they are making isn't going to important things or necessities this is completely wrong. At desperate times people will pay whatever they can to just get what they need. This is where the selfish come in and take advantage of them. Matt and Noah Colvin did exactly that. They not only scammed people but bought out the stores where it is cheap. This denies access to the people that really need the lower prices.
Max Munsell (Oregon)
@Kali Hatcher, the Colvin brothers weren’t just increasing the price of goods they already where selling, or even just going out and buying some hand sanitizer and selling that. They bought up all the hand sanitizer in the surrounding areas, and sold it for a ridiculous amount. Not only did they buy a ton of what everyone needs, and sell it for much more than it is worth, they also got most of these products from rural areas, where there are the least stores, and it is hardest to find what is needed.
Solmaryna (Florida)
How is that even a question, it doesn’t make sense to see a worldwide pandemic as a way to make funds and it’s not fair to the millions of people that need things like hand sanitizer and masks, not to mention how bad this is for hospitals considering they need it the most. I don’t understand how these people don’t see what they’re doing as a problem. People are losing their jobs and can’t afford to pay for 20$ hand sanitizer and it’s not fair to literally make it the only choice (also how are people going to justify what they’re doing with the fact that shipping costs money and that they aren’t even making major profit, just don’t buy the supplies in the first place and leave it for people that actually need it). I hope that more companies and maybe states put in regulations when it comes to purchasing crucial things like masks and hand sanitizer because this ultimately affects everybody in the long run, for example, if hospitals don’t have mask or hand sanitizer and even cleaning supplies how are they supposed to do their job of helping people, doctors and nurses are more likely to get sick and there will be less people to help patients. People need to think before they make purchases like this, it’s one thing to buy 3 Nintendo switches and sell them for profit, that just makes you a jerk, doing that with supplies that is crucial and puts peoples lives at risk without it makes you a selfish imbecile. Ultimately money hungry people will probably our demise.
Arriana S. (Florida)
Is it immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis? In a situation like this, solid yes. This goes beyond taking the opportunity when presented to you, this is profiting off the suffering and loss of others. The prices of these items rose parallel to their demand, and continue to rocket as first-aid workers and respondents are impoverished of the equipment needed to fight against this world-wide pandemic. What Mr. Colvin referred to as a public service by selling back what he had stockpiled, many call an act of greed, preventing people in need from getting what is no longer available in stores. Online retailers who have restricted sales of certain products and required low prices of specific products are a blessing, assisting those of us in need by preventing greedy people from getting what they want. Stockpiling is used to prepare for emergencies such as what we are dealing with now. The only justified reason for selling it online is for the purpose of helping those in need and/or working with hospitals and other government organizations to continue their aid. There should be no price markups unless absolutely necessary. In a situation like Mr. Colvin's, with the amount he has he should have donated it, or sold it at a price lower than its original to assist those truly in need. Stockpiling shouldn't be punished unless their only reason for doing so was to make a profit off of it. What was done was morally wrong and needs to be fixed through donation at least.
Nora H. (Oregon)
Is it immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis? In this situation that is a firm yes. Especially when a. the increase in price is not necessary and b. the goods are highly coveted among first responders during a world-wide pandemic. What this Mr. Colvin spoke of as "public service" is not public service at all, but a selfish decision to deprive people all around the world of the ability to protect themselves and help prevent the spread of a life-threatening virus. The only way that stockpiling essential resources to sell online could be justified, is if somehow the seller was working with hospitals and cities in need of such things as hand sanitizer, testing kits, masks, etc. to ship them to where they are essential. With only NECESSARY price markups. If someone finds themselves in the situation of just happening to have nearly 18 thousand bottles of hand sanitizer in their possession during this time, they should feel obligated to donate them.
Ty Baker (Oregon)
I understand that that is capitialsim but I think that maybe this is a time where the government should step in because it is wrong for them to resell something that's cheap especially when most people aren't getting paid because they can't work. So I think that it is unfair of companies to raise prices.
Lily W. (Springfield, OR)
@Ty Baker I completely agree, the price raise is solely a business method that has happened for ages. It should be the government that steps up to serve the people, and maybe lessen the stockpiling of necessities and reselling them if needed.
Zoe Iwanchuk (Beaverton Highschool, OR)
Yes, I believe that its wrong to raise prices on the things that people need during this pandemic because many people have lost their jobs and are struggling to support their families or their home and when companies raise their prices it can be really stressful for the people in need.
Marley (UT)
@Zoe Iwanchuk I totally agree with you. I read an article from Washington Post yesterday that said over 22 million people have lost their jobs and government aid for local businesses has been stopped. I think we need to place more value on people, not profits.
Olivia E.H (Somewhere)
yes, people are desperate and that raises an opening for prices to go up and up and up on the things that are needed most. but they definitely shouldn't, in fact, it should be doing the opposite. people should be doing the right thing, not the thing that makes them the most money. because this is a pandemic, people are losing their jobs, or cutting down to half of their original salary. They have enough to worry about, they don't need to worry about being able to buy a 10 dollar bottle of hand-sanitizer every couple of weeks.
Cherise Gillett (Dixie M. Hollins High School)
It makes sense that sellers would try to capitalize on the hand sanitizer and face mask industry because they are in such high demand at the moment. However, it is immoral to even be one of those profiteers who take advantage of the worst situation. People who stockpile these supplies are not providing a service they are just making business. How is something beneficial for keeping us safe and jacking up the prices for it beneficial? That just sounds like selfishness to me. What Mr. Colvin did was unacceptable, instead of hoarding it, he should donate it. It makes sense that sellers would try to capitalize on the hand sanitizer and face mask industry because they are in such high demand at the moment. However, it is immoral to even be one of those profiteers who take advantage of the worst situation. People who stockpile these supplies are not providing a service they are just making business. How is something beneficial for keeping us safe and jacking up the prices for it beneficial? That just sounds like selfishness to me. What Mr. Colvin did was unacceptable, instead of hoarding it, he should donate it. Places like Amazon and eBay did the right thing by taking down their posts and deleting their accounts. They should, however, limit the selling prices of the supplies so their not dramatic, like 50 dollars for hand sanitizer, come on I would just use soap at home at that point.
Melanie Ruiz (Beaverton highschool, OR)
I think that higher demand on hand sanitizer and masks does not mean that prices should go up. I believe that what Mr. Colvin did is a bit immoral because he is charging more than normal and with the on going situation with the pandemic many now have lost their jobs and are struggling with affording rent, bills, and food. With the overcharging of supplies people could have easily bought supplies for less and left with more money to pay bills and buy other important essentials. Although I understand his intentions I still believe that over pricing is not right. I think that retailers did the right thing about restricting sellers like Mr. Colvin to sell supplies. I think that instead of selling supplies overpriced and considering it as public service, to actually give it away and donate because it looks like sellers are being a bit selfish by trying to gain money while saying it's more of a public service because they are shipping it to you.
Wyatt Adams (Beaverton High School)
While I do think this is very selfish and people are hurting from it, I do not think you can necessarily blame the people hoarding and selling important things online at a higher price. They might need the money, or want to capitalize when they can, and while it is super selfish, it truly shows how our society treats events like pandemics. Because of how everything is set up, it's almost right for everyone to do this whole thing of hoarding and selling since it's very good from a money standpoint for this. In a way, society rewards us for pretty much screwing everyone else over, which is insane thinking about. Be honest: would you do the same thing? It's just how everything is, which is why I can't necessarily blame them for doing it, as inhumane as it is, because it rewards them in the long run. If anything this whole experience should make us try to change things up with how stores and other businesses work, not necessarily punishing the people who are showing it off into the limelight. We should learn and move on from this, not keep making it a problem to repeat in future years, or else this could happen again.
Lilian F. (Eugene, OR.)
Yes, in a crisis like the coronavirus, prices for high demand items definitely go up, but although I can understand their decision to profit on that, it is very immoral. If it was a toy or something popular that was in high demand it would be fine, but when it comes to things that impact life or death or keeping someone safe, it goes too far. I think what Mr. Colvin was doing is wrong, taking advantage of people like that is not a public service. I definitely think that online retailers did the right thing. Although if it is not restricted in their rules, they should have let it happen. It all depends. I give props to websites like Amazon and eBay for what they have to deal with right now. Retailers in stores definitely have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to stockpiling. And I do think that since this pandemic is happening, they should put an item limit on some items to prevent stockpiling. I don't think that Mr. Colvin should be punished for the things that he did, but I think that he should definitely donate most of his stockpile to organizations in need of his supplies.
phoebe (eugene)
@Lilian F. well said I agrea
Madi (Oregon)
I believe high demand for items during a pandemic does not justify higher prices, it does the opposite of justify it. It is one thing raising the prices on sneaker, cereal and toys, It is another thing entirely to hoard products during a public health crisis. I think it could be considered a service to people who have money to throw around, for the majority who don't, I don't think it provides a valuable enough service to pass as helpful. There are doctors and at-risk people who may not be able to afford such prices which is why what Mr. Colvin did is unethical and wrong. I believe that it is online retailers responsibility to prevent price gouging and stockpiling on their own site, but I also believe people shouldn't have to be prevented from doing such things. I do feel the companies did the right thing. I don't think Mr. Colvin should be punished but I do believe this should be prevented from happening in the beginning. I can understand why Mr. Colvin did what he did, especially if he was in a financial crisis. It still remains unethical and immoral in my mind. It says something about his own morality that it took an article to see he should donate it, I just hope he follows through.
Kaitlynn Touchton (Florida - Dixie M. Hollins High School)
High demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during a public health crisis does not justify higher prices, resellers who stockpile supplies and then sell them at a higher price, like Mr. Colvin, are taking advantage of people. Where I live, grocery stores are preventing stockpiling by preventing customers from buying an abundance of priority goods that are in high demand such as milk, bread, and eggs. It also raises the chances for families to be able to buy these products. However, there are some flaws. For example, larger families may have to take multiple trips more frequently to have enough food. Also, in my mom's case, customers with restricted diets may not be able to get the specific protein or food group they need. Nevertheless, implementing these plans in all stores would help reduce stockpiling and are a good idea. All in all, in my opinion, Mr. Colvin should be required by the state of Tennessee to donate the remaining supply to nearby hospitals, police stations, and fire stations because of his wrongdoings.
Jun (Oregon)
No, I do not think a global pandemic opens the door for people to be selfish and hoard much needed supplies and retail them for outrages prices. Yes, I can see why people would decide to take advantage of the current situation. They may need money or they just find it as a great opportunity to earn even more money with very little labor. I find buying stores clear out of cleaning supplies along with masks, gloves etc. is just as bad or even worse then retailing supplies for more than they are worth. The people who are doing this are not helping slow the spread of COVID-19. I believe they are making it worse because now these people have thousands of much needed items that hospitals may be desperate for. Many people don't even wear a N95 mask right. So it makes it even worse that people are hoarding and reselling these items, since they don't event use them to their maximum efficiency. Hospital workers know the proper way to wear them and are exposed far more than buyers who don't work on the front lines.
mckenzie moore , Mrs.Belvin (alvin)
I feel like its inappropriate ti raise prices during a crisis cause at times like now its hard to have money without working and its hard to provide food. I understand that buisnesses need to make money too but they should consider that lots of other people are struggling too
Lilian F. (Eugene, OR.)
@mckenzie moore , Mrs.Belvin, I am 100% behind you on that. It is completely inappropriate that they are doing this. We are all struggling to make ends meet and pull things together during this pandemic. I would love to hear your thoughts on Mr. Colvin and his actions.
Alon Jian (Israel)
High demand for items such as hand sanitizer and masks are not justify higher prices during a public health crisis. Some may say that selling masks and hand sanitizer for higher prices during a public health crisis is justified because in that way people can buy these items from the internet and the items can get to their homes without trouble. However, those people don't realize that the price on the internet is much higher than it's actual price. First of all, selling masks and hand sanitizer for higher prices is not justified because the cost of them is expensive and there are people who will not be able to buy them. For example, families who don't have money, poor people, will not be able to buy these high demand items. Therefore, those people will live in danger and risk. Second of all, selling masks and hand sanitizer for higher prices is immoral and even selfish because businessmen buy a lot of them until other people have to buy the items only from the businessmen for a very high price. For example, Mr. Colvin charged $20 on Amazon for two bottles of Purell that retail for $1 each. Mr. Colvin sold the bottles and used the people's desires. He knew people will pay a lot of many for their healthiness and their benefit. In conclusion, it is immoral to sell high demand items like hand sanitizer and masks during a public health crisis because there are people who don't have money for it and the price of those items is extremely high.
Delaney (Lake of the Ozarks, MO)
Mr. Colvin was only doing what he knows, and trying to make a profit out of it. The situation would be less explosive if the world wasn't in the midst of a global pandemic. I think certain times call for certain measures, and the world we live in today should implement regulations on the selling and prices of essential goods that could potentially help and save health care workers. It's because of people like him that hospitals are struggling with rationing supplies because there are no more, mean while stockpilers are sitting at home with 17k of hand sanitizer and masks. That is the only part of Mr. Colvins situation that is unethical, otherwise, it's just business.
Akeim (Texas)
I do not think it is immoral to make a profit out of a pandemic such as this one. If your profit also benifits others and yourself then theres no problem with it.
Noah Candelario (Kailua, HI)
Is what Mr. Colvin did smart? I would say yes but it is still inhumane, and even more demoralizing that he tries to profit off during a pandemic; and why is that you might ask for some of you? It is because governments across the world, including the richer ones; are facing with shortages of medical supplies and/or necessities; and slowing the flow of those supplies to chains of which they need it the most is simply wrong, and there is no more to it then it needs to be.
Tina (Untied States)
People who buy all the necessities for there own personal gain I feel is inhuman. It's not wrong to make a profit, but when doing so you have to consider other people. Some people can not afford to buy hand sanitizer becuase prices keep going up. We all have family memebrs we really care about and want to take care, but when people are being selfish and not considering others its hard. Including when bussniss people are taking advatage of this huge problem we are having its not right. It breaks my heart to see people that are trying to buy things for there family, but can't because they don't have enough money or people are buy way more then they should. If we as a community help each other instead of being against each other then everything would be perfect and if people selling the products that we need inorder to protect ourselves and our familes keep raising there prices then something has to change becuase if it dosen't everyone will suffer a huge blow.
sarah (philly)
I think that it's a terrible to raise prices because some people are really struggling and how will they survive with people be so selfish and inhuman to even think about raising prices on already cheap items just because you think you can get more cash because people are buying things because it is a crisis and it shows me how corrupted this world is that people literally don't think about anything other than themselves what about the families that can't even get groceries and basic necessities.
Phillip (Texas, Abilene)
why just, why it's really immoral to try to make a profit of a pandemic. I mean kim kardashian alredy tried but whatever.
Kali Hatcher (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Phillip I think you're not looking deep enough into it. This method of making money isn't always immoral. For shop owners, this is ok. They need to make a living too during this time. It is not necessarily making a living off a pandemic. It is just simply making a living. If there were no price changes how could different businesses be on top. There would be no competition.
Kali Hatcher (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Phillip I think you're not looking deep enough into it. This method of making money isn't always immoral. For shop owners, this is ok. They need to make a living too during this time. It is not necessarily making a living off a pandemic. It is just simply making a living. If there were no price changes how could different businesses be on top. There would be no competition.
Mira b. (Eugene)
@Kali Hatcher I agree that it isn't always immoral to make money. There is a fine line; it is one thing to continue selling products at a fair price. It is another thing to take advantage of the situation and jack prices way high to prices that none can afford. This Mr. Calvin however, what he is doing is selfish, he falls in to the second category. We need hand sanitizer to stop the spread of this disease, and this guy is sitting in his garage with 17,700 bottles of it and demanding that he make a profit or he ain't budging!
Sophia L. (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
Demand for sanitizers and N95 masks undoubtedly skyrocketed and, as any product would, the prices also significantly increased. Economically, high demand is indeed a justification for higher prices. Providing a service and taking advantage of people are not exactly opposites and resellers are doing both. They are taking advantage of the fear of the coronavirus but also providing essential health care equipment. Strictly from a business standpoint, this is the perfect situation and Mr. Colvin has profited. However, knowing that hospitals and people other than himself are in desperate need of these supplies in order to save lives, he is morally in the wrong.
Jennifer R. (Anna High School, Texas)
In the wake of the recent events, the demand for hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves is at an all-time high. Sellers are skyrocketing prices to maximize profit but some people struggle to buy these items at their normal price, making the items completely out of their price range. Hoarding these items and shooting up the price beyond the average retail price is not only immoral but selfish. To risk a person’s health and life for a profit shows how much more money means to sellers than helping the common citizen. It shouldn't be allowed to hoard these items and price should not be negotiable. A cap for the amount of these items one person should be put in place to avoid these circumstances, these are necessary to keep the population and keeping them to those who can afford it is simply cruel and unjust behavior.
Ireland Brearey (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Hello, my name is Ireland and I attend Carver HSES in the city of Philadelphia. During this worldwide pandemic, people need to stop being selfish for their own profits. Just like in this article, people need to stop stocking up on everything on the shelves and selling for way higher than it’s normally marketed at. These simple products shouldn’t be expensive since many people are out of work and not getting paid. The people stocking up and calling it a “service” are wrong and are trying to justify the wrong they did. This is just a way that these sellers are taking advantage of random people trying to stay clean. When the companies were banning the sales of pandemic supplies, they were in the right and in the wrong. These products shouldn’t be kicked from the website altogether, but rather lower the price. If it’s causing these sellers extra money, they should just leave it on the shelf for someone to get at the regular price. As most stores are already doing, there should be limits as to how much a person can buy of certain products to stop these problems from reoccurring. Mr.Colvin should donate his stockpile of products to hospitals and certain centers that need it most. In conclusion, it’s immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis.
Shy (CA)
Normally, I would support an increase in prices as a response for higher demands in an item, it is a capitalistic economy after all, and people should be allowed to take advantage of the market whenever they can. However, this cannot be justified, even in a capitalistic economy. The people who are stockpiling and selling at a higher price ARE NOT PROVIDING a service and they ARE NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE MARKET, they are taking advantage of desperate people who are in need of hand sanitizer and face masks during this pandemic, and it is rock bottom shallow. No humane person could possibly believe that this is an instance of “providing a service.” If people didn’t stockpile and hoard things such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or face masks, people wouldn’t have to resort to overpriced items online which is supposedly a “service,” according to the sellers, they’d be able to leave to the store themselves to get the things they need… BUT THEY CANT GET THEM IF PEOPLE ARE HOARDING AND WIPING ITEMS OFF THE SHELVES AS SOON AS PEOPLE PUT THEM UP. Also, most of these people DO NOT own selling permits and are illegally selling… If this was truly a “service” for people, it wouldn’t be so selfishly overpriced, this price gouging is outrageously ridiculous.
JNW (Earth)
@Shy I agree with you, mostly. But a business has to stay in business. A lot of people are already losing their jobs as an effect of corona, but that doesn't mean that store owners should add to that count. A store owner needs to make a living. If they sell it too cheap, then they lose money, fast. Too high though, and they won't have too many customers. It would only be reasonable to lower the prices, by a small amount. And desperate people sounds like an over-the-top statement. If they're so desperate, then a few dollars wouldn't change their view on needing masks or hand sanitizer. As for people who hoard toilet paper and others, that goes without saying. It's not natural to have so much toilet paper. But also, of course, it would be better for the stores with plenty of supplies to sell for cheaper, but perhaps they're also low on income. You can never tell.
Shy (CA)
@JNW yes, stores do have to stay in business, however, I cannot stress enough how this article is not about stores overpricing their items, which is why I fail to understand why people are saying so. this is about a third party buying things that are usually available on a regular basis to all people for a regular price and reselling it to people for ridiculous prices, solely based on the fact that these third part retailers are aware that their potential customers are desperate. YES they are desperate... you say that "If they are so desperate, then a few dollars wouldn't change their view on needing masks or hand sanitizer," but this isn't just "a few dollars," this is an increase in price of over 1000% for a bottle of sanitizer that would normally cost $1 in stores. Just because people are desperate doesn't mean they don't feel like this price gouging is unfair. they're allowed to feel like they're being cheated because they are. these people are only resorting to online due to the fact that physical shelves in stores are completely depleted of necessities because people are taking more than they need. if the shelves were restocked at a stable rate, not only will stores would still be in business regularly, people can obtain these items for a more fair price whenever they need it, but it is impossible for store associates and suppliers to keep up with the hoarding and stockpiling rates and as such other customers cannot get the things they need.
Bryson D. (Carver E&S)
Ethics are hard to uphold during a crisis. It would be wrong to judge these buyers marking up prices since this is a common practice in business. Thinking in terms of economics raising prices is a no brainer, but thinking on the other hand ethically you're dealing with life-saving materials, keeping your price reasonable to appeal to the masses is the better choice. These resellers are smart using this epidemic to their advantage, by encouraging panic for supplies and creating more harm than good, providing no service to anyone. It’s easy to judge resellers because we’re on the internet and not in their shoes, but it's best to stay fair-minded throughout our response. Mr. Colvin did evidently take advantage of the people, by brutally marking up cheap $1 hand sanitizer bottles. Amazon and eBay finally stepping in to take responsibility for the devious actions on their site is a good sign. It’s their job to regulate all products being sold, especially in this time of need to prevent people like Mr. Colvin from abusing the system. Retailers have a more hands-on approach in stopping hoarding, compared to outdated laws that take months to pass in a crisis, so stores creating temporary restrictions are commendable. Mr. Colvin should not be punished in the slightest since he did nothing illegal, simply donating his excess supplies will suffice.
Alan Moreno (Texas)
I don't believe it's immoral. Stores still need to make profit to stay open for the customer to get their needs, so raising the price of essentials seems like a good idea. It seems immoral because we need these essentials and they're "taking advantage" of the customer, but they need to raise to price to still provide said essentials. Even with the price raised, they still need to pay off the usual fees like employee salaries, taxes, and more. They can't be making that much of a profit. So no, it's not immoral. Also, the employer needs the money so he can get supplies as well.
Morgan (Eugene OR)
@Alan Moreno While I do believe stores should raise the price of essentials, what about the poor and homeless people. What if they can't afford the essentials, they could get very sick without wearing masks I mean don't they deserve the essentials too.
Jun (Oregon)
@Alan Moreno I understand why stores markup the prices in goods, but even stores don't increase the price to the extent that Mr. Colvin did. To me he's just taking advantage of a bad situation. Also he has thousands of supplies that hospitals and other frontline workers could use right now in very his possession. Stores are at least selling needed supplies at a reasonable price if they have it in stock.
JNW (Earth)
This depends on the perspective. Doesn't it always? The customers can rage that they need products during a crisis like corona, but the sellers could argue a similar point. The one providing the goods and/or services need a way to make money in times like these. Now that people won't be coming out to shop much, there will be less customers, and therefore less profit, so to make the same amount or more with less customers, you have to increase the price of goods. It's not immoral to increase prices. But it's a slightly different case for masks or hand sanitizers. People would like to have them as opposed to the risk of getting sick. It would be a kind act to lower the prices on those, but lowering the prices also decreases profit. Let's say that there was a store that sold only masks. Lowering the price would put them out of business pretty quickly. Increasing the price would make some business, but it would be hard to gauge whether they would receive more, since corona, or less, since the price is higher.
Nathaniel Morgan (Abilene, Texas)
I believe that you should race the prices during this time of need. People who are unable to get these products don't matter what situation they have they should be given a reasonable discount or for free. But I hope it is the second one. By increasing the prices you are affecting these people's lives.
Amor (Pennsylvania)
I feel as though increasing prices to an unruly price during a pandemic is immoral. People are more worried about making a profit then being concerned about people's well-being. Some people might not be able to afford the prices due to financial situations. I feel as though the resellers have a big responsibility in controlling sellers who make prices higher during times of need. I feel as though resellers such as Amazon and eBay should control or restrict people who sell essential stuff for high prices. However, I do not believe that they should stop selling those products altogether because people still need it.
Daniel (Garcia)
During a crisis hand sanitizer and masks should not justify for higher prices. Those items could help prevent sickness from spreading and keeping people healthy so anything they should be cheap. Resellers are providing a service but it is coming at expensive cost. With the amount of hand sanitizer bottles or masks they have they could sell them at a reasonable price and still make a lot of money based off the quantity being sold. They are taking advantage of people who really need these things because they are expensive. What Mr. Colvin did was immoral for selling necessities in a time like this for high amounts of money. Online retailers should take full responsibility because there are people on their websites that are selling things for unreasonable prices. I don't think the companies that restricted certain sellers for selling any coronavirus products was the right move. I think they could've managed how much they sell them for. Retailers should take full responsibility for stockpiling. They should place limits on how much hand sanitizer someone can buy so that person doesn't take advantage of the situation. Retailers should suspect someone if they're buying a large quantity of an item. Especially in the middle of this crisis He should have sold those supplies at a reasonable price or even less than the original amount. The state of Tennesses punishment to him is to give most of the product away to people in need.
Elsy (Carver E&S)
i don’t think prices should be raised on nach necessitated items during a crisis, because that leaves people of lower class without. But I say this without the faintest idea on how economics functions. People who stockpile supplies are a bit immoral, in my opinion, but it's better than the alternative: them keeping said products for themselves. I think what Mr. Colvin did wasn't good, but I don't think he intended to harm, it simply occurred to him that this would be a wise business practice and went for it. He very possibly didn't even think of how this would affect other people. That being said, I sound very presumptuous. The bottom line is that it was immoral, whether or not it was intended to be that way.
Sahil (Philadelphia)
this can go two ways because workers need to get paid and they get paid when product is sold, so if no product is sold they can't get paid. But on the other it's immoral to profit over an epidemic because people need water, hand sanitize, and etc.
sierah castillo (texas)
In my opinion i think people overreacted just a little over this toilet paper and paper towel buying , they limited how much stuff you buy at a grocery store now. And till this day we still dont have toilet paper in our stores.
Lindsey Duquette (Texas)
In my opinion, there is definitely two different ways you could go about this. Raising the prices on essentials during a pandemic would be okay if it was done in every store, where everyone would have to buy it for the equal same price. If it was done by someone online who is hoarding essentials and trying to make exceeding profit off of all of it, then that of course would be selfish in many ways. Online retailers have heavy responsibility to prevent price gauging during a pandemic, or crisis, because they have to make sure that everything is reasonable and not blown out of proportion, and i believe that the companies did the right thing in restricting any corona-virus related products from certain sellers. Mr. Colvin should have donated the supplies to nearby hospitals and workers because they are rationing everything they had, while he had everything he could of ever needed. I do not believe he should be punished by the State of Tennessee, but I sure do hope he learns a lesson!
Alyssa (Lakewood,Ohio)
@Lindsey Duquette I totally agree with you people should not be hoarding these essential items. It’s important for people to get and use these items to stay safe for all those people who still have to work. People need to start helping out those people and donate most of the stuff they buy to those facilities that need the resources in order to stay safe while we have this health crisis going on. There is a lot of people getting sick and not all but most people are passing away. It’s a very sad time in our generation but we will get through it together if we all stay indoors and we delay the spread. Do you know anyone who has made or donated anything to the hospitals or anywhere really? My grandma’s friend is making masks for the elderly because they can’t go out and buy masks and she is donating some of the masks she makes to nursing homes and stuff to try and help out. I think that what she is doing is very nice and is out of the kindness of her heart. I can’t even be anywhere near my grandma and when I went to visit her I couldn’t give her a hug or anything. People should be helping out all these people who might not be able to help themselves or maybe even families who have little children. This virus is very deadly and it’s scary to think about really. I never thought this would happen really. Do you miss school? I know I do. It was easier at school. We had help from our teachers and now we’re kind of on our own. Remember to stay inside and to help everyone out.
John Flores (Philadelphia)
I feel that this situation is very complicated as both sides have very good "arguments" to raising prices so I will go about this with an open mind but in my opinion I would say that raising prices in the middle of a national pandemic is not immoral but a bit selfish. According to time.com it states that in a study conducted over 40 percent of Americans could not save up to four-hundred dollars in case of an emergency making them all highly prone and at risk to the Coronavirus. So what does this have to do with whether or not it is immoral to sell overpriced product/resources needed to survive this epidemic well according to the article from here it says a bottle of hand sanitizer was sold for up to 70 dollars making the many Americans that could barely raise four hundred dollars incase of an emergency will not be able to or barely be able to afford many of the resources they would need to survive so while stockowners profit greatly from the raising of prices these Americans like these 40% are suffering from lack of resource.As a civilian that is the way I see it as selfish because stockholders like Mr. Colvin so this as an opportunity to take advantage of people and are raising the prices ridiculously high while people are losing their jobs and are barely making sufficient amounts of money to be able to afford resources at this amount. If I was a businessman my opinion would be different but as a civilian my opinion that raising prices in the event of a crisis stands.
John Flores (Philadelphia)
@John Flores Pt2 Business side Now looking at this from a business view/Mr Colvins view I would say that they did what they needed to survive and what they thought was a smart idea. Also from what I understand from Microeconomics sellers are not being unthoughtful or immoral by raising prices but they do it in order to keep up with the high demand comparative with the accessible stockpile. I see where Companies and sellers are coming from, they are doing what they need to do to survive but in my opinion they shouldn’t be taking advantage of people who are desperate that they would buy resources at any price they should be helping people
Draki B. (G.W Carver)
I believe that it is indeed immoral to raise the price of goods during a crisis. To start, during a crisis, jobs are closed which can stop income of people. This makes it very difficult for people to afford goods especially if the prices are raised drastically. Also, a crisis is not a time to make profit off of people in need of important goods. Lastly, in order to stop a crisis such as the CoronaVirus, people need things like hand sanitizer, soap, toilet paper, etc. With increased prices, people can’t afford the goods and the chances of the virus stopping is decreased. All in all, this is why it is immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis.
Charles Varghese (Philadelphia)
There is actually two sides to this prompt, the business side and the emotional side. Yes it is very smart to stockpile and sell for a high profit margin, but at the same time you are making a large amount of profit of something that is essential to a clean , healthy life. Stockpiling hand sanitizer or cleaning products is wrong because there are people who cannot afford and do not have access to such goods. We should be mindful of what we need and what we don't and what we are taking from the hands of others.
Alyssa (Lakewood,Ohio)
Did your family go out and get stuff like food or hand sanitizer? Mine did but we couldn’t find any hand sanitizer in stores so my mom found ways to make it and she also got some from the hospital she works at. My mom also got us some masks because my dad is an electrician and he works outside and inside so he needs the masks to stay safe. I think that people shouldn’t be buying stockpiles of things like hand sanitizer, masks, and disinfectant wipes to just sell them at higher prices. It’s taking advantage of people when we have a health crisis going on. This stuff has never happened in America and people are taking advantage of how everyone is scared and is desperate to stay safe so they will buy anything at any price. People should be stockpiling to hand them out to their family’s, neighbors or maybe give them to the fire stations or police stations. There are people who still have to work outside and do things for us because without these jobs in play people would be possibly doing bad things or without them, some people wouldn’t feel safe. These people shouldn’t be punished for selling these essential items at higher prices but it's definitely not the right thing to do. Do you know anyone who is stockpiling but is giving some of the things away for good causes? My grandma has a friend who is making masks for the elderly and she is giving them away to help out the elderly. I think it's a really great thing to do. But do everyone a favor and stay inside and stay healthy.
Leticia (Philadelphia)
I believe this is immoral because if someone cannot afford the merchandise then it will be almost impossible to live. For example if people cannot afford toilet paper because it is too expensive they will not be able to clean themselves right. We are in the middle of a crisis, there is no supplies on the shelves at most stores and at the stores that do have supplies it is way too expensive.
Brianna (west virginia)
My personal opinion on this matter is that it is immoral for an individual to increase the price on goods during a crisis. I don't think that just because there is a crisis that prices should be driven up the wall. At this time people are having a hard enough time finding things for there family because of people clearing off the shelves. It would be immoral for a business to raise prices just because they know they will get there money for it. I also will say that the business should take it upon themselves to limit the amount of essential items. This can limit the hoarding and stockpiling of those key items.
Zachary Webb (Maury High School - Norfolk, VA)
Although it may be immoral for an individual to capitalize on the opportunity to turn a profit at the expense of another’s health or well being, there falls a bigger responsibility on stores and companies to implement restrictions that prevent capitalistic minds from succeeding altogether. Retailers are more responsible for allowing essentials to be hoarded and stockpiled with the hopes of profiting than the individuals who attempt to capitalize. Those with a certain mindset will seek any opportunity they can and not hesitate when they come across the right one. The American dream feeds on the hopes of acquiring a profit in any way possible, and those who follow it can have little regard for morality or the health of those being affected. This poses a challenge for companies and retailers that sell high-demand products. Said retailers should place restrictions on the number of essentials that an individual can buy to prevent individuals from clearing shelves for their own economic gain. This action is neither difficult or encumbersome, and retailers that refuse give off an impression of laziness or that they do not care for the health of others, and they simply share a mindset with those who only wish to profit. Although some stores are starting to follow this, they may be too late. Thousands have already stockpiled and many thousands more are without the essentials they need. In the time of crisis, it is essential for retailers to prevent stockpiling in any way they can.
Emma Searing (Maury High School, Norfolk VA)
Raising the price of necessities in the midst of a global pandemic during which many citizens are facing extreme financial strain is immoral and selfish; those overbuying items and hoping to generate a profit must consider the implications of their actions, and deserve to be federally fined. The stockpiling and overselling of sanitary goods prevents low-income individuals from having adequate protection, and strips hospitals of necessary supplies. Overbuying puts thousands in danger of contracting the disease, as they no longer have access to protective supplies. Those who cannot afford inflated hand sanitizer prices may attempt to make their own, which, if not made correctly, could give these individuals a false sense of security and lead them to contract the virus without the means to afford medical care. Furthermore, hospital workers facing shortages of masks due to stockpiling are being forced to make their own masks, or repair and reuse old masks. These extreme measures are unsanitary and inefficient. Those putting themselves at risk fighting the virus should have access to adequate protective supplies, and should not fear contracting the virus due to faulty equipment. The actions of individuals like Mr. Colvin showcase pure self-centered capitalistic greed. These individuals do not care about distributing supplies, they only care about exploiting a community suffering and scared in the face of a pandemic, and should be federally fined and punished for their actions.
Aidan (white oak middle school)
in the rising demand for products like hand sanitizer and masks with hand sanitizer and face masks, which they hope will protect them from the buying up basic supplies in the midst of the crisis and then upcharging people she said $50, and I think that's disgusting.
Makayla Coleman (Philadelphia)
During a Pandemic, such as the Coronavirus, many stores and businesses saw an opportunity to raise prices on the things we need right now, such as hand sanitizer, face masks, antibacterial wipes, and gloves. When America is facing a crisis it is our job to ban together and fight it together. Instead of buying the products at low prices and then selling them at high prices, they should make little gift baskets and give away the products for free to those who need it the most. Trying to make a profit during these times is not wrong, however taking in an abundance of supplies from others and selling it at unreasonably high prices is. How about trying to sell cookies or cupcakes, not what America and so many other countries, like the United Kingdoms’, need.
David Vallejo (Miami)
The high demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during a public health crisis does not justify higher prices. In pandemics such as the COVID-19 one we are currently experiencing, public health and safety must take a priority over personal profits or gain. Although there are some that may argue that those who resell at higher value are providing a service, it must be noted that the sales are made out of desperation, as these people have no choice but to buy at exorbitant prices. Through raising prices, vendors are incapacitating low-income families who have extremely limited capacity of sustaining themselves in times like this. What Mr. Colvin did was in fact immoral. If his true intention was to provide a service, it would be sold at an affordable price to best serve those in the community.
Mara Gemeda Breka (Maury High School, Norfolk VA)
Resources for preventing infection are crucial in a pandemic such as COVID-19 which has the potential to break the American healthcare system. The growing demand for sanitizing and protective products does not justify third party sellers raising prices in order to exploit this health crisis. By restricting the supply of sanitary products Mr. Colvin and other third-party sellers are taking advantage of American consumers especially endangering lower-income families who cannot afford to pay exorbitant amounts on products such as hand sanitizer. According to a 2019 federal reserve study 40% of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 to cover an emergency. $400 does not go far in covering intensive care treatment in the case of an infection. Furthermore, products used to prevent infection in the first place such as the N95 mask have become as expensive as $150 one fourth of an average American’s generalized emergency funds. People who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic cannot afford overpriced protective products. Profiteering from crisis is not only dangerous to the public but it is also immoral. Victims of Stockpile sellers are not only the very poor but society at large. Hoarding supplies accelerates the spread of infection and may cause the healthcare system to crash. Stockpile sellers who take advantage of an alarming pandemic such as COVID-19 for personal gain should be held accountable.
Aaron Garcia (Bryant, AR)
Is Mr. Colvin cleaning out stores of necessary supplies and taking advantage of people’s fears by jacking up prices? Or, did Mr. Colvin drive 1,300 miles to make these essential supplies available nationwide, specifically areas that are experiencing resource shortages? As an Arkansan, I am familiar with small towns of 100-200 people across the state. Stores like Dollar General in these small towns currently have a greater supply of sanitation materials than stores in the state’s biggest city, Little Rock. Pickers like Mr. Colvin allows citizens of major cities to tap into the resources of rural Tennessee. Additionally, Mr. Colvin bought two 12oz Purell hand sanitizer for $2 and sold them for $20, a 900% markup. Similarly, mattresses can undergo markups of 900% too, making an $300 mattress $3,000, according to an Oklahoma news article. Mr. Colvin might have added $18 to the price tag, but he’s not adding $2,700, sleep on that! In spite of the jump in demand of these products, Mr. Colvin risks making a profit while selling these items at any price. Pay isn’t regular, shipping is expensive, and events like the Amazon worker protests threaten Mr. Colvin’s entrepreneurship. After all, he can expect $4-$7.50 for those bottles of Purell, and he must live on those profits. Despite all the prices; location; and middlemen, Mr. Colvin is not an immoral person. He sold Nike shoes and pet toys on Amazon for prices people were more than content to pay long before the panic of Covid-19.
Leanne Maharaj (Maury High School)
While the profitability of items such as hand sanitizer and face masks skyrockets in the face of a pandemic, it is immoral to capitalize on the public’s need through reselling essential products at heightened costs. Through stockpiling and reselling sanitation products at astronomically inflated prices, retailers prevent the fair distribution of such goods amongst individuals of varying economic backgrounds. A large portion of American families is faced with severe economic hardships. After covering their basic expenses such as the costs of food, shelter, and electricity bills, they have very little money to spare. Currently, due to the rapidly spreading Coronavirus outbreak, the economic statuses of these families are plummeting even further. Due to quarantine regulations, thousands of workers are being forced into unemployment, completely depleting their already limited income. With their rigid budgets, such families are unable to purchase these crucial goods at their elevated resale prices. Without access to sanitary products, they are unable to take precautions against the spread of the disease and are therefore more susceptible to contracting it. The practice of stockpiling and reselling deprives families of life-sustaining materials based on their financial standings, further endangering citizens amidst a national crisis, a pivotal time in which citizens must unite and support each other most.
Ben Wertenberger (Bryant High School, Bryant, AR)
Though many may see what Mr. Colvin did and shame him, what he did wasn’t immoral but extreme. Basic laws of economics state that as demand rises and supply falls prices will rise drastically exemplified perfectly by the towers of toilet paper gone and the barren wasteland left behind as stores run dry following outbreaks of Covid - 19. Prices would have to rise to keep supplies on the shelves in the midst of people doomsday prepping, the resellers saw this coming and prepared for it. Many may say that their intentions were purely for profit. Though that may be true, it is important to consider the context of their actions. These people's careers are reselling products on online platforms to make a profit, they must resell something of high demand to make money to survive. In a time of unstable employment like this one, they must find a way to stay in business because losing their income wouldn’t help keep food on the table. What these resellers did wasn’t objectively immoral, rather they were just trying to survive and keep their income like everyone else in these trying times. Shaming them for trying to survive is shameful in itself.
Marley (UT)
@Ben Wertenberger I agree with your statement. An increase in demand increases not only supply but also competition, which makes goods and services more affordable for everyone. When we prohibit price gouging altogether, we end up hurting those who are already vulnerable. Price gouging creates an incentive for greater supply and conservation; without it, demands are not met. Laws that ban price gouging take needed goods off the market and do not do anything to aid those who need those supplies.
Noah Filmon (HSES)
In my opinion it is very immoral to raise prices during these harsh time. During this time many people are not able to work because the spread of the corona virus is so severe. This prevents most people from getting the pay they used to and some are not able to pay for a lot of resources. Raising prices would make it even harder to get the resources needed to get through this virus.
Samantha (Floresville High School)
Most people have never lived during a pandemic. We don’t know what each day will bring but we do know that we want to be prepared for anything. Which is why it’s so important for the necessities to be available. Mr. Colvin was acting selfish and only thinking about making a profit.
Hayden Wylie (Bryant High School, Bryant, AR)
Mr. Colvin should not have bought all the supplies that he did in the first place for his own benefit. That is an outright act of selfishness. Even though he mentioned that it costs more than just $1 to buy and ship supplies, pricing a bottle of hand sanitizer for $20 on Amazon would only give him a profit of $2 to $9. He would not have made a great amount of money during the pandemic nor regular times, so there was no cause for him to buy 17,700 supplies except to leave 17,700 people without one supply that they desperately needed. However, Mr. Colvin has decided to actually do good and find places to donate the supplies that he originally swept up for his own profit. Even though he took all the supplies that others needed more than him, they can now possibly go and get them. However, that brings up another issue, and that is breaking social distancing. If he had not stockpiled and tried to sell those items immediately after, there would have been more supplies available to people before coronavirus was as big as a threat to people’s health as it is now. I personally do not believe that he should be punished now since he is trying to fix his mistake, even though he was forced to not sell his supplies.
cade compton (abilene, texas)
I believe that a lot of people are being very selfish in there purchases.that being said we need to come together as a country and take care of one another
Abby (New Jersey)
During this corona virus pandemic, it is normal for people to feel anxious or worried. Hence, many people want to buy products that might help save them from getting the virus, like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and masks. The high demand from the general public will automatically result in higher prices. However, it is completely unacceptable for people to hoard supplies. Having hundreds of thousands of possibly life-saving supplies all to yourself is selfish and inhuman. People like Mr. Colvin are being thoughtless of the thousands of people dying everyday because of this virus that desperately need those supplies. Stores could also help put a stop to people hoarding supplies by enforcing a limit on the number of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and masks that a person can buy. This would also help calm the price inflation on these supplies. Furthermore, people charging a price that is multiple times the original price on life saving supplies is absolutely cruel. During the time of an economic crisis, cheating people out of money is inhuman. Online retailers like amazon and ebay should stop this by banning some of these sellers that are making a huge profit.
Ashton Arnold (Bryant High School)
I believe that a crisis in no way justifies increased prices; the act of doing so is immoral. There should definitely be a way of regulating how much of an item -in that case of our current pandemic, hand sanitizer, protective masks, disinfectant spray, etc.- a consumer purchases, but by hiking up the prices to prevent hoarding or to make a profit, does more harm than it does good. Due to our current crisis many people are out of a job. They can not afford the increased price in essential products. People like Mr. Colvin who purposely buy out these products only to sell them at a higher and, for many people, unattainable price is immoral. He chooses to take advantage of people and leave people without the financial ability to purchases these in a time where they are needed most. It is reasonable to hike the price up a couple of dollars to help prevent hoarding, but it is completely absurd to sell hand-sanitizer for $70. In my state to do so is illegal. According to the at 367 published in 1997. This act states it is illegal to raise the price by more than 10% in the state of a crisis. A fine of $10,000 is required for EVERY item sold above this price. Assuming similar laws have been put into place in other states, the real person Mr. Colvin will be hurting is himself when he's millions of dollars in debt.
Kilyan DesCarpentrie (Bryant, AR)
Simply put, an unexpected high demand for something means prices stay the same and the supplies become scarce. With very limited resources now available, the prices must rise to equal the demand so providers are still able to make a profit due to an increase in production. We see this in now virtually unattainable face masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizers. What we are all experiencing is the basic economic problem; that there are simply not enough resources in economics to satisfy all of the human race in the market. It makes sense that retailers make prices higher, because their suppliers are making their prices higher because of increase in demand, so to make a profit, the retailers must also raise prices to make a profit. Mr. Colvin was right when he said, “Just because it cost me $2 in the store doesn’t mean it’s not going to cost me $16 to get it to your door.” Mr. Colvin is simply using the system of the open market the way it was meant to be used. Now understand, there are others who are raising prices for an extreme price for money only, but I believe that Mr. Colvin was within his right to raise prices within reason, as is any other retailer.
Camilla Douglas (Richland, WA)
It is immoral for people to be hoarding supplies, especially during this time. If people had just left hand sanitizers and other products on store shelves, people would have been able to buy them for lower prices. But with all cleaning supplies gone from stores, everyone has turned to people selling overpriced products online. What those people are doing is not a public service. Charging people $50 for just one bottle of hand sanitizer is just being greedy. People who are doing this are in the business because of their personal gain, not their concern for others.
William Owen (Bryant, AR)
A worldwide pandemic, a crisis which should unite the general populace as to insure the betterment of our fellow man, and a healthy future for our children and the generations that follow. To commit the act of price Gouging, and thus cut off the supplies that are so desperately needed to low-income families, and possibly medical facilities, is a despicable act. The Arkansas Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, is a knight on a crusade, prohibiting price gouging to provide detriment to the Healthcare facilities in Arkansas, and ensuring all Arkansans can get these desperately needed medical supplies. Under act 376 of 1997, any item that has seen greater than a 10% increase in price since Governor Hutchinson announced a Statewide Emergency Public Health Declaration. Any of these people who commit price gouging can, and will, be prosecuted to the extent of a $10,000 fine on their first offense. There have been thousands of reports to the Attorney General's office about individuals price gouging, I have submitted 2 while scrolling Amazon out of Boredom. These individuals should be prosecuted and made aware of how these actions are negatively affecting the general populace, and society while going through these dark times.
Jacob C (Texas)
@William Owen I have a question for you. Why do you say unite? For someone may have the virus and may cause spreading and before you know it, everyone is sick. Please do not judge me for telling you my opinion. I was just telling you what I thought.
Tania Favela-Romo (Bauxite, Arkansas)
High demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during this public health crisis does not justify higher prices. There are an enormous amount of low income people who need items just as much as others do. Some can afford to buy items like hand sanitizer at $50, but not all can. Although resellers say they are “providing a service”, they are really just extorting people for their money. Resellers know that people can’t find those items anywhere, and they choose to set higher prices; if they were “providing a service” they’d at least keep the price the same. Resellers can afford to buy hundreds of items that people need, so they can surely afford to spare some money. A lot of small families have an abundance of items which they bought at low prices, while the family of 8 has to buy from the resellers at 50+ dollars per item. Mr. Colvin says he is not looking to “be in a situation where [he] makes the front page of the news for being that guy who hoarded 20,000 bottles of sanitizer that [he’s] selling for 20 times what they cost [him]”, yet he is that guy. I know that people are in need of these items, but those with extra items should help those who are less fortunate. Resellers should resell at a reasonable price, taking into account what people are going through.
Ana Austin (Mabelvale, Arkansas)
Though people like Mr. Colvin are finding ways to support themselves during this time of crisis, it is appalling that they would piggyback off of the people in this nation that are simply trying to keep themselves safe. People who stockpile like this man are finding themselves stuck with their “goods” while there are those of us who are unable to find even a box of Kleenex. There are many stores that are finding ways to prevent individuals from cleaning out their supply before most of the general demand is met. Sam’s Club limits the amount of cases of water that someone can purchase at one time to attempt to help in this time of need. Many other stores are taking precautions similar to Sam’s Club to attempt to help the people that are unable to quickly obtain the goods that they need. Amazon and other online retailers are aiding in shutting down the sales of overpriced items of immense need to this country. The online retailers have temporarily banned these accounts so that these people may not profit and flourish through their selfish acts. Mr. Colvin should not be punished for what he has done, he should, however, turn over all of his supplies to either a hospital or a charity that will distribute the stockpile in a beneficial way to the country and not to the individual.
Alejandro Jackson (Miami, FL)
The high demand for such items during a public crisis does not justify higher prices because there are many individuals in need of such items who cannot afford the higher prices. People in poor communities or individuals who have heavy debt/bills to pay would ultimately end up unprotected against a public health crisis. Resellers who stockpile goods such as Mr. Colvin are taking advantage of people for their own benefit. Their intentions are motivated by greed and selfishness. I do believe that what Mr. Colvin did was immoral and it went against what was for the common good of society. Online retailers do have a responsibility to prevent these injustices by restricting overpriced sales of essential goods. In times like these physical retailers have a big responsibility to and should impose limits on the amount of items one person can buy in order to allow everyone a chance to have items necessary for such a crisis. Mr. Colvin should donate all the supplies to a responsible organization who can distribute them to those in need and I believe he should be fined by the state of Tennessee as a reasonable punishment.
Harleen (GGDSD, College.)
As the World has now become a shrunken pot leading to innumerable opportunities,favoring the avarice needs of people like Mr. Colvin. He,unarguably, is prioritizing his own demands of making money in this pandemic crisis. Rather than thinking of the needy, he is simply being "immoral", therefore, bought the demanding products like masks,toilet paper, hand sanitizers and gloves during favorable times and afterwards selling them during the crisis and earning a profit out of it. Due to,100,000 cases of COVID-19 in America, people are already afraid and are more concerned about their health rather than their jobs. But, considering the flip side of the coin,that is, according to Mr. Colvin's actions', it is simply evident that he is thinking of himself and his family. In these hard times of the crisis, he is forced to create a living for himself as almost every business is asked to shut down which showed a sharp decline in the economy of the country. So, in such a situation, where the economy of a country is at the utmost risk, some business or the other has to be in a working state to somewhat lift the nation.But at the same time,some appeasing steps must be taken to ensure public health and economy as well,for example,a certain minimal cost cutting measures must be decided,involving public consensus. People,below the poverty line, must be taken into account and be delivered such products free of cost because this pandemic can be ended if we all must stand united and be kind.
Grace Carreno (TERRA Environmental Research Institute)
In times of crisis, we often see a direct economic effect on the markets. Now, where many businesses are being forced into temporary closure, people are getting scared that they will not be able to obtain necessities such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer, leading them to stockpile as though the apocalypse were upon us. That is somewhat understandable. When crisis surfaces, it is natural for self-preservation instincts to arise. However, such self preservation crosses the line and becomes immoral when one lets others suffer for their own personal gain. As it is, many people are unable to work as they are being told to stay home under self-quarantine. As a result, families are losing income and the economy is beginning to decline. This being, people have less money to spend, yet, to maintain their health, are forced to spend what little money they have on necessities like hand sanitizer and masks. When people like Mr. Colvin stockpile and resell high-demand items for higher prices, they completely take advantage of the dire situation others are in for their own selfish gain. This is much like Rockefeller's monopolizing of American oil companies to make the most profit off of Standard Oil in the late 1800s. In buying out the nation's supply, he was able to make millions, being the only seller. The nation soon responded with acts that made this illegal, as it began to hurt the economy. The same thing should be done today. There need to be limits on how much a person can buy.
Greg Jang (Reedy High School)
Although individuals suffer from having to pay more for their commodities, raised prices can lead to a more equitable distribution of goods to a greater number of people, as well as promote more efficient uses of the product in question. Government-mandated price ceilings are mostly unnecessary; it is not within the interests of a business to push their prices so far as to lose their customers, so prices are naturally kept in check. Attempts at an imposed ceiling have ended poorly in the past; case in point, the oil shocks of the 1970s. Overall, business incentives appear to maintain an ethical relationship between sellers and buyers in times of crisis. The methods of the Colvin brothers, however, are a completely different story. Hoarding, or buying goods with the hopes of selling them at a higher price, is not only present to a degree in almost every business, but can actually benefit the market. Although hoarders do not add any value to their product like a standard retailer does, by purchasing goods when they are cheap and reselling them during times of higher demand, hoarders can theoretically prevent shortages and stabilize the market. Purchasing these goods when they are already high in demand in the hopes that it rises further is not only a foolhardy business tactic, but can have the opposite of the desired effect. In cases like the Colvin brothers, the hoarder is the cause of the shortages they seek to take advantage of; the only remedy to a problem they created.
Sulayman Yusuf (Dawson High School)
This argument reveals that numerous Americans are struggling to find sanitation products during this global pandemic, making the practice of price gauging by opportunists—such as Mr. Colvin—an immoral act that is exploiting Americans. Firstly, price gauging is immoral because it exploits the economically disadvantaged, especially in times of crisis, when unemployment rates skyrocket. Recently, the Coronavirus has caused a rise in unemployment rates—shown by the numerous citizens qualified for the COVID-19 stimulus package—because many workers value their health over their jobs; as a result, they barely have the means to attain necessities. The absurd price hikes of goods are putting these people in needless dilemmas. Additionally, the actions of selfish opportunists are causing the shelves of supermarkets to be emptied. For example, Walmart and Costco have ran out of sanitation products in many stores. The lack of sanitation products will impede future consumers from obtaining items essential for their health, elevating their risk for COVID-19. Already, our country has had large numbers of COVID-19 patients. In fact, America has seen the most COVID-19 patients in the world, recently passing 100,000 cases. The continuation of price gauging will cause opportunists to thrive in their newfound wealth, at the peril of their fellow Americans. In these terrifying times, we must come together as a unified society, helping each other get through this unforgiving pandemic.
Shishir Nambi (Reedy High School)
Within the actions of Mr. Colvin, there lies a larger battle: a battle between morality and your bottom line. Judging Mr. Colvin's actions with a sense of human decency used as a parameter strips him of any semblance of humanity, leaving behind only a being of greed. He valued his bottom line as more significant than the lives of fellow Americans: his avarice apparent for even the blind to see. However, does the blame lie solely on Mr. Colvin's shoulders? He is simply another product of the capitalistic system that has always prioritized profit. This system has driven America since its founding, with many American advances resulting directly from this mentality. With no apparent repercussions in history for immorality in economics, can Mr. Colvin's actions truly be labeled as unjustified? We were always taught to take every opportunity we see, and if we couldn't find one, we were taught to make them. Some fault does indeed lie within the morality of Mr. Colvin, but an equal amount of blame should be placed upon the system that empowers his actions. I fear he wouldn't have been stopped by Amazon or eBay for price gouging with his revenue, if not for the influence of social media today. All that is left for Mr. Colvin to do is to donate the hand sanitizer to the places that need it the most. Indeed, Mr. Colvin's actions are immoral, but I believe they simply reflect the system of a zero-sum game around him, a game where one must lose so another can win.
Secoya Hines` (Tallahassee Community College, FL)
Mr. Colvin should donate some of his stockpile to hospitals, doctor's offices, correctional facilities and other essential businesses that remains open. The remaining should be handed out to people and families. He has more than enough to help others who are now unable to obtain these items due to the nationwide shortage. In Pandemics like this one we are currently facing, it is important that we avoid stockpiling. Stockpiling is completely unnecessary and does not help us stop what is going around. We should only stockpile for natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather.
Alex T (Dawson High School, Texas)
Donye and Gonchar explore the ramifications of what they call “capitalism at its finest”. When Matt Colvin and his brother first heard about the Coronavirus outbreak, their first thoughts were ways they could make a profit. Ramping up the price of hand sanitizer twenty times what it cost to purchase is very obviously greedy and wrong, and without a doubt, this was an immoral way to profit off of vulnerable consumers who are the most in need during this global pandemic. In our current system, profits are prioritized no matter the context–and this needs to change. The stroke of capitalist genius that overtook Colvin made him blind to the needs of the public, and the most vulnerable among us. Retailers that price gouge are effectively punching down on people in need, clearly taking advantage of their situation for their own personal gain. In no moral and just world would this be allowed; but our world is not fair, and unethical capitalism needs to end. Colvin should not have stockpiled the supplies in the first place. He recklessly diminished the supply of hand sanitizer which prevented access to vital supplies for a number of people. The best thing Colvin could’ve done to minimize any damages would’ve been to leave the hygiene supplies in stores for people to have quick and easy access to them. Objectively, Colvin deserves punishment for his actions; he acted recklessly and could have been responsible for someone’s death from the virus.
Carson Essett (Glenda Dawson High School)
Whenever there are pandemics people immediately flock to stores for supplies, raising prices on items that are essential can be detrimental to the people who just want goods to survive and ensure their safety. Scalpers like Mr. Colvin are causing more harm to the communities by cutting off access to essential goods. The massive amount of money he spent on goods like hand sanitizer could’ve been used to support many of the hospitals that don’t have enough supplies as it is. It was immoral what Mr. Colvin did he just wanted to make a quick buck disregarding everyone else he has put in danger due to his selfishness. Online retailers should be responsible for how much the items on their websites are being sold for especially at a time like this when it comes to medical supplies. Limiting how much of each product a person can get is a good way to stop hoarding but unfortunately many stores imputed these policies too late. I think Mr. Colvin should have sold the products for about the same price as in the stores instead of selling them at exorbitant prices. Mr. Colvin believed that he was going to make a quick buck and didn’t even take a moment to think about how his actions affected others in the community. He should be punished since he tried to sell the good at a ridiculous amount and the only reason, he donated the goods is because he was practically forced to.
Courtney Young (Glenda Dawson High Texas)
Doyne and Gonchar’s argument compares the ambition of sellers stockpiling hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes and mask; to that of business men capitalizing off of a golden financial opportunity. For example, the Colvin brothers in seek of economic gain following the first reported death in the United States, cleared out hundreds of stores ranging across Tennesse to Kentucky, stocking up on hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes; marking up the prices of such items up to 80 dollars. Meanwhile, hospitals are forced to ration on such products putting every nurse, doctor, and caregiver at greater risk, whilst they risk their lives taking care of those diagnosed with COVID-19. Ironically, once Amazon and other online retailers began putting a stop to price gouging and the media began to feature stories about those hoarding such products, the Colvin brothers and many other sellers began defending their actions, stating their goal was to be of public service and they are now trying to find ways to donate the products. They knew it was morally inacceptable to try and benefit financially during a global crisis. Which is why as a society we should hold, not only small sellers but even large corporations accountable for trying to profit off a global pandemic.
Hillary A. (Brooklyn, NY)
During these dire times when we all need supplies in order to stay healthy and safe, it is most definitely unethical to try to make a profit off of supplies. Families that arent as lucky as us need the supplies just as much as we do, but we are limiting supplies for them. They could get sick like this. Many can. When we bulk buy things, other people cant access them easily as we could. In the article, there was a mother who needed supplies but the shelf was wiped out. She even had a baby! Doing this just gives others many problems and is giving you money. That is why this is very unethical.
Jacob Grohs (Anna High School, Texas)
In desperate times such as this dreadful pandemic, people immediately resort to stocking up necessary supplies and materials. Some might say it is ingrained in our evolved human nature, but at what point does it all become to be too extreme? When degenerate people, such as Matt Colvin, start to take away what’s rightful to others so that they can capitalize, it completely ruins the whole system of buying and selling necessities. Jacking up the prices of a mere bottle of hand sanitizer should not be our focus right now, we as a people should focus on aiding those around us and giving them equal opportunities to purchase their needs at a decent retail price. If Mr. Colvin really wanted to take advantage of these tough times and capitalize, he should’ve sold his items at a reasonable price and purchased them in a more effective and spaced out manner.
Katelynne (Texas)
I understand why Mr. Colvin is doing what he's doing. But I feel like there was something else he should of done differently.
Ayanna A. (Anna High School, Texas)
In times like these it can be difficult to get a hold on necessities if they are being hunted by not just the country but the world. Raising prices on items that are in high demand can be fatal to a lot of people who are just looking out for their families. Re-sellers might think they are doing a good service for people but if they’re really just ripping them off. The extra money that was being spent on hand sanitizer could have gone to a meal that could have fed a family. It wasn’t immoral what Mr. Colvin did but it could have been done a better way. Online retailers have to have a lot of responsibility for what is sold on their websites, and should be closely monitoring it for reasons like skyrocketing prices. People who do mess with the prices should be given warnings if the prices get too high and if they don’t obey should be stopped from selling them at all. Putting a limit to how much of a demanding product one could buy in a pandemic or really any sort of disaster is a good idea that hopefully would put a setback to the need of these items. I think Mr. Colvin should have sold the products in a way that was more cost efficient and easier to access. Mr. Colvin might have believed he was doing what was right but in reality was just making profit over a situation that has people's life on the line. He shouldn’t be punished since he donated the supplies but situations like this shouldn’t happen.
Torin (Madison Middle School)
I fell like it isn't right and unethical to hoard products and sell them for more than they were bought for, it isn't fair for people to check stores and online stores and find nothing on the shelves for them to buy, such as hand sanitizer and masks. Mr. Colvin is being immoral because he just wants to make a profit for the people buying his things because they are forced to because there is nowhere else to buy them from. I think these stockpilers are taking advantage of people. And, I also think that these people aren't providing a "service" for people. I think that Amazon and Walmart etc. play a big role in this crisis, I think that they should make a limit on how much people can buy of these things, because it is unreal for a person to "need" 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. Mr. Colvin should give away the things he stockpiled for less than he bought them for if he wants it to be a "service" because it isn't really a service if people could have just bought them from Amazon for less than he's selling them for now.
Katlyn (Floresville High School)
The fact that human beings are capable of such selfishness leaves me deeply saddened. Hundreds of people are dying because of this pandemic, yet they feel the need to take this chance to make some pathetic money. Nobody asked for this sickness and quite frankly it caught everyone by surprise and gave us no time to prepare for these harsh times. But instead of helping those who are in danger from this virus, these guys decide to make a quick buck on the people that are in desperate need. I know that Matt Colvin isn't the only shifty, shady person to do such actions, but he sure is one of them. Making money is one thing, but to do so from innocent people is a whole different ball game. When this pandemic is all over with I hope that people will learn from this experience and make more rational decisions instead of immature ones.
Faith Pruitt (London High School)
High demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during a pandemic does not justify higher prices. This is immoral and is deemed illegal by the OAG because it is price gouging. Resellers who are stockpiling supplies and selling them at a higher price are not providing a service if anything they are a nuisance to society. They are taking advantage of people, seeing them as an opportunity to self-enrich. What Mr. Colvin did is immoral because instead of buying these necessities with the intent of buying what he needed he decided to exploit those around him. Online retailers have a huge responsibility to prevent price gouging. These companies did the right thing in restricting sales of any coronavirus-related products from sellers because without these restrictions exploitive pricing would increase. Retailers, in general, have an even bigger responsibility than online retailers to prevent stockpiling because without restrictions stores will continue to battle to keep things on the shelves. Limits should be placed on items because if we can tackle increased demand by cutting down on products being distributed then stockpiling and price gouging will go down. Mr. Colvin should have either sold his supplies by the price he bought it at or distributed it for free to those in need. He should not be punished by the state of Tennessee but he should be given a warning but if he goes against the warning then he deserves to be punished.
Alana (white oak middle school)
I feel that it is not justified to change the prices on the products that are needed during a health crisis. They are taking advantage of people because they are making them spend more money than what they need to be spending. I think what Mr. Colvin, was immoral because knowing that people need hand sanitizer and masks is why you would buy so much just to sell them to people. I think they don’t have a lot of responsibility because Amazon and Ebay can make up their own prices and the sellers price can determine if that person wants to buy it or not. Yes, it was the right thing to do because it is their company and they can do what they want with it. They have a lot of responsibility because this would prevent less fighting and allow other people to purchase what they need. Yes, because there's a lot of people in this world and everybody is trying to buy the same thing. So, this would prevent people from buying up everything. No, I don’t think Mr. Colvin should be punished because the stores let him buy all that stuff. I do think it was wrong of him to take all of that stuff because the people who really needed it couldn't buy it. I also think he should give the hand sanitizer and mask to the people who really need it for free.
Chanel (Massachusetts)
It’s not fair to the people that not have enough thing like hand sanitizer because people like Matt Colvin are over pricing things that just cost a dollar and people are buying too much thing and not leaving any for the elderly and for example in Italy if the elderly try to go to the hospital they can’t go because they are only excepting young people under 50 because it’s easier for the people over 50 to die.some stores are opening early for the elderly to shop when the store is restocked so young people will not be fighting the elderly for things like toilet paper.
Kyle B. (Dawson High School)
It is true that the redistribution of these goods by resellers helps areas in need. However, this argument overlooks the economic damage such practices can cause. These practices should be shut down because they are unfair and damaging to the economy. Firstly, this mass reselling violates a key principle of capitalism: a fair market. Through their actions, these resellers have cornered the supply on themselves, eliminating competition and creating exorbitant fees. In the early 1900’s, such monopolies were a common occurrence, leading to the Clayton Antitrust Act, which prosecutes any company infringing on competition. Therefore, the law allows these businesses to be shut down. Not only can the government shut down the Colvin brothers, they should, because such business practices are unsustainable and damaging to the economy. In 1929, the mass number of Americans speculating on stock caused the stock market collapse and the Great Depression. In the same way that speculative stock buying brought a shortage of money, the speculative buying of pandemic supplies will likely cause a shortage of medical supplies and increase the toll of the virus. A quick look at history demonstrates that this speculative buying will only end badly; therefore, the government must intervene to ensure a fair and competitive market.
Olive E. (Brooklyn)
Higher prices for items like hand sanitizer are not justified because it is greedy and selfish. Many people have lost jobs and money because of the virus and they cannot afford these ridiculously high prices. All they want to do is stay safe and keep the people around them healthy, but they don't have enough money to achieve this simple goal. Online retailers have the responsibility of preventing price gouging during a crisis because these businesses have the obligation to be honest with their customers. Companies like Amazon are so rich that they can afford to lose some money during a crisis, but many Americans are not this rich. Nobody should be able to buy so much hand sanitizer that people who really need it, like those who already have health problems, are deprived of what they need to survive. There needs to be limits so that everyone who needs hand sanitizer can get it. Mr. Colvin was thinking about money first instead of helping people. If he truly only cared about helping people, he would have kept the same price and just moved the products around. Instead, he raised the price to give himself a salary even though no one asked to do this. Mr. Colvin should be punished for his selfish behavior and he should donate all of the supplies he took to deserving people who actually need it.
Emmett G. (Melrose, MA)
I do not think it is immoral to adjust prices of goods and services in accordance with supply and demand patterns. The capitalist system we have is a system that rewards those who think and act smarter and faster than the vast majority of people. The United States has leveled the playing field so that if you work smarter and harder than everyone else, you are rewarded. If someone has the expertise to know what the price of a good or equity will do in the upcoming months, is it immoral to take advantage of it? Absolutely not, they deserve every penny they make. If the US bombs Iran, the first thing I will do is buy oil companies. It is simple supply and demand, and people that have the expertise to profit off of an event will be rewarded in this system. If I believe that Donald Trump will win the office, even though I don't agree with him, I will try to capitalize off of it by buying certain companies. If corporations and people were not allowed at all to capitalize off of supply and demand, then there would be no economy or means for speculation. However, I also support retailers' decisions to limit price-gouging. Publicly traded companies do what will make them money, and there is nothing wrong with that. The action of restricting these practices is in retailers best interests if they want to be a socially responsible company. eBay and Amazon are not trying to save the world, they are trying to capitalize off of COVID-19 by becoming a more socially responsible company.
Harper Clarkson (Anderson High School)
High demand for these items does not justify higher prices, people are still in need of these supplies and are going to buy them, so while what Mr. Colvin did was smart, it was immoral and non-beneficial to the community. Online retailers like Amazon eBay don't have much responsibility in a crisis like this, it's mainly the single parties selling certain items. I think they did the right thing restricting these certain supplies, but it shouldn't HAVE to be their responsibility, the seller should have more integrity than to take advantage of times like these. There are some stores already placing restrictions and limits on how much canned food, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, etc each family can buy. But again, this really should not have to be their responsibility, that responsibility should belong to us, as people. Well, Mr. Colvin ended up donating all of the hand sanitizer, which I believe was the right thing to do. Since he ended up donating all of them, I don't believe he should have a punishment worse than losing all of that profit.
Charlie (Des Moines, IA)
This is a tricky question to answer. From a consumer's perspective, the need for masks and sanitizer increases and so do prices. The rise in prices doesn't allow the consumer to purchase as much as they need. From the company's perspective, selling lots of product at cost seems like the moral thing to do. Although this seems the right thing to do, the business would lose money quickly due to the rising demand and go under, now not able to supply anything. If they rise the prices, the company gets a lot more money, now able to reduce the cost. This question is difficult for one person to answer, you have to weigh the human needs vs company needs.
India (cincinnati)
I think what Mr. Colvin did was immoral because knowing that people need hand sanitizer and masks why would you buy so much for just to sell them to people that’s kinda selfish. I think he should have just got what he needed and left the rest for other people to get. I also think they did the right thing because the people who actually need the products can get it without people taking so much and they can’t get any. They should place limits on how many items people can take so no one can’t have any for themselves or families that really need it. No, I don’t think he should be punished. I think he should have taken the supplies back or given them to the people who actually needed them instead of charging them. He should have just given it to them for free because he didn’t need all that hand sanitizer and masks.
Bill Bernal (Pennington NJ)
Supermarkets and other stores are businesses like any other. hey have employes to pay and at the moment there is a lot of demand for the products they have to offer. The most "moral" thing for supermarkets to do is to sell their essential products at cost, but we need to look at the effects that would have. The business would go bankrupt and their employers would be out of a job. Now let's look at the opposite side of the coin the business raises their prices. All of a sudden their are starting to make money. They hire more people and are able to buy in larger bulks. As they buy more their prices will begin to drop. All of a sudden there are more casheirs making the experience easier for the customer so more people are interested in buying their products. This all comes with the investment of the more financially sound. The same principle applies to vaccines and cures for diseases. Companies use the money they make to produce more medicine and help more people. In conclusion, Increasing prices is moral because in the end, it benefits more than just the owner to the company.
Aydan Ridener (White Oak Middle School)
In my opinion demanding higher prices on items needed during this public heath crisis isn't justified. Neither is the fact that businesses are taking advanced on customers. One thing that I do agree on is a restriction on how many items are sold at once. Restricting some customers from any sales coronavirus-related is fair. If one customer buys a lot of one product how can anyone else get any, but if you are a customer that hasn't bout a lot or even any and you are restricted then that is wrong on the companies part. I think companies should restrict how many items a person buys like hand sanitizer. This way companies have more for others that might need it. I think that the supplies Mr. Colvin stockpiled he should keep or give some out and I think he should get in trouble by the state of Tennessee considering his supplies .
Ethan (Brooklyn)
In my opinion, this is a selfish act of these men. Cleaning out the highest demand item in this time of need (especially in a 1300 mile radius) just to sell them again for your own profit is just disgusting. The people who did this were taking advantage of the entire situation, possibly knowing that what they were doing could cost people their health and some, unfortunately, their lives. Coronavirus should be taken seriously, not be a way to make quick profit. And this goes for all of the supermarkets and goods stores that are raising their prices on items that people need the most.
thomas (ohio in ms.enderle's rm 111 8th grade)
. yes because people are going crazy over them taking them so there needs to be higher prices.Yes because they took advantage of people being crazy.Immoral because he's taking advantage of people. .A lot because people are just going to put ridiculous prices on hand sanitizer and toilet paper.Yes because they need stuff to sell. .He should have given it to a store or multiple stores so they could have more.yes because he had so much and chraching so much for it.
Pierce Brown (US)
In my opinion it is not justified to have high prices on these items. One you shouldn’t have all of these items and 2 you shouldn’t be selling them for higher prices. The companies did the right thing on restricting the selling of these items. A company could never place limits on the amount you could buy because they don’t know the reason why you are buying the items. He might have to give the items away but the state couldn’t do anything about because he did buy the items. Script In the state of Tennessee a man named Matt Colvin has over 17000 bottles of hand sanitizer and other health related goods. He says that he wants to sell them to make profit from the goods. Retailers such as ebay and amazon have banned him from selling these items. People that know about this say that he was taking advantage of the system by buying essential items for sale during this quarantine. We will continue to update you on this story.
Samrat Sahoo (Reedy High School)
This is one of those things where like quite frankly its a genius idea but also a terrible idea; it really just depends on the viewpoint. In Mr. Colvin's defense, he has the complete right to buy all of those bottles and sell them for a profit; it's simply how capitalism works. However, there is a core problem with this viewpoint: it is from the viewpoint of a businessman who solely focuses on making a profit. There is no concept of 'morality,' in fact, the only morality is wherever they are able to make a profit. On the flip side, if you put even a single percent of empathy into his actions then you are left with a new viewpoint where everything he has done to this point forward will seem to be immoral. Retailers like Amazon and eBay have taken down attempts at price-gouging because they inherit the latter of the viewpoints and the people regulating genuinely know what it means to be human. Personally, because I have some form of humanity within myself, I strongly believe that these retailers have taken the correct steps toward mitigating the abuses of price gougers because I think in times like these, humanity needs to unite in order to overcome the biggest of obstacles.
Zi Xiang Wang (Milton Hershey School)
High demands under normal circumstances can be utilized to create maximum profit, but a pandemic is far from normal. The immorality does not lie within the ignorance of sellers; it lies within the idea to take advantage of what is to believed an opportune moment in a state of crisis. Consider the holocaust: Hitler established dominance within a country full of disparity and hopelessness. He takes advantage of the state of crisis Germany is in and swaying the public under his will by providing them with a first impression of a man who was going to change history. Little did people know, the same man who claimed to bring Germany out of the dust, was the same man that brought a whole race into it. It may be a long stretch but it is exactly what is happening today. The state of crisis the U.S. is under provides a gateway for people like Mr.Colvin to cease the moment and get a hold of public. When considering the morality of his actions, don't for it is clearly a representation of modern day villains.
Karla Villanueva (Nordhoff High School)
It's unbelievable what our country has become. I believe that it is not only immoral but selfish of someone to take advantage of rising demand for products.I am sure people still went out to look for these supplies at small "backwood" stores because they would much rather pay the original price then to pay 20 times more its worth.Just because other people are taking advantage of this situation doesn't give you the right to do so also.
Ashley Goldberg (The Pennington School)
Yes, it is immoral to increase the prices of goods during a time of crisis because, as we have noticed, this is time where people are desperate for basic necessities. In order to improve the situation of Covid-19 and flatten the curve, social distancing and staying at home is absolutely necessary. However, in order to do so, people need to have the proper amount of resources in their homes so they do not deprive themselves of their basic needs. That being said, how can all people have the proper amount of basic needs if they cannot afford them? Especially during a time when the economy is at an all-time low, it is truly unfair to ask people who are already struggling financially, to spend extra money on things they should be granted anyway. Increasing these prices causes fewer people to buy them and, in turn, more unsanitary habits, food insecurities, and many other issues.
Logan Byrd (White oak middle school)
If people are hoarding hand sanitzer, face mask, and gloves it will make the coronavirus spreed quicker and it will make it more difficult to put the Coronavirus under control.
Jalynn Wright (White Oak Middle School)
Yes it is immoral to increase the prices of good during a crisis.It is immoral because what if someone really needs that item but they can't buy it because the price is too high.Plus increasing the price is just going to make less people want to buy that item if they don't really need that item.
Abi McElwey (Anna High School, Texas)
In the absence of morality, this is what our society can become. Merriam-Webster defines moral as “conforming to a standard of right behavior,” so being immoral is conforming to a standard of wrong behavior. According to this definition, I would say what Mr. Colvin did was immoral. What was right about his actions? He wasn’t providing a service for anyone. He made usual store customers have to bend over backwards to obtain essential items just to have them end up buying from him at an outrageously inflated price. By shipping goods to rural areas, he’s still not helping anyone because he’s selling goods for a ridiculous amount when you could order straight from the store and have products shipped to your door without adding in the cost a third-party seller will include. Colvin is simply taking advantage of people by forcing them to buy from him because it becomes their only option. Amazon made the right choice to suspend the accounts of stockpilers who were reselling necessary items at an unjustifiable price. Resellers who were making big bucks by stealing from the citizens’ pockets now have nowhere to sell. In my opinion, these goods should be donated to those in need. Immoral acts like this force retailers to place limits on items like hand sanitizer, etc. Having limits on these products will keep people from stockpiling and reselling just to make a profit during a crisis. Instead of exalting yourself by using others as stepping stones, lend a helping hand to lift others up.
Olivia Valbuena (Michigan)
I believe that during this crisis and any others we should go through, the high demand for items that could keep people safe and prevent casualties absolutely does not condone high prices. The resellers who sell these life-saving devices, like water bottles after a hurricane or in this case hand sanitizer and face masks to prevent the spread of COVID19, at ridiculous prices are cruel, greedy, and selfish, using fearful people to make a profit. While I believe that most of the responsibility lands on the people and companies selling these products for obnoxiously high prices, the action taken by companies like Amazon and eBay was just and fair and promoted the idea of price-gouging as egotistical and indecent. On the topic of retailers, they absolutely must place limits on the amount of high-demand products that people buy during emergencies. I would suggest 15-20 of the item per person buying. In the case of Mr. Colvin and other people who have stockpiles these necessary goods, the simple and obvious solution, to me, it to distribute them to the community for low prices or even for free.
Aidan Isaacs (Branham High school, San Jose, CA)
After reading this article the first thought that popped into my head was simply "why not just donate what you can't sell". After that was the beginning of an all too familiar conversation I have with myself every time I consider an issue of any size. And after that I came to the conclusion that what Mr. Colvin did was not WRONG. Lets be real, what was the first thing that scores of people did once realizing that the corona virus might be more than another person's problem? Here in the Santa Clara County of San Jose, California the first thing people did was buy food...lot's of food. My Dad, who lives in a small apartment and see's us every other weekend for two days, was going to get the staple food of his three room country: Pasta. Thing is, there wasn't any on the shelves...at all. To us it wouldn't have mattered if one person took it all or if everyone rushed and got there before him. Looking at Mr. Colvin's actions I realized what would have happened regardless of how much he bought: people would have bought it up in large amounts out of paranoia and fear. Mr. Colvin, inadvertently or intentionally, moved those would-be panic-bought supplies from "hole in the wall" stores and into one the biggest shopping networks in the US, making it available to be bought by those with the most fear. I can't say for certain if this is true, but I imagine people near the initial arrival points of this pandemic would fit the bill. In short, Colvin was like a not-so-honarable robin hood.
Peter (Virginia)
It's a pity some people try to profit from tragedies. Hoarding and even worse, price gouging those sacred goods, in times of crisis are both a personality problem as well as a behavioral problem. There are mothers with newborn babies out there, older people, sick peple, poor people, every person who didn't hoard, etc. all who need, could have bought for a reasonable store retail price, and used some of those 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer. But because it was hoarded by the likes of people like Matt Colvin & Co., we all suffer and some have died because of not having used hand sanitizer. If Matt and his brother had a shred of decency, he'd go out and look for people who need it, and sell it for only 10% more than he and his brother bought it for. I am not a religious person at all, but I do hope there is a Judgement Day for such people. Lastly, if hoarders of hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 time can't sell their stockpiled goods, as far as I'm concerned, "Drink up fellas!"
Noah Lago (HCRHS, New Jersey)
To begin with, my simple answer to the question of whether or not price gouging in a time of crisis is immoral would be yes, since it is taking advantage of the people who truly need these supplies. However, I do feel that some aspect of what retail arbitrage does is actually helpful. In saying this, I am mainly referring to what Matt Colvin mentioned about how he's getting supplies from stores that very few people would normally have gone to, and then bringing them to where they're needed. I also agree with the fact that this process would account for a considerable increase in price, to make up for any shipping costs, and other necessary fees to acquire the products. The part of retail arbitrage that I do not agree with is the ridiculous, excessive prices that sellers are listing for their products. Colvin mentioned that getting the products to consumers could account for raising the price of hand sanitizer to about $16, which I already find excessive, but at least that price can be justified with shipping costs and similar fees. And yet, sellers are listing hand sanitizers for as much as $50 to $70, which clearly shows that their one and only purpose is making as big of a profit as they can. In the end, I believe that such excessive price gouging should be purely limited to non-necessities, such as collectibles and limited edition items. When it comes to essentials, and products that people need for their safety and livelihood, such high prices should not be allowed.
Reid Barden (Hoggard High School Wilmington, NC)
Personally I think it is immoral to jack up prices this much during a pandemic. I don't think these people are providing a service, it would be much more simple if they just left them in stores at normal prices. I don't think the companies are required to remove people from their sites but I think it was a good thing to do. The only problem now is that there is no wear for Mr. Colvin to sell the products. I think it would be better if somehow they made him reduce the price to a more normal and fair amount. I think retailers should probably just let people buy whatever they want in whatever quantity they want. I think the state should buy the supplies back from him and punish him.
Peter (Virginia)
@Reid Barden nice reply Reid! You are so right.
Ciara Payne (Anna High School, Texas)
In “Is It Immoral to Increase the Price of Goods During a Crisis?,” Shannon Doyne and Michael Gonchar question whether it is immoral to stockpile and increase the price of essentials when in crises. They provide examples supporting that taking advantage of the situation could be seen as either “capitalism at its finest” or selfish depending on one’s viewpoint. While Doyne and Gonchar withhold their opinion about whether it is immoral or just good business tactics, I believe people should not be allowed to make significant profits off of a fearful society. Using a crisis for one’s gain, similarly to the Colvin brothers, is part of the problem that needs to be fixed. In the article for example, a mother was searching for hand sanitizer since before her first baby was born, however; all the selves were bare, and online hand sanitizer was extremely overpriced. Even though these people believe they are providing a “public service”, it is selfish to withhold essentials from people in need. I encourage those who have hoarded items to donate them rather than sell them for a profit.
Jordyn T. (Dawson High School, Texas)
Regarding whether price gouging is “an example of capitalism at its finest” or merely an act of greed: it is, in fact, both. In a society which promotes individualist enterprise, it is inevitable that vendors seize economic opportunity amid crises. Matt and Noah Colvin, aware of the panic purchasing phenomenon following the outbreak of coronavirus, are just two of thousands of online sellers who purchased highly demanded supplies – hand sanitizer, wipes, face masks – and began reselling them at tremendous upcharges. These price gougers have done a disservice to both themselves and their communities: because Amazon and other online commerce platforms – including eBay and Walmart – have taken measures to prevent sellers from exploiting the crisis, they can no longer sell their stockpiled goods, rendering essential resources inaccessible to those in need. Regrettably, actions like those of the Colvin brothers underlie a greater issue: the prioritization of profit over welfare. In a recent press briefing addressing the pandemic, President Donald Trump declared that government-imposed preventative measures might cause economic stagnation, a possibility which supposedly outweighs the virus’s death rate. Trump’s assertion indicates apathy toward collective wellbeing – a fatal flaw of capitalism. For the health and safety of all individuals, we must challenge individualist ideals which favor amassment of capital over protection of citizens; morality must subdue greed.
Athena Kots. (New York)
It is extremely immoral for anyone, including Mr. Colvin, to increase the prices of necessity goods at a time like this. When our country is scared, fearful of their lives, and not even the president wants to admit that, much less people Like Mr. Colvin who take advantage of these desperate times. In fact, although this depends on the region, a state such as New York has a Price Gouging Law that prohibits store owners from unfairly increasing the price of items in a time of crisis, such as this one. Laws like this should apply to online commerce platforms as well. Luckily, Amazon caught on and is prohibiting third-party sellers from selling these necessary goods, but it is still alarming that people will simply disregard public health in order to profit off of buyers’ desperation.
Angelica Ignacio (California)
@Athena Kots. I agree with your standpoint. Due to the demand, people such as Mr. Colvin will and would like to take advantage of people, who are in fear for their lives. Ever since the outbreak, many people have stockpiled necessities and have gone out to desperate people and made large amounts of profit, not considering the emotions being played at hand. Because of this dilemma, many states have considered to implement laws that will punish people involved in inflation of medical items such as hand sanitizer and face masks. It truly is immoral to for one take a majority of the needed supplies for yourself and two to even think about increasing the prices in order to benefit from the paranoia of people. And not is only people in real life, you have people on online stores such as Ebay that are taking advantage of this crisis. If there is a law that will be implemented for means of controlling the prices and regulating the markets for these products that are high in demand, the law should apply to both in person and online transactions. Another conversation that sparks is the immorality of leaving people with no option of having to resort to the extent of spending almost 10 times that someone should pay for the same amount of product; not everyone can afford to buy a hand sanitizer when some have to weigh which is more important, feeding their families or getting one product to protect the family from a virus.
Jordyn T. (Dawson High School, Texas)
Doyne and Gonchar question whether price gouging is “an example of capitalism at its finest” or merely an act of greed when it is, in fact, both. In a society which promotes individualist enterprise, it is inevitable that vendors seize economic opportunity amid crises. For example, Amazon merchants Matt and Noah Colvin, aware of the panic purchasing phenomenon following the outbreak of coronavirus, purchased thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer to resell at tremendous upcharges. Amazon, hoping to discourage excessive price markups, pulled their items, along with thousands of other listings for sanitizer, wipes, and face masks. Though Amazon and other online commerce platforms – including eBay and Walmart – have taken measures to prevent sellers from exploiting the crisis, actions like those of the Colvin brothers underlie a larger problem: the prioritization of profit over public health. In a recent press briefing addressing the pandemic, President Donald Trump declared that government-imposed preventative measures might cause economic stagnation, a possibility which supposedly outweighs the virus’s one percent death rate (as reported by the World Health Organization). Trump’s assertion indicates apathy toward collective wellbeing – a fatal flaw of capitalism. For the health and safety of all individuals, we must challenge conventional individualist ideals which favor amassment of capital over the protection of citizens; morality must prevail over greed.
Callum Wooster (Branham High School, San Jose, CA.)
Price gouging in the midst of a crisis is self-centered and reprimandable. Buying out local retailers’ supplies of essential goods for protecting people against COVID-19 harms those who are already struggling to pay for necessities and promotes panic among shoppers who fear they won’t be able to find these items if they don’t stockpile themselves. Everyday tasks like grocery shopping become much more difficult when items like canned foods, eggs, and bread are swept off the shelves. While Matt and Noah Colvin saw their ventures as a public service that expanded access to hand sanitizers, their practices of stockpiling and profiteering make it harder for both the consumers in their community and those who shop for goods online to keep themselves safe at a reasonable price. My neighborhood’s supermarkets are all either out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer or rationing them, but it’s far cheaper to wait for them to restock than it is to buy hygiene products online that are severely overpriced. Independent sellers should recognize that increased demand for goods like Purell wipes and face masks is a sign that they are becoming necessities that should be priced more affordably, not that this is an opportunity to increase profits at the expense of consumers. I am glad that the Colvins eventually decided to donate their stock, and I see it as the moral responsibility of anyone else with a surplus of hand sanitizers, toilet paper, face masks, or food to do the same.
Makayla Taylor (Tallahassee)
What Mr. Colvin did was immoral, in my opinion. I believe he took advantage of people who needed the supplies because he knew they would buy the products no matter what because they're desperate.
Madhav Maniraj (Washington DC)
The idea of morality is completely subjective. What may be moral to one person could be completely inhumane to someone else. Because of this, this answer will be completely based on my own perception of morality. Personally, I find what Mr. Colvin did incredibly immoral. He has collected and hoarded multiple necessities that are needed in a pandemic of this scaleand has decided to give them at a much higher price so that he can benefit from the demand of these highly valuable products. However, that is not what I consider the worst part of this scenario. What I find truly apalling is how Mr. Colvin considers his unethical price-gouging to be a "public-service." Frankly, I find the notion that profiting off of peoples worries and health during such a time like this, and at such a noticable mark-up, is not a service and is just someone who is fulfilling his greedy desires. If he really wanted to start a public-service, he could have donated them to people who could not access hand-sanitizer. What Mr. Colvin is doing is simply profiting off of people's fears.
Aidan Isaacs (Branham High school, San Jose, CA)
@Madhav Maniraj I totally agree with morality being subjective. It's very true.
Joe Keller (Hoggard High School in Wilmington NC)
What Mr. Colvin did was completely and utterly human. On the one hand he's giving those who need products like hand sanitizers and face masks a new source to buy from and from a safer location no doubt. On the other he's hoarding valuable products that are essential for a higher price. Granted the latter is capitalism 101 it's still kind of a morally grey decision. What I do think is a wrong decision is online retailers preventing the price gouging. It's a terrible practice for sure, but the more hand sanitizer and other health products get into the hands of the consumer the better. Besides with thousands of sellers you're bound to get at least one good deal.
Peter (Virginia)
@Joe Keller ....Matt Colvin's garage is full of products that could save peoples' lives and hinder the spread of the Coronavirus. I ask you Joe, how is hoarding 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer, especially right now, "completely and utterly human?" People are dying and many from not having used hand sanitizer which is sitting in garages in Greedytown, USA.
Aidan Isaacs (Branham High school, San Jose, CA)
@Joe Keller that's true, I agree with the idea of it being human rather than right or wrong.
izaak bullucks (Cincinnati,Ohio)
No, I don't think that people should raise prices on things in a crisis because it can cause a lot of problems. Example so people can not afford higher products because they don't have a lot of money or something like that and if they can't afford it, how are they going to survive the crisis?
Hailey (Abilene)
I think that he took advantage of people who needed these supplies. Just because he had the money to buy these things dose not mean to buy them and sell them for higher prices.
Anik (Michigan)
His behavior was most definitely immoral. Not only was he taking advantage of a situation in which people already feel extremely vulnerable, but he was pushing the narrative that we need to hoard things during this situation, which is incorrect and can seriously harm people who are unable to afford the increased prices. In addition, he was depriving people of a resource that hospitals are already running out of, which furthered his narrative. Stores need to ration such items to make sure that a situation like this will not occur again.
Celeste A. (California)
@Anik I completely agree with you about everything regarding Mr. Colvin's selfish actions. It was immoral for Colvin to stock up on hand sanitizer while a pandemic is occurring where people are in dire need of such a resource. Colvin claims he’s buying these items to sell for more to be selfless, to get hand sanitizer to areas that need it more. Although Colvin claims his hoarding for the hand sanitizer is so that other areas could obtain it is his excuse for being selfless, the fact that he’s selling it for much more because of the labor shipping requires (when he is not the one who’s working in a factory all day surrounded by a hazardous environment) and that he took such a large quantity to get it to other areas that could not obtain it just for his area could not obtain it, is his way of being selfless then I believe it is safe to say that Colvin is just putting up a front so that he has a reason to not get attacked as much. It is ironic that Colvin states he bought such a large quantity to get it to other locations in dire need of such a resource when, because of the quantity, now his location is in dire need of hand sanitizer. I believe Colvin took advantage of the pandemic to sell the hand sanitizers for more because he knew that since hand sanitizer is such an essential during the CoronaVirus pandemic, he knew he’d receive more money now for hand sanitizer than at any time.
Kaitlyn (Abilene)
He took advantage of a situation where he should’ve helped. I think that since he had the money is he wanted to buy all these supplies that he should have either gave them out to support his peers or if he wanted to sell them then make them affordable for people to buy.
Sade (USA)
I think it is wrong, but yet not exactly as sometimes the seller doesn't make the price up themselves and have no choice but to be more competitive(?) with others. Though, I don't think that this isn't a good time to start selling things at a higher price as a lot of people might not be able to afford what they need, like food or even a small bottle of hand sanitizer.
Christian Cammack (Hoggard High School In Wilmington, NC)
I have mixed feelings about whether selling products for a higher price during a crisis is a smart move or a cruel one. On one hand I can see from the sellers point of view, where they want to make some money and will do whatever they can to get the most profitable price. But is there a certain line that they cross when a disease sweeping the nation is involved? It's one thing if somebody might buy a bunch of new toys and when it sells out start upping the resale price or same but for tickets, but when it's items that could be beneficial for someone's well being, that's where I start thinking they've taken it too far. This might set you ahead a little bit with cash, but when you think of all the people you could have helped if you didn't sell it for such a high amount it's not worth it in the long run.
Will Humble (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
@Christian Cammack I like your comparison to selling toys, puts it in a different perspective. I also like your point about how it may set him ahead a little cash now, but what does that do for the long run. I’m sure it feels great “to get rich quick”, but in the long run as this situation has the possibility to worsen, he could become filled with remorse. It’s an interesting problem we have to address everyday, is the instant gratification truly worth it? I think especially in a case like this, we have to look more to the long term implications. Sure, it felt great and having money is awesome, but what about all the people you could help instead. I know he ended up donating his stockpile (he didn’t really have a choice...), but I wonder how he’s doing and what he’s thinking about it now, a week removed. Thank you for adding new ideas to the conversation, it really strengthened it!
Carlos Arias (Pacoima, CA)
Situations such as the pandemic we're currently in the midst of shouldn't cause items such as hand sanitizer and masks to suddenly skyrocket in price. Although it may be difficult to control hoarders like the Colvin brothers, if allowed to continue, others will eventually follow suit if they see that there's a possibility to gain some quick cash from it. And while some may say it doesn't matter, you have to also realize that hospitals are in such dire need for items such as hand sanitizer to the point that they have to start rationing while hoarders such as the Colvin brothers have over 17,000 bottles. Furthermore, you have to consider that hospitals still have to deal with patients with various needs in addition to the patients that are affected by the ongoing pandemic that are all in need of materials such as masks and hand sanitizers. Even if retailers and online retailers try to limit purchases via limits, the hoarder could simply pay others to buy the goods for them or make multiple accounts online to buy from online retailers. The issue lies not with finding a way to limit purchases but instead finding a way to discourage hoarding.
Carlos Arias (Pacoima, CA)
Situations such as the pandemic we're currently in the midst of shouldn't cause items such as hand sanitizer and masks to suddenly skyrocket in price. Although it may be difficult to control hoarders like the Colvin brothers, if allowed to continue, others will eventually follow suit if they see that there's a possibility to gain some quick cash from it. They are clearly taking advantage of how sought after these goods have become because of Covid-19 and don’t care about cutting off access to those who really need it that aren’t so financially well off. And while some may say it doesn't matter, you also have to realize that hospitals are in such dire need for items such as hand sanitizer to the point that they have to start rationing while hoarders such as the Colvin brothers have over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. Furthermore, you have to consider that hospitals still have to deal with patients suffering from illnesses unrelated to the pandemic in addition to the patients that were affected by the ongoing pandemic that are all in need of materials such as masks and hand sanitizers. Even with the removal of sellers who were price gouging on online retailers and the creation of limits in retailers, hoarders could simply pay others to buy the goods for them or make multiple accounts online to sell on online retailers. The issue lies not with finding a way to limit purchases but instead finding a way to discourage hoarding.
ND (Abilene)
I believe Mr. Colvin is NOT providing a public service, but a public disservice. He is now part of the problem and not the solution. I can't help but see the images and remember the stories I have read of our most vulnerable citizens going without while individuals like Mr. Colvin are rationalizing their "public service." What a shame.
Madi (Oregon)
@ND I completely agree, he should have been giving them out for free or helping instead of raising the prices. Everyone is doing all they can and him hoarding the products is not helpful. I would love to hear what you think the online retailers should've done.
Daniel (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Higher prices for special items like hand sanitizer and mask should be priced for higher rates because it's the biggest item that could save us from getting infected if it's the right stuff. People who stock and resell aren't getting the advantage over people because some people really do need things and the stock marketers need to make money back from selling. Marketers should put higher prices so people don’t buy the whole row of hand sanitizer and masks.Retaillers have a lot of responsibllities because they have to retaill all the prices.he should not be punished no because he was just trying to make sure him and his family was ok on supplies.
Sam Doherty (USA)
I wouldn't say it's immoral so much as amoral. It is not really the fault of the seller, but the fault of the system itself which forces the seller to remain competitive in the market. So while I do not believe it is moral to increase the prices in a crisis, the fault is not with the capitalists selling the goods but with capitalism itself. While these people do perpetuate capitalism and usually it is in their own selfish interest to do so, it is not really that much of a choice they have.
Jacob (Argument Class)
I believe that hoarding these supplies, like hand sanitizer, and jacking up the prices is morally wrong and selfish. These people are keeping these supplies away from hospitals that desperately need them just so they can make a few bucks. I do believe that it is okay to sell higher when demand is high, but not when it is something that people need to stay safe and healthy. Another reason that what they was selfish and morally wrong is they manipulated peoples' fear of the virus to make them willing to pay exponentially more money.
Christian Cammack (Hoggard High School In Wilmington, NC)
@Jacob I didn't even think about how they use scare tactics to try and get somebody to buy as well. The fact that they are purposefully hoarding hand sanitizers and other products that could be very helpful against the pandemic, and then selling them for unreasonably high prices, is messed up enough in my opinion.
Bryan (Los Angeles)
@Jacob I completely agree, I believe selling these necessities during a pandemic for a profoundly increased price is morally wrong and egocentric. Hoarders during this tragic and unimaginable times are making it difficult for hospitals who really need anti-bacterial supplies when treating their patients and taking care of themselves. Moreover, these people are daunting and manipulating people making them think they need these supplies such as masks or hand sanitizer in order to survive. Because of this, people would believe a lot to a certain extent in order to survive. However, instead of buying overpriced supplies which can affect you economically, the best way to help prevent obtaining COVID-19 is by simply staying at home and limiting yourselves from the outside world. In addition, people will continue to hoard supplies in an attempt to make profit which can persuade other people to do the same. In effect, some stores are limiting the amount of items they could take. People are taking it too far because of the fear and are willing to pay top price for items. People need reassurance in order to prevent hoarding supplies. In addition, people in poverty are struggling to get food.Lower income families are left vulnerable with no choice to pay high market over food and supplies. Although you can remove overpriced supplies online, people will continue to to sell locally.
Rachel Drazil (Anna High School)
During a crisis, like this COVID-19 pandemic, resources, foods, and etc. will become extremely scarce because people get freaked out and are scared that they’re going to run out so they stalk up as much as they can and leave very little to others which is extremely selfish. If those people resell 5$ items for 50$, that’s taking advantage of a literal pandemic and using it for their profit.
Karla Villanueva (Nordhoff High School)
@Rachel Drazil I completely agree that it is a selfish act.
Azaria F (Dawson High School, TX)
High demand for items like hand sanitizers and masks during a public health crisis definitely does not justify higher prices. If anything, it is more immoral to raise prices of these goods during a global pandemic because the public is being taken advantage of in a time of panic and economic struggle for the personal gain of producers. While supply and demand dictates that any experienced business person should maximize their profits in a situation like this, the Colvin brothers failed to empathize with the population. They should have recognized that many people are losing jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak and losing a lot of money from the stock market crash; every person's situation during this dire time is different and many rely on these supplies for precautionary measures in avoiding the virus. Sensitivity of producers is necessary at times like this where the world seems disunited. Hospitals are rationing these supplies due to people like Mr. Colvin stockpiling and cleaning out shelves. These crucial items are not available and as a result of selfish inclinations, lives are being threatened. I think Mr. Colvin was being a smart businessman but an apathetic human.
SH (abilene)
Even if they profited from this or not, it was wrong. They didn't think "well what if they don't have the money" , all they cared about was "well if they REALLY need it, then they'll buy it". In the end, it was just wrong and selfish.
Eli (Cincinnati, Ohio)
I believe the raising of the price of hand sanitizer and other materials that are needed, especially with the pandemic around, is immoral. This is because these are the most crucial times to have hand sanitizer for all, and follows a "herd mentality" and it requires that all of the community it healthy because even if only one person is infected, they could spread it to the rest of the community. This is why preventative measures like gloves and hand sanitizer should actually be at lower prices because it is important that everyone can properly prevent such diseases from spreading. Also, these disease send panic naturally, and people do want to stock up on hand sanitizer, so the price goes up naturally due to the high demand. However, that does not give people the right to raise prices through the roof just to profit off of the fear of people in fear of the unknown of where the virus will lead. Therefore, people should not be able to capitalize on the fear or hysteria of others, because that is simple exploitation, especially over something as serious as a pandemic that can change the lives of families forever.
Joseph (cincinnati Ohio)
Higher demand or higher prices for health items like masks and hand sanitizer are not correct to do in times of crisis to rip people out of they’re money for things that could save them. There’s much responsibility for retailers preventing stockpiling because they need it as much as anyone else. This is because of what's going around. Online shopping sites such as amazon or ebay have to refrain from overpriced health products because they know people would pay big for these items in these times of fear and crisis. I think Mr.colvin should’ve helped anyone possible because he had over 17,000 hand sanitizer and other health supplies.
Andrew B. (Abilene)
1. According to the theory of supply and demand, as demand rises and supply diminishes, prices go up in order for the company to be able to continue selling products. Because of this, it makes sense for there to be a slight increase in price. Resellers do not provide a public service. What they are doing is just a commercial commodity, and should stay out of the realm of essential products because they exploit the weak and desperate. What Mr. Colvin did was immoral by nearly all measures, specifically by Kant’s categorical imperative. Kant’s categorical imperative: any action that ignores a person’s autonomy is immoral. Mr. Colvin treated the people desperate for hand sanitizer and wipes as a source of income instead of people. Strictly speaking, retailers have no responsibility to stop stockpiling. However, they do have a moral obligation to attempt to provide enough resources for everyone. Utilitarianism is the theory that the most good for the most people is the most moral action. By this theory, the retailers would be performing an immoral action if they didn’t do their best to provide these vital products to as many people as possible. It is for this reason that I believe that retailers should try to prevent stockpiling. Mr. Colvin should donate all of his supplies because he has no need for all of those supplies. He should definitely receive some legal repercussions for his blatant attempt at price gouging.
Easton Cox (Abilene)
I'm going to be completely honest when I say this, what these people have done is wrong, but definitely smart. Don't get me wrong here, I would never do something like this in a crisis, but I have considered doing it during fundraisers. Not only could I make a profit, but if I play my cards right, more money could go to said fundraisers (I'm looking at you World's Finest Chocolate). Once again, what these people have done is wrong, greedy, selfish, and straight out disgusting, but they may have been on to something.
JO (Abilene Tx)
I think the demand justifies for high prices because so many people need and want the supplies so we need to also make a larger profit off of the supplies being wiped off the shelves. Stockpilers are somewhat providing a service to the people who want the supplies. Stockpilers are also kind of taking advantage of the people by reselling these items at such a high price. What Mr. Colvin did isn't completely immoral, but the idea at first was immoral. In the end, he ended up donating it all. Retailers can 100% prevent stockpiling by setting limits on how much a person can buy when they come to their stores.
LG (Abilene)
I don't believe that high demand should justify higher prices on supplies needed. Despite Mr. Colvin's response he is still taking advantage of scared people. Price gouging and hoarders only make a situation like this worse and companies should limit amounts of products that can be bought by individuals. More should be done legally to prevent these things and Mr Colvin should give what he has left out to people like an actual public service.
arielle (abilene)
I think its very selfish , and rude for someone to just do this ! they need to think about others and the people who cant afford their higher prices !!!!!
Michelle Chi (US)
I think it's selfish if doing it for self gain but if not then it's okay to an extent. The reseller should find a reasonable high price that's high enough to gain profit but low enough for people to get the supplies they need.
Jolie O (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
I believe that the stores are responsible for setting limits on different products now and before the panic. Everything needs to be rationed during this time of uncertainty and panic. Everyone is going to need these products sooner or later and it's unfair if some have none and other people are sitting on piles of it. These online sites should still allow some distribution of these goods, but they should just set limits on how much money they can go for. That way, everyone can get some and the people that are already in possession will be able to make somewhat of a profit for their business planning and labor.
Rebekah Letourneau (The Argument Class)
People should not be stockpiling necessities during times of crisis unless it is absolutely necessary and those people need those items, or if these same people are selling their products back to the community. If their plans are to distribute the products back to the people, it should be at the same price they purchased the product in-store. It isn't a public service if you're getting paid because of it. In my opinion, the term "service" means volunteered work because the person wanted to do something good, not because they sought personal gain. While I don't agree that online stores should completely ban the sales of these necessities, they have every right to prevent price gouging during a time of crisis. At most, they should allow anyone who could be price gouging to continue to sell their products, but at a forced, lowered price. On that note, placing a limit on how many items a person can buy has its pros and cons. The limit is effective to make sure everyone gets the products they need however, it can be difficult to determine why they are buying a surplus of products. Maybe they are caring for multiple people and need more products than others, or maybe they plan to donate these products to a place that houses and cares for the sick that are having trouble getting their supplies on their own.
Annik S (KS Uster)
For me it’s very inappropriate that they take advantage of a global crisis. Many people, especially the self-employed persons, have a problem, because they had to close their shops. And such persons make it worse. This disease concern everybody and we should help each other, not fleece us. To make such a profit from goods which are for some persons important is very selfish. And if they become more expensive, the well-to-do persons can achieve them and the lower layers can’t. But such health products should be available for everybody. In addition, that such sellers take advantage of this, they spread fear. If you go in a shop and there are empty shelves, it unsettles you, and you think, oh that seems so important, I have to buy that to. It’s the same with panic buying. I think it’s really sad, if the stores have to ration the products, because the humans are not capable of acting decently. But in my view it is very good that the sales platforms removed the offers. They showed that they don’t support such an exploitation, that it isn’t okay. I think the guy should distribute or donate the remaining hand sanitizers to people who really need it.
brookelynn (cincinnati,oh)
Does high demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during a public health crisis justify higher prices? The way i would put it is no they shouldn’t have hand sanitizer for like $50 bucks because that's way too much for a little bottle. Are resellers who stockpile supplies and then sell them at a higher price providing a service? Or, are they taking advantage of people? Do you think what Mr. Colvin did is immoral? I think Mr. Colvin is doing a good thing but I still think hand sanitizer shouldn’t be that much money. How much responsibility do online retailers like Amazon and eBay have to prevent price gouging during a crisis? I personally love online shopping only because you could just be laying down in your bed and basically go shopping. Do you think these companies did the right thing in restricting sales of any coronavirus-related products from certain sellers? Well if any of their products have the coronavirus then they should be removed immediately that way they don’t give the sickness to older people. How much responsibility do retailers in general have to prevent stockpiling? Should they place limits on how many items, like hand sanitizer, a person can buy? The responsibility that store owners have is really big because even though a person walked in and they had a bad sickness they wouldn’t know because they aren’t mind readers and they aren’t supposed to ask people if their sick.
Richard.k (Cincinati Ohio)
No items like masks and hand sanitizer and other health items should not be justified during a health crisis like this because people go out,purchase to much of the items,and then either hord it and never use it,or try to sell it for more money.The people buying the products and selling it for more money are the ones taking advantage of people because if people sell stuff like hand sanitizer or toilet paper online for $70 and $80,they are one selling it illegally and two trying to take and make money off of people.No because he was just trying to be helpful to people who need stuff like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.They have some responsibility for online pricing but not the full 100% of it. Yes because people who are old or have bad ammune systems can not fight it very well and if they ristrict certain things from certain buyers then there is less of a risk that they will get the virus.Retailers generally have like 30%responsibility to prevent stockpiling because they can make a sign limiting how much of something people can get. Yes because it will slow down how fast a product will run out and the people who need it can get some.I think that he should have went around were he lived and gave it to the people who were in need of it.No he shouldnt because he donated it to stores and the stores got more stuff they needed.
bryce (wv)
I do not think that people should raise the prices on items that people need during this crisis. The demand is going up and so is the prices. It is sad because during this time people should be helping one another out, but that's not the case here. In our world there is a lot of people that don't have it as good as some of us, and its sad because they may not be able to support their families because they can't afford to buy food. Therefore, instead of increasing prices maybe start to decrease them so everybody can feel good about themselves. It hurts me when I see people that cant afford to by food for there families. I will also never forget the time I went to Walmart with my grandma and this little boy wanted a chocolate bar and I think it was his dad said not today buddy. This melted my heart, no one should have to experience this.
P.Thai (Dawson High School, TX)
In the article “Is It Immoral to Increase the Price of Goods During a Crisis?” Shannon Doyne and Michael Gonchar argues against the opportunistic actions that salesmen have taken during this pandemic. By citing a specific salesman utilizing the outbreak and by outlining the consequences online retailer companies have instilled, Doyne and Gonchar ask their audience look past the money associated with the high demands so that more sanitization products are available to the public; furthermore, it gives those of higher need to access these products as well. Doyne’s and Gonchar’s argument entailing the extreme lengths independent sellers will go to when hoarding the products for profit is crucial especially during this time of disparity. For example, sellers are willing to make long trips to buy all products in markets while they are cheap only to sell them later. While the consumer always has a choice whether to purchase the products, the inflated prices that these parasitic marketers set prey on the desperate and cut out the poor. Consequently, capitalists are in control of who has access to basic human rights – in this case, human health – based on how much consumers are willing to sacrifice. Therefore, it is imperative that those restricting rights should not be allowed to perform their malicious acts even if they do not realize the true consequence to their actions.
Layanne Obeid (Bloomfield Hills High School, MI)
I think that providing a "public service," doesn't justify the fact that they hoarding materials and making a profit off of them. They are taking advantage of people during a crisis when many other people are in great need of these supplies. There are many elderly that are in danger of this disease, and can't access them, due to the rising price of goods. This virus has lethal effects, especially on our beloved grandparents. Instead of going out and selling cleaning supplies for unjustifiable prices, people should provide a better "public service" by helping the elderly get groceries, so they don't have to risk their health by leaving the house. It is absolutely immoral to take advantage of these wonderful people during their time of need and desperation.
Joe Ballard (Anna High School, TX)
Higher demand for products during a public health crisis does not justify price gouging. Hoarders who stockpile supplies and then sell them at a much higher price are doing much the opposite of public service. They are exploiting an already devastated population of people trying to survive a pandemic. Many people are out of work and can't afford to pay $20 for hand sanitizer. What Mr. Calvin did was incredibly wrong and reduced access to critical supplies for people who absolutely need them. Major online retailers like Amazon and Ebay play a crucial role in determining trends for the global marketplace. They share a responsibility in setting the tone that price gouging is morally wrong and did the right thing by restricting the sales of extremely marked up essential items. In times of crisis, retailers have an obligation to prevent the stockpiling of necessary items and may do so by restricting the amount of items customers are allowed to buy. This was demonstrated in our local Brookshire's Grocery Store by allowing customers to buy only one package of toilet paper, ensuring all customers have access to this necessity. Mr. Colvin should have been forced to donate all remaining items to an accredited organization like the the American Red Cross and should face a heavy fine. What he did deprived Americans of things they need most during this crisis, so good job Mr. Colvin for turning a profit on other American's suffering.
Averie (Texas)
I think it fine that the stores are raising the prices it supply and demanded. The stores have to pay the employs and for the shelf to be restock and raising the prices it how they do it.I think what Mr. Colvin is doing is also ok he is putting his time and money into that stuff and he his also donating some so what he doing is fine and it not like he keeping all to him hes doing what the grocery stores and it supply and demand
Allison (Bloomfield Hills HS)
I do not think Mr. Colvin should have bought all those supplies for his own profit use. Instead, I think he should have put them to use in places that severely need them. Like the article said, many hospitals and big cities need these supplies while rural places do not. I think instead of selling the supplies, he should donate to hospitals and to other people who need the supplies. During this time, we should focus on helping each other and not just focusing on money.
Sierra (The argument class)
Raising the prices of goods in a public health crisis is unfair. Some people can barley afford to buy goods at the prices that they normally are, but when you raise the price due to high demand, they then wont be able to afford it even more. People who stockpile resources like gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper, and then turn around and sell it are not providing a service, because they just want to make money off of it because they know its in high demand. Taking advantage of peoples money that they worked for is wrong. Mr. Colvin did a immoral thing, I feel like its wrong to do this kind of thing during a public health crisis.
Nate Carlson (Bloomfield Hills HS, MI)
I think that it is perfectly okay for Colvin to donate some and sell some because he is putting his time, effort, and money into supplying these items to people.
chad lilley (leesville rd high school,NC)
what i think Mr. Colvin should do with his supplies is give to those who need it most, for example: a hospital or big companies that have a lot of employees.
Spencer G (argument class)
Is hoarding critical supplies during an international crisis wrong? -I think that it is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is an incredibly effective way to turn a profit, albeit an unethical one. The hoarders do have to pay shipping, company fees, and the price of the item itself to sell this item, so that can explain a portion of the price. But to make a profit, that is where the largest amount of inflation comes from: if you charge for the shipping, the company fees, and the product itself, then you just break even. One would also have to inflate the price to just make this process worthwhile- now this is where the big problem appears: inflating a product by five dollars, for example, is a reasonable move, however, charging 80 USD for a small bottle of hand sanitizer is a bit much. On the other hand, this is rather cruel and greedy as hospitals around the world require these supplies to keep their patients and employees healthy, or even alive, so these hoarders are in effect, holing people's well being for ransom. If these hoarders cared about anybody other than themselves then they would just buy what they need to get by and let people and hospitals get their supplies themselves instead of forcing hospital workes to pay outrageous fees. In conclusion, although it is a smart financial move, it is also greedy and unethical to hoard crucial items that people need to survive and stay well, especially in the face of an international pandemic.
Anne (Massachusetts)
It is not good to raise the prices of goods because it is unfair. many people’s jobs are being shut down and many places are closing. This leads to people not having enough money because they don’t have their jobs and now the prices for essential items. This is not fair and unnecessary because everyone is going to buying the goods .
patrick star (Cincinnati Ohio)
I don't think that stores and businesses should not raise prices because this is just taking advantage of people and making people pay extra then what they need to pay. Most people could not afford a $10.00 small bottle of hand sanitizer. If businesses were to do this yeah their businesses would probably make a lot more money but then again the elderly need it the most and there are people like Matt Colvin who supposedly need a whole garage full of stuff but nobody needs this much supplies when there are people that actually need this kind of stuff. Nobody can get it because of people like this who just hog all of the stuff and are very selfish.
cyra shepherd (ridgeley wv)
is it OK to raise prices off good during a crises? - I personally think that raising the prices of essential items would be ridiculous. People are in a place where they need things and probably don't have the money to buy them like now a lot of people are out of work and cant afford the simple things.
Ammar Ali Asghar (Newton, MA)
Simply put it is immoral. Period. There is no situation or circumstance which warrants the inflation of the price of necessities based on the growing demand due to fear and uncertainty during a crisis, or even in normal life. For example, everyday medicare and medicine itself in America being so expensive is due to corporations being able to inflate the prices of medical goods based on an ever present need for it operates under the same concept. 1 dollar bags of saline costing approximately up to 700 dollars is strait up inhumane and selling 2 dollar hand sanitizer bottles for 50 dollars comes under the same category. To say that, "its a public service", is hypocritical to the extent of blatant stupidity and is completely wrong. Selling necessities on fear is, and I will say this again, inhumane.
Austin Gerth (Cincinnati, Ohio)
No, it does not. It’s not fair to take something that is usually sold for $1.99 and jack the price to $10.99, plus people already bought out all the product so you have no choice but to stick it up and pay the price. “Playing your cards right” on people is not funny nor nice. People who need soap and masks and other necessities can’t get what they need because ignorant people want to make a profit off of “Limited” items left during a time of crisis. People who resell supplies and then sell them at a higher price are not providing a service. They are doing a disadvantage to themselves and others. 1. They just wasted all the supplies that other people needed in their garage stored away for no one to use. And 2. The people who needed those supplies can’t access them either at all or at a lower price then what someone has jacked up the price for. Yes, Mr. Colvin was immortal. That was very childish of him to do that to people who can barely find what they need, plus he is adding stress to people. We don’t know everybody’s financial states, so while he is doing this he is basically forcing them to pay the higher price for things that are a necessity or you just don’t have what you need at all. It really sucks that we have these kinds of people in the world, only reselling things to make profits off of people.
Austin Gerth (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Does high demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during a public health crisis justify higher prices? Yes, because when people are in need for food and cleaning supply the start to struggle with earning money for their jobs. The people who needed those supplies can’t access them either at all or at a lower price then what someone has jacked up the price for. Yes, Mr. Colvin was immortal. That was very childish of him to do that to people who can barely find what they need, plus he is adding stress to people.
Riley H (Cincinnati, Ohio)
I think that they should put higher prices on supplies because they're in such high demand. Maybe if they weren't needed by so many there would be no reason for such high prices. It also should go up because people that actually need supplies like doctors cannot get them because everyone is buying them. I believe that Amazon should also raise prices as well so more people wouldn't want to spend their money on things like that. Retailers have as much power as the want to stop stockpilers. By limiting customers to only a few of each item, this would leave more products for everyone else. This could help stop the high demand for things. Mr. Colvin should have kept some supplies for himself but then also given some to the less fortunate. Not everyone has it easy and deserves a chance to do better. I therefore think he should be punished for causing a higher demand for products.
Emma G Schroer (Cincinnati,Ohio)
No, it does not. It’s not fair to take something that is usually sold for $1.99 and jack the price to $10.99, plus people already bought out all the product so you have no choice but to stick it up and pay the price. “Playing your cards right” on people is not funny nor nice. People who need soap and masks and other necessities can’t get what they need because ignorant people want to make a profit off of “Limited” items left during a time of crisis. People who resell supplies and then sell them at a higher price are not providing a service. They are doing a disadvantage to themselves and others. 1. They just wasted all the supplies that other people needed in their garage stored away for no one to use. And 2. The people who needed those supplies can’t access them either at all or at a lower price then what someone has jacked up the price for. Yes, Mr. Colvin was immortal. That was very childish of him to do that to people who can barely find what they need, plus he is adding stress to people. We don’t know everybody’s financial states, so while he is doing this he is basically forcing them to pay the higher price for things that are a necessity or you just don’t have what you need at all. It really sucks that we have these kinds of people in the world, only reselling things to make profits off of people.
Emma G Schroer (Cincinnati,Ohio)
I would say they have a lot of responsibility for preventing price gouging during a crisis. They are responsible for what goes out on the market (their websites) so they should be responsible for how their users produce products on their websites. I think the companies did the 100% right thing of restricting sales of any coronavirus- related products from certain sellers. It is right because some sellers were not being fair and them being restricted shows them (the sellers) that they either sell fair or they don’t sell at all. *They too have a big responsibility with trying to prevent stockpiling. Other than being in a crisis I don’t really see stockpiling as bad, but while being in a crisis I do. You can’t just take everything for yourself, that’s just being selfish and greedy. If you already stocked up before all this happened that’s fine, but people have to think about others more than themselves. And yes, they should put a limit on how many items you can purchase. It’s called being conscious of the people around you. *What I think Mr. Colvin should have done with the supplies is donate them for free of cost. That way he doesn't have 27,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and other supplies stocked in his garage. And no, I don’t think Mr. Colin should be punished. We all make mistakes and I hope he learns from this mistake that affected a lot of people.
Vendetta (NY, NY)
In a situation like this, it depends on perspective. One side could possibly say that prices for certain items should be lowered so others could survive the outbreak. An opposing side could say that prices have been raised so the the seller could have enough money to survive the pandemic themselves. Both sides are reasonable, but can also be easily found to be false and/or purely based on bias, grudges, and prejudice. Mr. Colvin could be overpricing his goods because he either thinks he needs the money to stock up or he wants to strike it rich. Concluding my statement, I think that Mr . Colvin should face consequences for his egotism and taking advantage of what others currently need in this increasingly bad situation.
Richard.k (Cincinati Ohio)
He works at a store and he is restocking the shelves so that people can by what they need for their own safety during the outbreak.I think you should always think twice about making a profit
Israel B (Las Vegas, NV)
I think that Mr. Colvin should be punished because he had gone to stores, bought all the hand sanitizer, then tried to sell it on Amazon for 70 dollars which is outrageous. Mr. Colvin should have seen that hospitals are struggling to keep the hand sanitizer they have and he should have given the hospitals some of his hand sanitizer. We are in the middle of a global pandemic and Mr. Colvin thinks it's okay to raise the prices because it takes time out of what he's doing to deliver the sanitizer to your door. I think he should have his Amazon account banned for price gouging.
Zoie Schaller (Lashon Academy)
I think that increaseing the price's, of products is a smart idea. From people buying out products for the regualar price, ( may be cheep) this is a good way for people to not buy out everything and rethink their idea about buying the product. Also, from the prices extending, there won't be a lot of products/ nessicitys gone. So, I think this is a good idea, to make sure everyone get's a chance to get items from the store.
Amelia (St. Louis, MO)
Stockpiling important resources at a time of crisis and then attempting to sell them at a higher price is immoral. People really need these items to stay safe and healthy, and if you sell hand sanitizer at a higher price you make it unavailable to some people which is awful for someone to do. I think that it is not Amazon and eBays job to prevent buyers from turning around and selling the items. They could put on restrictions to try to stop this from happening often, or at all, but I don’t think that it is their responsibility. I think that Mr. Colvin should donate the supplies to people who need them more than he does. He could give them to people in his neighborhood, and I am sure that it would be much appreciated.
maria (cinciannati)
Yes, When there’s a life crisis people like to go insane and buy the whole store and don’t keep the other families that are going through the same thing in their minds. Products like that should be expensive because people are going to go through them in a day and continue to buy more. The more they buy the less we have. Sooner or later stores are gonna start running out of the product and not have enough for the other people in need. Resellers could be providing a service by buying supplies at a low cost and selling them at a higher cost. They also could be buying it at a lower cost and adding ingredients into it to make it better so they have a reason to be selling it for a higher price. I think what Mr.Colvin did was not immoral because, in my opinion, I think he was just trying to help it and make the process easier and faster. In my opinion. Amazon,eBay, and all the other online stores have to have a lot of responsibilities due to how many people are going out and buying a whole bunch of products from the store. I think the companies did do the right thing for this situation. I think the stockpilers should have a lot more responsibility for how much they put out on the shelves because everyone needs a fair amount of it. I think Mr.Colvin should’ve returned and not taken all the products or have shared it and sold it with some people. I think the state of Tennessee should give him another chance unless he decides to give back some of the things.
sirinka (woms)
I believe that it is immoral to increase the price of health goods during a crisis. I realize that there is a cost to health care, but it should be a reasonable one. No one should ever exploit people in their most vulnerable moments. I think it's sad that people in our society continue to have a thirst for money, even during a worldwide crisis. While it might be acceptable for the Colvin brothers to have bought the hand sanitizer to sell at a slightly higher price, they should not be making "crazy money" to benefit themselves because of a pandemic. It's not okay to put people's lives in danger so you can get tons of money. It is a very selfish act. Since now Mr. Colvin can't sell his hand sanitizer anywhere, he should donate them to hospitals or hand them out to people who need them. I understand that he spent a lot of money on the hand sanitizers, so he might consider selling them to hospitals at the price that he bought them or even a lowered price. I'm glad that this event helped retailers like Amazon and eBay realize how selfish people can be, and that they put some much-needed restrictions on their platform. I hope that Mr. Colvin sells his 17,700 hand sanitizers at reasonable prices. I also hope that he realizes, and helps us realize, that making money off of a pandemic is wrong.
jesse flores (ohio corona)
In this picture too me it looks like there is a guy that is in his garage door.His standing there looking away from his house with all this type of sanitize,Clorox wipes, and boxes i think that his getting ready for the corona virus attack he looks really sad i can see it on his face I don't see a sign that says the thing in his garage are for sell so that makes me think that he is getting ready to clean him self for bacteria etc.
michael (Cincinnati,Ohio)
What part of this is moral? What part of this is fair? What part of this is in any way righteous? If we define the moral decision as the one that is right- just, virtuous, good- then how could anyone come to the conclusion that this is that? It is not in any way, shape, or form moral to capitalize on people’s fear and danger to better yourself financially. This is not being an entrepreneur. This is not being creative. This is being a shark. A predator waiting to pounce at the first poor family whose seven year old gets sick. A monster waiting to strike the first mother who gets worried about taking their child out in public. A devil plotting to trap all of the elderly who are too scared to visit their own families. I can’t really blame Mr. Colvin for this. He is, afterall, a natural product of the capitalist system we have in place. A system where money is required for everything. A system where personal comfort and gain are more important than society’s well being. A system where the moral decision is, more often than not, forsaken for the immoral one in pursuit of financial prosperity. This is price gouging. This is exploitative. It’s no different than Billy Bob doubling the amount he charges for gas in the wake of a hurricane. Times really haven’t changed. The capitalist machine continues as it always has. If we define the moral decision as the one that is right- the one that is taken out of the benevolence and munificence of one’s heart- then we can’t call this that.
Lindsay (Fairfield, Connecticut)
The actions of Mr. Colvin are believed to be immoral by many. It was unjust of him to advertise resell prices more than fifty dollars above the original price. Though his actions hurt many by depriving others of needed materials during a national emergency, he is not the only one at fault for the shortage that was caused. I believe that Amazon was wrong in restricting the access of many people to these essential resources. Reviewers were not wrong in determining that the prices were too high. Everyone can agree that seventy dollars is an outrageous price for a bottle of hand sanitizer, but removing users from the website was not the soundest solution. A preferable result would include the prices being forcibly lowered. By expelling individuals from Amazon, many people lost access to their last hope of obtaining these needed materials. The lack of prevention and careful fixing of the complications now present show that we as a country were not prepared for this and change is necessary to rebuild many of the systems currently in place. It is clear that there needs to be stricter limits on the resell of commodities so that people are not able to produce large salaries from this practice. Amazon needs to review prices before they are sent to people. Mr. Colvin now needs to find a way to sell or distribute his hoarded products, and Amazon should create a system of patrolling prices.
Jordan (cincinnati,ohio white oak middle school)
No its not immortal because people are in the need of hand sanitizer and masks. He Should of donated these things to people in need of these items or sell at regular price. Amazon and eBay did good thing taking his profile down so people don't get ripped off by higher prices during this crisis. In my mind the higher the prices the less people will buy these products while people who are sick from this virus need the resources but dont have them because of higher prices.
Ashley (White oak middle school)
I think that it is very churlish of some store making the price higher than it already is. That is so immoral because some countries are precluded and the fact some store is making the price high is showing how willful they are. The time for store can do rising demand for their product is when there is no outbreak. when there is an outbreak store should unison and keep the price the way it is or make it lower.
Velma Martinez (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
It's not fair to demand higher prices during a crisis like this. Especially for those who might not be able to afford it. Resellers who stock up aren't doing anybody a favor, they're just causing a problem for others. I think when Mr. Colvin stocked up on goods he was just being selfish, because he knew he was going to make money off of others if he sold his goods. He shouldn't be punished for what he did, but it shouldn't have been able to do it in the first place. Retail stores like Amazon and eBay have a lot of responsibility with situations like these. When they restricted sales with certain sellers, it was a good call. In situations like these they should limit the amount every person should be allowed to buy, this way everyone is able to get resources they may need.
David (International school)
Yes, i think that the people sell the prices for over than 50 dollars because than people wouldn’t be able to buy it, when they really need the tools to help them not getting the coronavirus. I think so because if the owner of the app delete an account because that account is selling some tissues over 50 dollars. I think so but i really want to have a limit for how much you can sell it for and not just the items. Yes, its really weird that someone sells 300 bottles and each one is 8 to 70 dollars.
Sandya Rai (Cincinnati, Ohio)
1. High demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks does not justify higher prices because it makes it harder for people, who are actually in need of these items. Resellers who stockpile supplies then sell them at a higher price are not providing a service because they’re taking advantage of their customers and the situation. People are already stressed about their family and friend’s health, adding money to that can create even more tension to their health. Mr. Colvin was simply unethical, he took advantage of people by selling products at such an outrageous price. 2. Online retailers like Amazon and eBay have a huge number of responsibilities to prevent consumers from price gouging during a crisis. The companies did the right thing by restricting sales because certain sellers are charging the items at an outrageous amount of money. 3. Retailers also have a huge responsibility in preventing stockpiling. The amount of hand sanitizers you're allowed to buy should be based on the number of people living in a house. 4. Mr. Colvin should have donated all the supplies to families or people who are in need of it. He shouldn’t be punished by the state of Tennessee because what he did was immoral but not illegal or harmful.
mikai (cincinnati,oh)
it is not immortal to higher the prices, hand sanitizer and mask is helping people have a lower chance of getting viruses. selling the things we need to survive from the virus at a higher price is taking advantage of people. amazon and ebay were doing the right thing by taking down the sellers profile so they could not sell anymore . there should be limits on how much people are buying because other people might be in need of supplies too. Mr.Colvin was being selfish and he should have returned some things back.
Denin Limouris (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
I feel that it would be extremely immoral to increase prices of goods during a time like this. We are at a stage in our lives that we will remember forever and mostly for bad reasons, but if a store or some other seller of goods felt the need to jack up the prices of essentials during a crisis like this they would go down negatively with coronavirus. I’m sure everyone has seen videos of people all rushing the stores to get their essentials so they can quarantine themselves for a while, but what about those less fortunate who have trouble affording goods and what they would do if some store felt the need to extremely increase the price of toilet paper. I just think that it would really take someone extremely greedy to take money from people who are just trying to stay safe in side their houses, also this a time where we should come together and truly fight to defeat this invisible enemy. Finally if anything I feel that we should lower prices of goods because that is the type of unity and togetherness we need to feel in this country right now.
Nyla (Cincinnati,Oh)
1. Just because there is a high demand for hand sanitizer and masks does not justify higher prices. People who do this are not providing a service, they are taking advantage of people's ignorance. Some people may be poor and not be able to pay the high prices . They Would easily be able to pay the dollar tree prices but can't because what they want is all gone. Maybe they want to save the extra money on things more important and reasonable than a 30 dollar mini sanitizer bottle. What Mr. Colvin is doing is very immoral. 2. Amazon and eBay have a big responsibility to prevent price gouging, especially during a crisis. It's their app, whatever happens in their app is their responsibility. It might not be their choice, it was other people's choices on the app they chose to create, they should deal with the aftermath, especially if it is affecting other people. These companies did the right thing restricting sales from certain sellers. They are abusing their power instead of using it rationally like normal people, even though I can't really say normal more like selfless.
Omar Amarragy (Glendora CA)
It is not immoral at all, people buying large quantities of goods in bulk are taking a massive risk, there is a large chance that their goods will not be needed, or be unlisted and they would be stuck out of thousands of dollars. And especially since these items are non essentials in a time of pandemic, it is definitely not immoral to sell things at a higher price than you bought it for. That's capitalism whether you raise the price 1 or 1 million dollars.
Melanie (Danvers)
I believe the raising of the price of hand sanitizer and other materials that are needed, especially with the pandemic around, is immoral. This is because these are the most crucial times to have hand sanitizer for all, and follows a "herd mentality" and it requires that all of the community it healthy because even if only one person is infected, they could spread it to the rest of the community. This is why preventative measures like gloves and hand sanitizer should actually be at lower prices because it is important that everyone can properly prevent such diseases from spreading. Also, these disease send panic naturally, and people do want to stock up on hand sanitizer, so the price goes up naturally due to the high demand. However, that does not give people the right to raise prices through the roof just to profit off of the fear of people in fear of the unknown of where the virus will lead. Therefore, people should not be able to capitalize on the fear or hysteria of others, because that is simple exploitation, especially over something as serious as a pandemic that can change the lives of families forever.
Noelle Lane (Danvers MA)
It is insanely immoral for people to jack the prices of items such as hand sanitizers and masks during this pandemic. The Colvin brothers going around their state and clearing the shelves of desperately needed items should be a crime in my opinion. Doctors and nurses in hospitals are unable to get such items due to people like the Colvins. Think about the people who are unable to get these items in the first place: the elderly, people living paycheck to paycheck, single income families, single parents, etc. People in these situations already may not be able to stock up on these items, and for well-abled people like the Colvins to take them all to make a profit? It makes me sick. A pandemic does not equal a business opportunity, and the people who don’t understand that seriously have no moral values. It’s a completely different story if you’re buying all of these items to give away, as I’ve seen many people do. But to take a serious global pandemic and try to profit off of it? It just makes me sick to think that there are people out there making money off of a global crisis.
Allison Ciero (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
People who stockpile supplies and then sell them for a higher price are taking advantage of other people. These sellers know that depending on how desperate the situation is or how desperate some people are, that they can raise the prices of the supplies and make a ton of money off of it because people are going to buy them. Completely wiping out store shelves of supplies is selfish because these people are only thinking about how they can make money, especially in the situation we are in today with coronavirus. I think that Mr. Colvin should donate the hand sanitizer to stores that are sold out of it or he should donate it to local food banks and other non-profits.
Dylan (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Honestly, during a public health crisis it shouldn’t justify higher prices because some people are less fortunate and don’t have that much money and they wouldn’t do very well in the outbreak. I honestly think people who stockpile and resell are just taking advantage of people because they wind up buying them for cheap prices and then sell them at higher prices. Yes, I think Mr.Colvin is immoral. It’s ridiculous to waste all of that money and all those products, yeah they’re important but you don’t need that much! They have huge responsibility for people reselling important things at really high prices during virus outbreaks! Yes they should make a limited amount of things because it makes it unfair to other people that really need it! I honestly think he should sell it at a lower price than the original price of the item, just simply give some away for free, or go return a lot of the items. I honestly think he should because he may be killing other people because he’s buying all of the important supplies and no one can buy any of them and they could get sick and die because they have no supplies to make themselves clean.
Riley H (Cincinnati, Ohio)
@Dylan You had some very good evidence.
tyrelle (Cincinnati,Ohio)
No it doesn’t, they should lower the prices because some people might not be able to buy it. They are taking advantage of people because the person would probably buy anyway.It’s immoral because Matt bought the hand sanitizer to sell for profit but that didn’t really work out because amazon and eBay stopped him. The reason it’s not selfish is because he bought them to sell them it would be selfish If he kept all the bottles to himself.
nhadia (ohio white oak middle)
It’s not immoral people need hand sanitizer and the people that’s seeking it online are just making it a higher price when that isn’t necessary. I think that eBay and Amazon were doing a good thing by taking down the sellers profile so they couldn’t sell anymore. There should be a limit to how much someone buys other people need it to. Mr.Colvin should have returned all that stuff back to the store.
Kristyn (cincinatti)
No it’s not immoral because a lot of people are in need of hand sanitizer and masks to prevent getting the virus. The people aren’t providing a service to people because their selling the items for higher prices and people aren’t getting the right amount that they payed for. Mr Colvins decision was immoral he’s taking away are in need of and they can’t afford/get the items now. Amazon and eBay are letting this happen letting people sell hand sanitizer and masks at high prices so they have a lot of responsibility. The companies made a good decision because now people can’t sell items over priced. They should make a limit on how many items people can buy at a time because a lot of people are in need of the same products. Mr Colvin should have just sold them to stores or sell them to people he see’s that are in need and he should be punished because he took away things people need.
jekari jenkins (CIncinnati Ohio ms.enderle's room 111)
No its not immoral to higher the prices , because its taking advantage of people and just wasting their money People are already panicking for the supplies that they highly need but sadly, other people are keeping taking mass quantities of them just like Mr. Colvin did. retailers have a big role because they the prices . Legal prices shouldn't be responsible or have any full responsibility at all ,Even though Mr.Colvin should have to return the resources and products he took from other people in need in the middle of this virus or crisis, there is no need to take all of that resources.
Tyler (Cincinnati Ohio WOMS)
People all around the world are panicking for supplies that they need but other people keep taking mass quantities of them like Mr. Colvin. Just because of an outbreak it does not mean you have to buy everything in the stores. When people take them and sell them for a higher price its just not right. When you do that you are taking advantage of people. What Mr. Colvin did is immoral. Big companies like Amazon have already started to control the problem of outrageous prices. It is their responsibility to make sure items like that don't make it on their site. What they are doing is the right thing. Stores in real life have a responsibility too, to make limits on what you can buy. They need to make the limit around 3 so people don't hoard all the supplies. Mr. Colvin should not be punished at all. He just thought that he could make some money buy placing the items on the internet for a higher price. After his items got taken down he should have either donated them or sold them outside for around $4 instead.
Omar Amarragy (Glendora CA)
@Tyler 1st of all, hand sanitizer is by no means a necessity in the midst of a pandemic. People have hundreds of other options if it were to disappear from the globe, and it definitely doesn't make sense for Mr. Colvin to sell them at a lower price or donate to charity, he spent at least $30,000 getting that sanitizer, which is a Goliath of an investment risk, and he deserves to have it either pay off or fizzle out.
CJB (Home)
No, there’s no need for a higher price on a high demand during a public health crisis! The Colvin brothers got everything low why sell high. Profiteering from a pandemic is sad. They didn’t sell it for a service they took advantage of the people. I agree with amazon, ebay, Walmart for pulling there items off and thousands listed sellers like them. Warning those suspended sellers for running up prices. They’d lose their accounts. He acted immoral. Retailers have a huge responsibility to prevent and protect price gouging. Warning those suspended sellers for running up prices. They’d lose their accounts. They did the right thing. In general the have a huge reasonability from those who stock piling. Maybe there should be a limit so others can benefits from the items being sold. Using hand sanitizers, wipes, and face mask won’t protect everyone or keep you 100% safe from coronavirse. Use common sense wash your hands stay indoors, stay healthy exercise and keep busy until everything calms down. I hope Mr. Colvin has a change of heart and start giving those items to those in need. In some way he should be punished and made example retail arbitrage should be band due to making a profit in a pandemic should be prohibited. I don t feel sorry for those sellers who try to make a profit from those in need. We need to keep these laws so sellers won’t price-gouging.
Trace Godwin (Cincinnati, Ohio)
No it does not justify a higher price because people are in need of something that gives them a chance of not becoming sick. No they are not providing a service because they are selling a product at high demand and selling it for a very high price when some people might really need those supplies but they can’t afford the high price. What Colvin did was immoral because he took something that some places or people really need and selling it a very high price when places like hospitals are in need of sanitizer and respirator masks because they are rationing them out to people. They have a lot of responsibility because they are the ones letting people sell the product, so they can change if they want people to sell specific products. Yes because they stopped people who were going to sell products that don’t cost much but were sold at outrageous prices to someone who might really need those supplies. They don’t really have much responsibility other than placing a limit on how much of a product people can buy. There shouldn’t be a limit on how much of a product a person can buy because people might a really big family and a limit would only mean they can't stay as healthy as long as everyone else. He could’ve given out his supplies for free to as many people as possible because the supplies are useful and some people might not be able to get the supplies at stores. He shouldn’t be punished because he already can no longer sell on Ebay and Amazon and make profit.
kayla (cincinnati, Ohio)
I think that this shouldn't be right to hoard suppiles that people use or need, to prevent from getting the virus or people that need to feel same from this situation, because people would say the people who decides to raise the price of items from the store during this virus is not taking it seirous and its helping people for the best because basically taking adavantage of people and taking their money and also it's not good for health. Another reason online retaliers should really prevent price going up, if they feel like people are taking advantage of the crisis and this virus they should have responsibillity and do what they have to do to make it better. And online retailers should have full responsibillity to prevent stockpilling, a reasonable limit should be hold in placed. Legal punishment shouldn't be as necessary, but Mr.Colvin should have to return the resources and products he took from other people in need in the middle of this virus or crisis, there is no need to take all of that resources.
Pablo Garcia (Oregon)
I would love to say the what the Colvin brothers did was immoral, but by doing that we would be calling companies across the world immoral,although they very well might be. We can't target the Colvin brothers for doing this when prices are rising across the world, and its becoming more and more difficult for people who own small businesses to make a living. I think what they did was extreme, but it in a time like this everyone is looking out for themselves. Airline ticket prices rise when more people want to fly, and decrease when less people want to travel but we don't call that immoral. Overall, the Colvin brothers did have a successful idea, even though it was selfish. The corona virus has showed us how selfish companies across the world are.
Sarah Hess (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn, IL)
Although I see why companies would do this, I believe that it is immoral to raise the prices of products during this crisis. Especially with the stock markets going down, people are losing a ton of money and are unable to afford many necessities. In a time like this, we cannot afford to be selfish. In order to keep as many people as we can alive, we need to share and ration. It is not fair to increase prices so that only those who are wealthy can afford them. And for those people who are stocking up for years?? That’s being selfish and immoral. You don’t need hundreds of rolls of toilet paper, and while you will not die without it, it just makes life a lot harder for others if you take it all.
Jessica B. (Cass High School)
At the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the Colvin brothers set out to go almost every store and buy all the hand sanitizer. They stockpiled this supply and sold them for $8 and $70. They were making crazy profits by abusing people’s fears of the virus. When asked the question: “Is it immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis?” My answer is yes; it is immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis. We are dealing with a public health crisis that affects everybody, not just a town, a city, or a country. This is a global affair, and things like hand sanitizer are a necessary during this time. Hoarding hand sanitizer and selling it for outrageous amounts during this time is selfish and immoral. Other people who need hand sanitizer can’t find it because people like the Colvin brothers are trying to get rich off a crisis. It would be a different story if the crisis wasn’t going on because the brothers would just be using the basic principles of capitalism to try to get rich, but hoarding and raising prices begs the question about morals because how can you see that people are in desperate need of an item like hand sanitizer during this global epidemic and just raise prices on them. That is immoral.
Elayshia Grant (whiteoak middle school)
Is it immoral to increase the prices of goods during a crisis? No, the want for items like hand sanitizers and face masks do not justify the price raises because some people may be struggling with money during corona time and raising the prices do not help. The sellers who buy the product and sell it for a higher price are only doing themselves self service. In my opinion some sellers are taking advantage of the people who buy it because the people who buy it could be spending 10-20 dollars more than what it will cost in the stores. What Mr.colvin did was immoral I feel that online sellers should take full responsibility in preventing prices going up in a crisis. Yes, they should limit the amount of items that people buy because it is not fair to take all the items, especially if there are more people who want the item. Mr. Colvin should have made the items prices lower because some people don't have enough money to be spending a lot of money on hand sanitizer and face masks. Even Though Mr.colvin was immoral he shouldn't be punished.
Trinity Martin (Cincinnati,Ohio)
Matt Colvin stacked up on cleaning supplies to help the people who could not get cleaning supplies at the stores.Due to the Corona Virus people are not able to leave their house,or got to places to get things for this virus.I believe that he is trying to help the people in his community.
Fermin Valenzuela (Pomona, California)
@Trinity Martin I disagree with you, Matt Colvin bought those hand sanitizer bottles to make a quick buck. The article states that he sold them online from eight dollars to 70 seventy dollars. If he really wanted people he would be donating the bottles to charity or sell them online for a much more reasonable price.
Maddie W. (Oregon)
@Fermin Valenzuela I agree, if someone wanted to help out someone then I bet that the would make not easier and not harder for them.
Brennan Ritzi (white oak middle school)
The high demand for sanitizer and masks during a crisis does not justify the higher prices of these items. The resellers are taking advantage of the people who need these products like families who just want to be healthy. I think what Mr. Colvin did was immoral because he bought a huge amount of supplies that others could have used. The online retailers have a huge responsibility to prevent price gouging because it is hurting the people who are buying these expensive, but needed goods. They have the responsibility to prevent the outrageous prices. I feel like they did a good job restricting the sellers who are taking advantage of the situation. The general retailers also have a good amount of responsibility to prevent stockpiling. I think they should put a limit on how much one person can buy, because it leaves more for other people who also want it. I think Mr. Colvin should have donated at least most of the supplies he had bought. If he should get a small punishment for taking advantage of other people, but if he decides to donate the supplies he just might get out of a larger punishment.
Jaymz Volz (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Retailers who stockpile a bunch of supplies then sell those goods at a higher price are most definitely not doing anybody a service especially at this time. People shouldn’t be able to buy a bunch of products to stockpile and make a profit and if we really want to get through this we need to work together. It might be a different story if the company stopped producing them products and you had a big stockpile then started selling them to make profit but other than that they are taking advantage of people just so they can live a better life. Yes, I do think that what Mr.Calvin is doing is immoral and him selling things like hand sanitizer or masks only make it harder to get rid of this pandemic.
Haley Denmark (White Oak Middle, Ohio, USA)
A higher demand for items during this time of public crisis doesn't justify higher prices. Resellers who stockpile supplies and then sell at a higher price are doing themselves service but not for others because some of the people who really need it can't afford it. They are taking advantage of people. I do think that Mr. Colvin is immoral. Online retailers workers like Amazon and eBay can't really pick the price but they still have the responsibility to make sure that the customer is getting what they paid for in the first place. Some companies did the right thing by restricting sales of Covid-19 related products from certain sellers. In general, retailers have a lot of responsibility to prevent stockpiling. They should place limits on how many items a person can buy. Instead of reselling products for a higher price so he could make himself more money Mr. Colvin should have just gave the supplies to the hospitals since they are running out of supplies and because of it, more people are dying because of the hospital not being able to take them in because of supplies shortage. Mr. Colvin should be punished by the state of Tennessee.
tariya (white oak middle school)
1 . I think that it shouldn't be right to hoard supplies that people need not just people other people to prevent from getting the virus or people that need to feel same from this situation, because people would say the people who decides to raise the price of items from the store during this virus is not taking it serious and its benefiting people because basically taking advantage of people and taking their money witch is not good for health. 2. Online retailers should really prevent price going up . If they feel like people are taking advantage of a crisis and this virus they should have responsibility to shut all this down. 3.Online retailers should have full responsibility to prevent stockpiling, A reasonable limit should be hold in placed. 4. Legal punishment shouldn't be as necessary , but Mr. Colvin should have to return the resources and products he took from other people in need in the middle of this crisis and virus.
Zach Bertrand (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn)
The coronavirus has started to spread and take over the US. It is now in times like these where questions are raised, including this one on raising prices. In my opinion, I think it is definitely immoral to raise prices of goods during these times. Now is the time where many people are being let go and fired from their jobs, with no source of income. Now is the time to lower the prices of goods to make them more affordable for those who need to feed their families, but don’t have the necessary means to do so. Increasing the prices for goods will only benefit those who are receiving the money, and is only taking advantage of those spending. With that being said, I absolutely believe that raising prices in times like these is immoral.
Madelon (Cincinnati,Ohio)
What Mr.Colvin did was wrong. In our time of global crisis someone was only thinking about themselves and how to make money off of others. I think that what the stores have been doing like keeping the prices for things low has been a huge help in our society. But if people like Mr. Colvin are just going to buy it all up so no one can buy any and then sell it for a ridiculous price I think that that is immoral as the passage title says.
Krew (White oak middle school)
- I would say that the people who raise the price of items during a crisis is taking advantage of people and taking their money. During this point and time, people are already dealing with bills, so why stress them out even more? - I think that the companies made the right choice because they shouldn't raise the price that high on these items just there is a virus out there - I do think that they should put limits on the items you buy depending on how many people live in your house or how many people you're buying it for.- Mr. Colvin should've maybe sold it at a lower price or maybe donated. Mr. Colvin should not be punished because it's really not a big deal.
patrick star (Cincinnati Ohio)
yes we all know that some people are going crazy but I don't think that people should be going this crazy over some hand sanitizer because even if matt Colvin got the virus he probably would not even realize it because like all the doctors have said this only affects old people with a weaker immune system but I don't think that he is 70 years old and have cancer and there are other people like a 70-year-old with cancer and i don't think that he needs all of this and i just think that he should have to give it back to the people that actually need it
Jessica O. (Cass High School, Georgia)
We are among a global crisis, where multiple people are taking advantage of it. In this time of crisis, we should be helping each other, not hoarding all the potentially life-saving disinfectants. Since the Corona Virus outbreak the cost of hand sanitizers has “saw a year to year increase of 255% since February.” The cost of hand sanitizers should not increase, but in contrary it should decrease. Many people could not afford the costs of hand sanitizers and face masks before the dramatic increase began; much less could they afford them now. These people must live with the risk of attracting the virus, because they have no way of protecting themselves. Many people are also face to face with the Corona Virus everyday, such as medics. They should not have to worry about buying $50 hand sanitizers. Nor the hands-on moms who want to protect their children from this deadly virus. Raising the prices of hand sanitizers and face masks is an example of what the world has become. People are hoarding stuff for themselves and only thinking of ways to raise money, even though what they are doing could potentially lead others to death.
Mrs. Armona (Cass High, Georgia)
@Jessica O. You have done such a great job supporting your claims with textual evidence and providing a clear line of reasoning. I am very proud of you:)
Katana (Cincinnati Ohio)
What Mr. Colvin did was wrong demanding high prices for sanitizer and other items was not right doing a public health crisis does not justify because he took away a opportunity for consumers to go into a store and buy it for their self at regular prices. Resellers who are stockpile supplies in a crisis are taking advantage of people because they are not think about other people who probably can´t afford the high price. No I don´t think Mr. Colvin did was immoral because of his decision was not purposely violate with a moral agreement, but he was concerned with what´s right or wrong. I think retailer should prevent price of being overcharged because if it wasn´t a crisis would they allow it.These companies did do right thing by restricting greedy resellers that prays on desperate scared people in a crisis. I think retailers shouldn´t have to limit how much people can buy exct only a crisis.Mr. Colvin should´ve donate to schools, churches,hospitals,shelters,crisis centers. Mr. Colvin should be punished because he took away opportunities from other families to provide for theirs. Then he drove around town looking for theses items and rises the prices to get more money off a one or two dollar bottle.
Zoey (St. Louis, Missouri)
Price gouging is not only immoral amidst a crisis, but under any circumstances. Exploiting peoples demands for personal benefit is key to success under capitalism. We see our every day life riddled with examples, such as brand named clothing. Mr Colvin's actions are a bit different in that he is taking advantage of the ignorance of consumers. Demand for hand sanitizer has clearly skyrocketed in the wake of this pandemic; however, hand sanitizer is next to useless in helping people combat COVID-19, as anti-bacterials cannot kill viruses. Mr. Colvin is, very plainly, taking advantage of people, but condemning his actions as immoral is not enough. He, as is true with all members of our society, has been groomed to use the advantages he has to make the most of our capitalist model, and make a good life for himself. In our world, everyone has a common top priority: money, and in order to get that, we must overlook any individualized set of beliefs. If a person wants a stable life, there is not room for their intrinsic values. Mr. Colvin's actions aren't a product of his immorality to lack of values, and they sure are not unique. Rather, they are a product of capitalist system children are taught to cherish, and adults with privilege are forced to manipulate to their benefit no matter the moral cost. If we want to get rid of price gouging and taking advantage of consumers it is not enough to legalize it. We need to rethink the construct of our economy instead.
Aahmad (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
It is immoral to buy and then sell things at a higher price because it deprives people who really need those resources, (children, the elderly, sick people) and as a result, it could have some very bad consequences on them. Especially since selling these products at a higher price could hurt hospitals, preventing hundreds of people who are sick and in need from getting their treatment or medications.
Skye Solomon (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Just because something is smart doesn’t mean it is right. Price gouging during a crisis is incredibly immoral. People out there could be dying or suffering because they don’t have access to necessary supplies just because a few people want to make a profit. There is nothing moral about capitalizing on people’s panic and fear. This is a real pandemic that is causing schools and businesses to close all around the globe, and some people still don’t have access to the supplies they need to keep themselves healthy because of a few greedy individuals. Even when companies like Amazon and eBay put a stop to this selfish behavior, they still aren’t really solving the problem because they still aren’t available to the public. If these sellers were only raising the price by a few dollars, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal. But when they are selling a single bottle of hand sanitizer for $80 and people are still buying it because they need it that much, that is when it becomes a problem.
Velma Martinez (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Skye Solomon I do agree with you on the fact that people being greedy with things like hand sanitizer is completely immoral. And it wouldn't be such a terrible thing if they only sold it for a few dollars more than the retail price, but selling hand sanitizer for $80 is just outrageous.
Emily Skane (Hoggard High School Wilmington NC)
This brother duo must have no morals. To think of up charging a person that much for a basic essential during the world's time of need is insensitive. This doesn't just go for the others. It goes for large businesses as well, although companies would end up saving more products because it would be more pricer making it less likely for people to buy more, which is good. But especially now with this pandemic putting people out of work for who knows how long most won't be able to afford an 80$ hand sanitizer. I do believe that with stores selling things like water hand sanitizer etc. they should put a limit. Today I went into target, and they nad put a limit on what products they had left. It made it so you couldn't buy more than two of the high demand items.
Connor C. (Cincinnati Ohio.)
I read this article on another site when it first happened when I first read it, I was amazed at what an idiot you must be to do this. I get that this guy wants to make money off of this but you could do that by selling it for maybe $2 a bottle, not 70 or higher. You could even be nice and donate it to a company that does want to help the people in need and who are in need of cleaning supplies to keep them and their family(s) safe. It is a really good thing that Amazon, eBay, and other online sites that sell items from users.
nadia (cincinnati, ohio)
1. I think that it isn't right to hoard supplies that other people need to feel and/ or stay safe and healthy during a time of need. They aren't providing a service i feel they're just taking away from resources I think Mr. Colvin was immoral for trying to take advantage of a demand for his own wealth. 2. I also believe online retailers should prevent price gouging, if they feel someone is taking advantage of a crisis they have the responsibility to shut it down. 3. It should be online retailers full responsibility to prevent stockpiling. A reasonable limit should be placed. 4. I don't think legal punishment is necessary but Mr. Colvin should have to return the resources he took for other people in need.
Ellen Phillips (Hoggard)
I feel that what this man did was very wrong. He factored in supply and demand and took advantage of the people who didn't have any cleaning or antibacterial supplies. Charging about 3500% over the original value, wasting many people's money for just a bottle of hand sanitizer. He was also making it inaccessible to many people who need cleaning supplies because he cleared the shelves. In this time of panic and distress people should not be going out and bulk buying anything because there are many high risk people who are self quarantining that go to stores and find there is nothing on the shelves.
Elizabeth Nguyen (WOMS)
- I would say that the people who raise the price of items during a crisis is taking advantage of people and taking their money. During this point and time, people are already dealing with bills, so why stress them out even more? - I think that the companies made the right choice because they shouldn't raise the price that high on these items just there is a virus out there and they just wanna steal money. - I do think that they should put limits on the items you buy depending on how many people live in your house or how many people you're buying it for. - Mr. Colvin should've maybe sold it at a lower price or maybe donated. Mr. Colvin should not be punished because it's really not a big deal.
Phebe Carroll (Cass High School, Georgia)
The pandemic spreading across the globe is effecting everyone in their own way; yet, there are many effects that some do not observe as they race so solve their own issues. As a child who grew up in a family that tends to live pay check to paycheck, the pandemic hit us hard and only continues to pour salt in the wound as employers cut hours and some even have to lay off employees. Mr. Colvin's choice of stockpiling goods is morally wrong and that is beyond clear to everyone. Anyone can understand trying to make a little bit of money, but in a time of crisis, help those who need it. Yes, alcohol may be expensive to ship, but Mr. Colvin knew that when he decided to purchase a couple thousand. There are families whose paychecks did not hit until after all of the shelves were wiped clean, and people like Mr. Colvin predicted the need for said products and were there trying to take advantage of those who needed them. Desperate times may call for desperate measures, but one never knows the extremity of the battle others may be facing.
Daniel Guy (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I believe that buying and selling goods to make a profit at this time is morally incorrect. There are people suffering worrying about their families and friends or even themselves could be victims of the Coronavirus. The idea that you are taking a resource that is in high demand and can be used to help save lives is wrong. Thanks to the swift action by the government and companies like Amazon some of these people committing these heinous acts have been removed and stripped over their privileges on these cites. Recently there was a man selling hand sanitizer on Amazon, that person no longer has an Amazon account and can no longer use the site. I hope that people will stop taking advantage of this outbreak and use it to make a profit and commit their time and energy towards helping their communities fight the Coronavirus.
Mason Buckner (JTHoggard High School)
I think that the strategy the sellers adopted is a smart one and is bound to make them lots of money, but your taking a lot of money from your customers that probably should not be taken if you sell the stuff for a fair price. It's ok to raise the price slightly but raise it too high and your price gouging.
Natalie tews (Glenbard west glen ellyn, IL)
While many people take this approach in the business world when it comes to a global pandemic this is morally wrong. Everyone is just trying to get by and keep their families safe which is harder to do with increased prices. The items that he is selling people can not live without causing them to spend $60 more on soap instead of putting that money to things such as food for the week. He is also taking advantage of those who really need it if you are bring forced to spend this amount of money on something like this. Therefore this is morally wrong and people should not be able to charge more for things people need in life especially during a global pandemic.
Josie S. (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
Obviously the strategy talked about in the article is smart and would definitely make you money, but it’s morally wrong. At a time like this when a lot of people are in a panic, especially those with young children and the elderly. We should be trying and striving to help one another at a time like this. This is a clear situation of taking advantage of people, no one wants to get sick, so what happens if they can’t pay $80 for hand sanitizer or cleaning supplies? Wiping out the shelves just to resell these products when everyone is already freaking out is just making the situation worse. Many people can’t work right now and still want to keep themselves and their families safe and their surroundings clean but will be unable to if people continue to be selfish like this just for their own benefit.
Mason Buckner (JTHoggard High School)
@Josie S. I agree, it is very selfish to basically take money right out of these people's wallet that they shouldn't have to pay for basic supplies.
Chloe Scatton-Tessier (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Josie S, money aside this increase in price for a needed item is immoral. Mr. Colvin's overflow of stock and intent of selling them for triple the price is not only immoral but gross. I agree with your perspective on the people who can't afford health care or hand sanitizer especailly when it's at $80 a bottle. The issue also seems to be that people are taking more of the shelf than they need. I went to Harris Teeter and I saw a woman with seven cartons of milk. Now, maybe she always gets seven gallons of milk but it's very unlikely. I wish people would only get what they need so it would be easier to acquire and families in need wouldn't need to suffer.
Daniel (Minnesota)
If you are upset about two guys with too much hand sanitizer, wait until you hear about what billionaires have been hoarding!
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Daniel Great point!
Daniel Guy (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Daniel You are probably right to assume that these wealthier people are hoarding the resources for themselves, and instead of using their wealth to help people who don't have the money to stock up on food and resources for the Coronavirus they choose to be selfish and only look out for themselves.
Emily Skane (Hoggard High School Wilmington NC)
@Daniel Its not just a few hand sanitizers it 17,000 hand sanitizer. Yes, the billionaires of the 3orld have been hoarding but what makes these men any different.
Molly Howard (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
It is immoral to raise prices during a crisis, especially a crisis like corona virus. In the U.S., there are more people who don’t have the necessities to get through a crisis, than the people who do. These are the people that actually lowering prices would benefit them. By raising prices, you are only allowing the wealthier people access to these goods, when in all honesty, they probably need them less.
Matthew Byrnes (Hoggard Wilmington NC)
In response to the questions posed in the article stating the question of whether the buying of hand sanitizer and reselling it at a higher price is Capitalism at its finest or selfish, and immoral. To this my answer is yes, as this is essentially how capitalism works. The people at the bottom are stuck while the people with money succeed in life. I have found a perfect analogy for this as well. Imagine the blue, winged shell in Mario Kart that you can throw at the person in first to help you catch up. Now imagine the shell with its colors flipped and instead of throwing it at the person in first, you throw it at the person in last place just to further your lead, and destroy any hope remaining that they will catch up to you. This is essentially how the American economy works, and that's why we have such a high poverty rate, and no recent presidents have been able to address it. The system is created like an inverted Winged Shell that keeps the people in poverty from rising. So yes it could be looked at as immoral that this man has chosen to sell hand sanitizer to people at inflated prices, but it also could be looked upon such as business as usual. Plus this man wasn't able to sell any so he's stuck with 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and nobody to sell to. So LOL, imagine.
Mason Buckner (JTHoggard High School)
@Matthew Byrnes Yeah it's a sad reality that the economy has so many faults that no one wants to fix.
Angelica Bates (Cincinnati, OH)
1. High demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during a public health crisis does not justify higher prices because it makes it harder for people to buy the products that will help prevent whatever caused the health crisis to spread so much. Resellers who stockpile supplies and sell them at a higher price is taking advantage of people in tragedy. People are already worried about themselves, their family, and friends adding money to the list of stress is just wrong. What Mr.Colvin did was inarguably immoral because the prices he was charging for hand sanitizer were outrageous. 2.I think they have a large responsibility to consumers to prevent price gouging during a time of crisis. I don’t think they did the right thing from restricting the sales of these products from certain sellers. I believe they should have just regulated the prices a little bit because now these sellers have all this extra stock which could be used for people who actually need it. 3. I think retailers have just as big as a responsibility to prevent stockpiling. I think the amount you’re allowed to buy should be based on how many people are in your home. Yes, they should place limits on items such as hand sanitizer because the more people who have access the more effective it can be. 4. I think Mr. Colvin should have maybe donated some that he couldn’t sell and no I don't think any punishment should take place because what he did was crazy but not really that terrible.
Krew (White oak middle school)
@Angelica Bates Great point angelica. How are you
Kaitlyn Conoscenti (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn, IL)
I do not think that companies should be allowed to raise the prices of products that people rely on to stay healthy and safe during a crisis. The outbreak of this virus is both a major health concern and a financial crisis for people around most of the world. Many people right now are struggling to ration all sorts of supplies and food while they can, before the situation gets even worse. I believe that during a time like this, it is wrong and selfish for companies to raise prices on items when people are quarantined in their homes. If the prices get raised on these products, fewer people will be able to buy them, leading to more sickness and death across the nation. In order to keep everyone as safe as possible I think that it would be smart for stores to limit how much of a product consumers can buy during this time, but not increase the prices of goods to the point where no one will be able to purchase them.
Elliot (Minnesota)
I believe the people reselling items such as hand sanitizer and masks are being selfish. They are causing families who may be financially unstable to spend more money on things they would usually be able to purchase from a dollar store for much cheaper. I do not feel that they are provided service because they are profiting from the stress of people who are just trying to stay healthy. I think online retailers have a great amount of responsibility because they have to make sure people aren't getting scammed. I do think that companies should have the right to stop some people from selling coronavirus-related topics, but they should not be prejudice. I believe the people reselling items such as hand sanitizer and masks are being selfish. They are causing families who may be financially unstable to spend more money on things they would usually be able to purchase from a dollar store for much cheaper. I do not feel that they are provided service because they are profiting from the stress of people who are just trying to stay healthy. I think online retailers have a great amount of responsibility because they have to make sure people aren't getting scammed. I do think that companies should have the right to stop some people from selling coronavirus-related topics, but they should not be prejudice.
Aaliyah Butler (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
If anything, prices for goods that are in high demand should be lowered because as places are shutting down, most people are out of a job. Who knows how long the government is going to be giving out money because we don't know how long this "crisis" is going to last. If prices are increased, the money given will go just as quick as it came in and then many will suffer and there will be a surplus of high priced goods that no one can afford.
Brayden (Cincinnati,OH)
No, I don't think that people should raise the price on products when a health crisis happens, because if store owners raise the price then other people won't be able to buy as many as they need. Yes they did the right thing, because if they did not restrict store owners there would be nothing left for other people. Stores should put a limit on how many health items, because if they don't people will just take everything and there would be nothing left. He should have sold them at lower price to help people out. No, he should not be punished because its not against the law.
Ethan C. (Cincinnati, OH)
Prices should not be raised for needed items like hand sanitizer. I understand the cost for shipping which can increase the cost overall, but the prices shouldn’t be raised for more personal gain. They should try to be lowered as much as possible so people in need can get them easier. People like Colvin are doing a service. He says that he tries to sell in places with high demand and doesn’t raise the price too much. Colvin is not doing anything immoral here at all. He is just trying to help the people in need but still needs some money so he can go on to do this. Online retailers still have some responsibility because they should try to see if people's prices are reasonable and try to help with prices. The companies did not do the right thing by stopping the selling of certain items. There are people out there that can’t find these items and the only way is to look for them online. If there is nobody to help others get what they need, how will people get them? Retailers should limit how much people can get of an item like lots of retailers have. If they put a limit on them, other people would have a chance to get them too. This would also keep people from trying to make a lot of money off of selling the stuff. Colvin should have donated some of the items to the people in need. Colvin shouldn’t be punished by the state though because that would be unfair. Colvin is trying to help the people so he should be given a warning before he is punished.
Austin Gerth (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Picture of the week Austin Gerth: In this picture, I believe that a guy is trying to bring his community together to help save others from the Corona-virus. The reason I say this is because there are boxes with supplies. For example, there is hand sanitizer, tissues, toilet paper, and Clorox wipes. All of these supplies can help kill the germs that are inside of people's bodies, so they don't end up getting the deadly disease. My second reason I support this claim is because they have a whole garage with things that can help save people from dying. This disease has killed over 20,000 people worldwide, and i believe that their community is trying to stay healthy by washing their hands, and using Clorox wipes to wipe down their houses/stores. My last reason I support this is because there is a man handing cleaning supplies. I think he is doing this because at their local grocery the supplies might be extra money, and people won’t be able to afford them.
Jakara (white oak middle school)
High demand for hand sanitizer and masks in a public health crisis do not justify higher prices. No, they are not providing service at all to people, because the people are in need of those things and they are putting it at a higher price on purpose knowing people are going to buy it because they need it. I think that online retailers have a lot of responsibilties. They don't want the prices to keep going up do they? Yes they did the right thing in restricting people from selling virus related things because they know people are gonna buy it even if it's dumb. because people will buy anything to keep themselves safe. It is not the stores responsibilite to limit how much people buy or stock pile. What if they have a big family? What if they are giving it to the needy? People may need these things and who are we to tell them how much they are aloud to get. Mr.Colvin should have kept some to himself and then gave some to people in need. And now he should not be punished because it was his money he bought it with
Pawan (Cincinnati, Ohio)
I think that people who stockpile items in times of crisis are not providing a service and are taking advantage of people. When people stockpile items, it makes it harder to get those items to people who may actually need the item. Then when they resell the items at a higher price, some people might not want to buy the item because they are worried about money.They don't have much responsibility to prevent price gouging in fact if they didn't do it they would make more money. I think they did a good thing restricting, mask and hand sanitizers sales because now people who want to make a profit can't buy all the mask or hand sanitizers in the store’s. Retailers don't have any responsibility to prevent stockpiling on items. But I do think they should place a limit on how many same items people can buy, like 5 or 10 then more people can buy the item. Mr. Colvin should donate all the hand sanitizers to hospitals, schools, charity, homeless shelters, etc. They should be punished for what they did because they deprived thousands of people in Tennessee to get hand sanitizers.
Krew (White oak middle school)
@Pawan PAWAN!!!!!!!! I MISS YOU🤣 Your point makes it very clear that we need these supplies
kylee (Cincinnati, Ohio)
1.No, I do not think high demand justifies higher prices. Just because people are desperate for the items they need doesn't mean that it's right to raise the prices when it's most needed. Those who resell at a higher price are not providing a service. People need those things and because of those who bought them out of the store people will struggle to be able to pay the higher prices, those who sell them at higher prices are taking advantage of people. Yes what he did was wrong 2.They have a lot of responsibility in preventing the online resell, They are the only people that can stop it either way, Therefore they should take responsibility in doing so. I think companies did the right thing by restricting it. 3.I think they have the majority of responsibility in preventing stock piling, they should put limits on items because if they don't it it would cause a problem in production of enough items. 4.I think he should have donated it to a shelter of some sort, i don't think he should be punished because it was just a mistake. We all make mistakes and this was just one of them that got recognized.
Nicholas Schell (White oak middle school)
No the higher demand for hand sanitizer and masks do not justify the higher prices. I think that the people reselling the supplies at higher prices are just taking advantage of the people because of this health crisis. Yes, I think what Mr. Colvin did is immoral because if he really wanted to help people he would donate the supplies and not sell them for higher prices than he bought them. I think that companies like Amazon have a lot of responsibility to stop price gauging because if they don’t the prices will just keep going up. I think that they did the right thing by restricting some people from selling any virus related things because they wear just taking advantage of the panic. I do not think it is the store’s responsibility to limit how much people buy because some people might just want to have the supplies just in case something happens. I think Mr. Colvin should have kept some of the supplies but also donated some to the community. I do think he should be punished for his actions.
Cooper Hyldahl (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
The behavior detailed in this article is abhorrent. The excuses, even more so. People are getting sick and dying. Children can't go to school. The elderly and medically vulnerable are hunkered down in their houses, scared for their lives. Yet, while all this is happening, a few greedy individuals are making thousands upon thousands of dollars, rationalizing it as payment for completing a "public service". Amazon and eBay cracking down, though a noble and good-intentioned act, simply isn't enough to counteract the damage that has been done. Because of these measures, price gaugers are sitting on their fortunes of supplies, unable to sell them. The way to remedy this problem is through government intervention. The federal and state governments need to take action and institute a mandatory buy-back program, buying the hand sanitizer and other goods from these middlemen at the price they originally bought them, disregarding claimed "labor costs". The government could then distribute the supplies where it is needed, to regular American families that cannot afford to buy an 80 dollar bottle of hand sanitizer but still want to keep their children safe. At times, it seemed like the article was painting these people in a sympathetic light because they may lose money, because they are unable to sell their goods. I do not see it this way. They brought this upon themselves and deserve any financial ramifications that may occur. Consider it penance for the lives they have jeopardized.
Sadie Dunne (Hoggard High school in Wilmington, NC)
@Cooper Hyldahl I absolutely agree with you, what is being done when people and companies try to sell basic items such as hand sanitizer and wipes during this time for such a high cost, is 100% wrong. It’s so wrong in fact, that the government should be taking charge and offering to buy the supplies and send them out to places across the country where they may be more easily accessed. Companies are taking advantage of this pandemic and using it as a way to make more money instead of genuinely wanting to help people with their products. I think that you’re right, every mother, every father, every child, every person in this country right now should be able to get items that they need to stay clean and healthy without paying a ton of money. This virus will only worsen, not get better at all, if people aren’t given access to necessities.
Kalynn (Cincinnati (OH))
The high demand for life saving products like masks during a public health crisis should show nothing but a need for lowering prices, they are heavily needed therefore should be even easier to acquire. Resellers who stockpile and sell these items at a higher price are taking advantage of people while they’re in a vulnerable position which is unethical and a corrupt act. What Mr.Colvin did was immoral, leaving people who needed these supplies who don't have enough money to meet his excessive prices defenseless against the harmful virus. I think that these retailers do have responsibility in preventing a corrupt act like price gouging of life saving supplies during a crisis. What these companies did in stopping sales of these supplies from sellers who were raising prices was the right decision, they were stopping people who were making money off of others' vulnerability. Retailers do have responsibility to prevent stockpiling, they're supposed to help their customers. They should limit the amount of supplies and items a person can buy just to make sure everyone has somewhat of an equal chance of overcoming the crisis. I think that Mr.Colvin should donate all the supplies he stockpiled because he even said himself that there is a huge need for them. I also do think that he should be punished for stockpiling life saving supplies and selling them at high prices, what he did was wrong and corrupt.
Lucy (MI)
Increasing the price of goods during this pandemic is not only immoral but cruel. Although this is a good opportunity to make some cash when the whole world is in crisis how one can benefit from it should be the last of your thoughts. All over the world, this virus is spreading, schools are closed, grocery stores are practically empty as everyone scrambles for the necessities. For once most of us have been able to put aside our borders and come together against a threat that knows no boundaries. People who feed off of this chaos are cruel. We should be helping each other against our common enemy not using each other for an individuals profit.Increasing the price of goods during this pandemic is not only immoral but cruel. Although this is a good opportunity to make some cash when the whole world is in crisis how one can benefit from it should be the last of your thoughts. All over the world, this virus is spreading, schools are closed, grocery stores are practically empty as everyone scrambles for the necessities. For once most of us have been able to put aside our borders and come together against a threat that knows no boundaries. People who feed off of this chaos are cruel. We should be helping each other against our common enemy not using each other for an individual's profit. Colvin should give the people those supplies at a reasonable price or its retail price and start caring about the world he lives in and the people who live in it with him.
Vinnie Montalbano (Desert Vista High School)
If you take a basic economy lesson, you will know this is exactly how the capitalist economy works. Sadly we are in far too deep for us to pull out, so you can not even consider this. The way our economy currently works and will work for the foreseeable future, or at least through the outbreak, is like this. Supply goes up, demand goes down. Demand goes up, supply goes down. Or that is the basic business model. As we run out of supply, our demand is skyrocketing exponentially. This is causing everything we run out of to be much much more expensive. If we sell it for cheap, that is a huge business loss, as many businesses will be forced to close from the outbreak. This is causing many small businesses to HAVE to go out because they have no money as no one is coming. So they take to doing other things, and they sell hand sanitizer. If you look at it while being rational and not selfish, you can see all arguments for the point of giving it away or selling it very cheaply are extraordinarily selfish on the part of the poster. When you get down to it, these men most likely lost their only source of income. They no longer have any money, so they sell this stuff. The problem with forming all of these arguments on one biased article is everything becomes very biased and selfish. These men probably do not have enough money, and so by you saying they should give it away or sell it for cheap, you just want to help your own selfish self, and not the suffering men, as many articles prove.
Salem Abraham (White Oak Middle school, Ohio)
1. I think that we shouldn't raise the prices on things that will help many people. Lots of people need them and people like Colvin aren't even using them. He's just thirsty for some money. People like Colvin aren't doing any kind of service because lots of people can buy hand sanitizer and wipes for around 5 bucks. But they are taking that advantage from us and making others pay higher, which some people just don't have the money to be spending on hand sanitizer. What Mr. Colvin did is very immoral. 2. I think that big companies like Amazon and eBay have very little responsibility because some of them don't know about people stealing from other companies. I think that they did the right thing because if they didn't restrict the sales then lots of people can't afford some of the items to prevent them from getting sick. 3. I think that retailers have lots of responsibility because some people could buy from stockpilers. they should put a limit on some of their items. 4. I would say that Mr. Colvin should donated the hand sanitizer, face masks, and wipes to people who need it or for people that don't have the money or even a local hospital. I don't think that he should be punished or anything, but he should give away some of his things because he's not going to use all of that. It's just going to be sitting in his garage.
Michele Mastropieri (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn, IL)
Yes I do believe that price gouging is immoral especially during a crisis like the Coronavirus. This is immoral because it forces people to buy from you and for much more than it should cost them. This specific instance in which Matt Colvin decided to buy up all the hand sanitizer in the area to force others to buy his over inflated prices. This act was absolutely despicable and he deserves to be ostracized like he was. Acts like his make pandemics much worse and more stressful than they need to be. The worst part is that he doesn’t need to do this he is just abusing the crisis to make a profit, ignoring how much damage he is doing to his fellow humans.
Danielle Feuchter (Cincinnati, Ohio)
It is very immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis There are people in this world who have someone in their families that are more likely to catch a disease, and who need special attention. Some people can't afford the higher price and need cheap supplies. To buy in bulk, and selfishly, sell them at a higher price for self-profit, is highly immoral. To make a store sell out of a product and make it harder to find and buy a product that is high in demand is immoral. The Colvins are selfish.
Miore (Cincinnati Ohio)
Yes, I think it is immoral to increase the prices of goods during a crisis because raising the prices on hand sanitizer, masks, and toilet paper because of the COVID-19 is just causing panic and tramatism for everybody. For everyone to think that they are safe they go out wiping out shelves and stores products just like what they would do when it is a hurricane or anything. High demand will occur for the items hand sanitizer and surgical masks during a major crisis. Which will cause them to raise the prices from it being a low price affordable for everyone to it being $50 just for a bottle of hand sanitizer which I feel is ridiculous. Resellers who are buying products from stores and companies who stock up on supplies and selling them for a higher price is not providing a service. Because a service would be taking those products and giving it to the people who need them just for free. Not taking those products and selling them online just to get money to think that providing a service by taking the items they bought to sell them for a higher price. I also do feel that they are taking the people for advantage because why would you just clear the shelves and stores and make it sold out so nobody else can get it just so you can charge people more for those items. What Mr.Colvin did is not immoral it is being selfish by hogging all of those items just for yourself to sell online just to make a profit off the people which is taking away from the companies.
will (north west local)
I think Mr. Colvin was taking advantage of people by taking all the supplies from all the stores in his area and selling them for 20 times the amount than the amount on eBay . I believe this is immoral. I think Amazon and eBay have a pretty big responsibility restricting people from selling coronavirus products because they are part of the community and if they know that it is going on they should stop it. In a crisis retailers should put limits on items to help prevent people from selling hoarded supplies online or to people they know. I think he should be fined and he should have to donate all the supplies, this should help prevent things like this from happening in the future.
Katelyn N (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn, IL)
During a time like this I think it’s important for the community to take a step back and assess the situation before going out to the store and raiding the shelves. The fact that people are purchasing items like hand sanitizer and masks in bulk to later sell at a higher price is completely immoral and selfish. There are actual people who need supplies and marking them at an absurdly high price defeats the purpose. Especially when the families who need it live each day by paycheck and can’t even afford a bottle of hand sanitizer because it costs well over $50. In a crisis like this, it’s just the wrong time to raise prices on high demand items.
George (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
While many people are struggling worldwide, it is completely immoral to raise prices of goods and necessities. Not only is the outbreak of this virus a major health concern, it’s a financial crisis for men and women worldwide. During a time like this, it would be beyond selfish for a company to raise prices on the citizens of countries that are stranded in their houses with no work and no hope. Millions of people are rationing all sorts of supplies and foods because they simply cannot afford to buy even necessities during the great quarantine. History is being made everyday with the thousands of people that are being infected. However, nowhere should it say that during this harsh time more and more people were getting sick because they simply couldn’t afford hand sanitizer.
Jude Lucido (Hoggard High School, Wilmington NC)
Increasing the price of goods during a crisis is wrong and not justified. However, it is bound to happen, especially in America. We are a capitalist society, and people will try to take advantage of a system like that whenever they can. While it is immoral, it's also the fault of the consumer. People are rushing out and buying tons of supplies because they are scared. These brothers are taking advantage of people's fear, but I think it's up to the people to come to the realization that they are overreacting to a degree. I also think that it's important to not overlook situations like this that happen every day. While the Colvin brothers sell hand sanitizer for a higher price than it should be sold at during a crisis, large companies do the same thing with life-saving medicine daily. I think stores and online retailers need to do something to prevent things like this. Amazon is an extremely massive online store, so I understand that they can't stop things like this immediately. Supermarkets, on the other hand, should be implementing restrictions on how much of something you can buy. Nobody should be allowed to walk out of a store with 8 packs of toilet paper, because it leaves none for everyone else and causes fear within a community. When people see rows of empty shelves in their grocery stores, and hand sanitizer going for 70$ on Amazon, they get scared, and stockpile items they don't need, repeating the process.
Lucy (MI)
@Jude Lucido, You're right in our capitalist society it's not just these brothers its been happening for years. Companies or individuals feed off peoples fear to profit themselves. The basic concept that as demand increases the prices do so as well is logical but these people are taking it a selfish step further. The people have to realize this before they go out and buy a bottle of Purell for $60.
Christopher (Cincinnati.Ohio)
High demands for items like hand sanitizers and masks in a health crisis doesn’t mean high prices.People who pile up and then sell items at a high price are just taking advantage of people because with the crisis going on people aren't allowed to leave so they can’t work meaning they can’t pay for items like wipes.I strongly believe what Mr. Colvin did is immoral because many people struggle to find wipes and hand sanitizers which are cheap but he is selling it for a higher price. There’s lots of responsibility for online retailers preventing gouging because lots of people can trick customers into paying more. Companies did great in restricting sales because lots of people wouldn’t lose money buying cheap items that are being sold for 7 to 80 dollars. Retailers in general have many responsibilities to prevent stockpiling because stockpiling causes stores to not have enough items customers need. Retailers should really limit the amount of items you can buy so people can have hand sanitizer and so that people do not worry about getting late to a store and seeing emptiness. What Mr. Colvin should have done with the supplies he stocked was sell them at a cheap price and given it to people that needed it.Another thing he could’ve done was donate supplies he thinks he wouldn’t use. Mr. Colvin should've been punished by the state of Tennessee since he really did not need to make a money off selling overpriced hand sanitizers and other supplies.
Ellinor Jonasson (Minnesota)
Not only do I believe that the stocking up of necessary goods and selling them for a substantially higher price is immoral, but if you think of it, it’s also indirectly contributing to slowing down the rate at which we can take care of the Coronavirus, and stop the spread. By taking massive inventory of goods which assist in preventing people from spreading/giving the disease, people are no longer to buy them at regular local stores at it’s actual price. That’s making people have to buy through the ones who took it all to begin with, and pay ten times more than its actual price. Not only is that extremely inconsiderate, but if you think of it at another angle, that makes less people be able to afford to buy those products when they would have been able to afford those products if they weren’t stock piled, and therefore they will be more likely to spread the disease, or catch it and be able to spread it. In the article it also mentions how hospitals need to ration their sanitation supplies because of a shortage, so in places where they need it most there’s a shortage because of stockpilers who are willing to sell it to anyone who pays up, no matter the circumstances of their situation.
Watson Pope (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I do not think that it is morally right for people to raise the price of goods at this time. There are many families that are already struggling for money, because work places have been shut down. By raising prices we are only harming these people even more, making it more impossible for them to get the supplies that they need for their family. Large corporations and even small ones like Mr.Colvin's business, do not need the extra dollar or two that they may make by raising prices. I think that it would have been much more helpful for Mr.Colvin to donate the items that he had to a shelter or a hospital, that way he is selflessly helping others in this time of crisis in our country.
Akye Nixon-McCray (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Watson Pope Throughout the country, there are laws that prohibit the gouging of prices during a crisis. Even though it is sad that we need these laws, there are always those that will do whatever they can to exploit others. These brother are truly despicable in my eyes. Their excuse would make sense if they were honestly trying to help the people they claim to. However, heavily overcharging items is only so you can benefit. It isn't an extra dollar or two these people are making, it's hundreds. Large amounts of profit fueled by panic. It is disgraceful
Ethan Hooper (cincinnati)
No, I believe that people should not raise the prices and are not justify it. People shouldn't because people need it to stay healthy. When they raise the prices it's a self-benefit and will eventually cause more people to get sick who don't have the stuff they need. So no it is not a public service, and also they make it harder to get. yes, what Mr. Colvin was immoral. Because it makes it harder and more expensive to get the things they need. Online retailers have a fair amount of responsibility because they allow people to buy lots of things that could go to lots of other people so everyone gets some. Yes, I believe they did the right thing by not allowing them to profit a lot like that and being unfair to other people. retailers have lots of responsibilities and they should put a limit on how many per person can but. Put a limit like 2 per person that they can buy. I think Mr. Colvin should've donated it to hospitals and people in need of those things.
Jeffery Austin (Hoggard High School)
@Ethan Hooper Although what Mr. Colvin did was immoral. I do not think that the government should stop his unreasonable prices. I think the government limiting prices can lead to more government intervention in the free market. Another problem is that government intervention in the markets wouldn't necessarily help the consumer. Even though Mr. Colvin set hand sanitizer at unreasonable prices. He thought it was low enough for people to buy it. And he is selling a product that no other stores have. So it is possible for Mr. Colvin to justify his expensive prices.
Ava Farah (Detroit, Michigan)
@Ethan Hooper While I agree that it was selfish of Mr. Colvin to hoard the goods so he could profit off of them, I also question if maybe the online selling levels the playing field for those who can't leave their houses. If someone has no form of transportation to go and buy the hand sanitizer, an online store such as Amazon having these products could really help them. Mr. Colvin should not sell these products for such high prices, it is immoral. He is using other people's fears to benefit himself. But how do you propose he be punished?
Matthew Byrnes (Hoggard Wilmington NC)
@Jeffery Austin Jeffery, the reason that no other stores had any hand sanitizer was due to the fact that everyone had in a panic bought it all up, but Matthew, and Noah Colvin went around to stores and intentionally bought up all of the hand sanitizer bottles so no one else could get them. Off of this he jacked up the prices because people would have nowhere else to buy them except from him with his unreasonable prices. As in this crisis he cannot help but be inclined to use it as a way to fill his coffers with the money of desperate people that are trying to survive. I find this as immoral, and very selfish.
Liam Bell (Cincinnati, Ohio)
No, it is not immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis. It should be cheaper because these items can save lives and people don't have a lot of money. But i think if they are your own items you can do anything with them. Stores shouldn't be able to but people who bought these items are allowed to put the price as high as they can. You should think twice about your profit because you won't have a big audience when you put the price higher. There is more than money is this world. There are many lives lost because of these products being out of stock. This is what I think about the prices of these items during a crisis.
Cooper Hyldahl (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Liam Bell The issue with that is that if you prohibit stores from increasing prices, but allow individual middlemen to do it, there is going to be a distribution issue, just like there is now. These middlemen are acting like stores and need to be treated as such under the law. Just like stores can only increase prices so much in times of crisis, individual merchants need to be held to the same standard. If not, these individuals will take advantage of the stores, buy all of their supplies, and then mark it up, making huge profits and creating huge shortages throughout the entire nation. There is a reason that hand sanitizer and face masks are so unavailable in this nation and its not about how many we have and are able to produce, its about who is retaining control over them and sitting on their product until the time is right to generate huge profits. Thus I disagree with you and believe these merchants need to be stopped immediately.
Ian (Cincinnati, Ohio)
High demand does not justify high prices. Reselling things is a service, although I don't agree with raising the prices it is still a service. They are taking advantage of people in the process of doing this because they need it to not get sick. I don't think they have to take responsibility because is the people that are selling it have to take responsibility amazon is a platform to sell thing its not up to them to decide how much money it will cost the people that make the product sell it and the make the price for it. They have to try to prevent it the best they can but its always gonna happen no matter what. Yes I think this was the right thing to do because if somebody buys every thing there is nothing left for the other people that need it. They should place limits on how many items you can get so everybody can get some. I thin that Mr. Colvin should of given the hand sanitizer away or returned it for money. He should not be punished because I don't think that's right I think he should just be told to not do it but if he continues it will lead to further consequences.
Ava Scherz (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Yes we should raise prices during a health crisis because more people are buying at once which doesn't give producers a chance to produce as quickly so when the demand is high and the supply is low they should be able to raise the price. What Mr. Colvin did is immoral. People who resell items at a higher price are taking advantage of people because they are taking all of the supply in stores where the cost might be lower and selling them at a super high price where some people can't afford. Online retailers have a lot of responsibility because most sellers are selling form online businesses like Amazon and eBay. I think they did do the right thing by restricting sales of certain sellers because some sellers are making their prices to high for people to buy. Retailers in general also have responsibility because they have to prevent stockpiling from happening. Retailers should place limits on how many items someone can buy because one person could buy all of one item everyone needs in a store and then there wouldn't be any left for other buyers. I think Mr. Colvin should have sold them around Tennessee for the same price that he bought them for. Although he took so much he should not be punished because it is not a big crime but he should also get warned so he doesn't do it again.
Ava Farah (Detroit, Michigan)
@Ava Scherz An increase in prices would help the companies, how about the consumers? Imagine a family of five, living off of food stamps, barely paying their rent. They have to keep going to work or the will have no income. They need cleaning supplies like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes to protect themselves from the Coronavirus. But now these products are too expensive for them to purchase. The company owner can sit on his comfy chair watching TV with his family while our consumer family is infected with the virus. Who are we to decide that the companies profits are more important than the protection of consumers?
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Ava Farah Great response. I especially love that last question: "Who are we to decide that the companies profits are more important than the protection of consumers?" Are you a teacher or a student? You've made several replies to my students and I love it. They can take the challenge! Thanks! :)
Marquila Barnett (Whiteoak Middle School)
1.I think high demand of hand sanitizer and mask do not justify higher prices. I think this because people have a disadvantage of going places like their job so they might have less money. I also think sellers who stockpile are taking advantage of people because, if most people are staying in the house chances are they might not know the prices were raised. I think what Mr. Calvin did was Immoral even if he had good intentions. 2. I think big companies like Amazon or Ebay have little responsibility because of how, little they know about stockpilers. I do think they did the right thing by restricting sales to certain people because they realized stockpilers were stealing from them. 3. I think retailers carry a lot of responsibility considering they some of them might buy from stockpilers. I think they should place limits on how much you can get just to protect themselves. 4. I think Mr. Calvin should've just returned the hand sanitizer back to the store or gave the rest out for free. I think he should've been punished for his wrong doings.
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Marquila Barnett Yay! Good response! Now take this-- HAHA!! You say, "I think he should've been punished for his wrong doings." Did he break any laws? If not, then how can he be punished for "wrong doing"?
Sydney P. (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
No we should not be raising the prices on products that keep people healthy and safe. If we were to raise the prices of these goods then less people will buy them, not because they don’t want to spend the money but simply because they can’t afford it. This will lead to more sickness and deaths across the nation. It is completely immoral to put people in this situation. I think companies like Amazon and Walmart should be limiting how much of a certain product consumers can buy during this time.
Isabella (Cincinnati,Ohio)
No, we shouldn’t be selling everyday items and then selling them for a much higher price. People need them. Families in serious need shouldn’t have to pay $20 for a bottle of hand sanitizer, which in regular convenient stores you could get for $2. Most families have the advantage of spending a little extra money on supplies. Some families have little to no money to spend on certain supplies like masks, and basic self-care items. Yes, he is providing a service, which could be helpful. But, how is this remotely helpful for families that barely have supplies, let alone survive off of school lunches. So yes, I think what he’s doing is immoral, since he’s raising prices on Amazon way higher than they should be. Ebay and Amazon are responsible for letting people sell things like that at such a high price. If it was set at a more reasonable price, there wouldn’t be such a problem. They shouldn’t let people sell hand sanitizer for $50. That is insane. This is unfair to families that have no money. Retailers have a big responsibility to look after, and their main goal is money. They need to make sure everyone gets what they need and if they are satisfied with their order. But limits should be spared to make sure that everyone is well supplied. Instead of selling these items for such a high price, Mr. Colvin should have given them to charities or community workers to give out for FREE. While this was a smart business move, it just isn’t the right thing to do at this time.
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Isabella Good job, Izzy. You say, "Mr. Colvin should have given them to charities or community workers to give out for FREE. While this was a smart business move, it just isn’t the right thing to do at this time." Why does "right" or "wrong" matter in a free economy that is driven by profit?
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
White Oak kids, I'm going to stir it up with you a little bit for the sake of argument. :) Some people would say that in a free economy (like ours), everyone has a right to make as much profit as he can, even if other people don't like it. Colvin saw a need and a demand, and he capitalized on it. It might not be popular, but he has a right to do whatever he wants with items he owns. He just beat everybody to the idea. Why should he be penalized (notice that Unit 9 word) for being more clever than everyone else?
Kalynn (Cincinnati (OH))
@Ms. Enderle Yes, I can see where you're coming from and what he was doing would be right in a normal situation but not in a pandemic. Our law system is based on right and wrong, is taking advantage of someone during a vulnerable and dangerous time like a pandemic for a personal profit right? I don’t think it is, he's leaving people without life-saving supplies because they can't afford his sky-high prices therefore leaving them defenseless against such a harmful and dangerous virus. Were not talking about stockpiling a bunch of new trendy toys, we're talking about life-saving supplies like masks and hand sanitizer, that's corrupt and way past unethical. And I think the state punishing him will show him that.
Kalynn (Cincinnati (OH))
@Ms. Enderle Yes, what he was doing would be right in a normal situation but not in a pandemic. Our law system is based on right and wrong, is taking advantage of someone during a vulnerable and dangerous time like a pandemic for a personal profit right? It's not, he's leaving people without life-saving supplies because they can't afford his sky-high prices, therefore leaving them defenseless against such a harmful and dangerous virus. Were not talking about stockpiling a bunch of new trendy toys, we're talking about life-saving supplies like masks and hand sanitizer, that's corrupt and way past unethical and he needs to be shown that's wrong.
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Kalynn Ooooo I like the strong tone in your writing! "We're not talking about stockpiling a bunch of new trendy toys" and "that's corrupt and way past unethical" = strong voice!
Katherine Lennon (Hoggard High School In Wilmington, NC)
When a crisis hits you have to decide what is best for you. Sometimes that means taking more than you should so you can be prepared. In Matt’s case, I think he went overboard. As the picture shows, he has boxes and shelves full of cleaning materials he may not use when this virus is over with. However, if he didn’t buy up all those supplies in the first place, nobody would be having to pay for shipping. His plan was smart, but it is inconsiderate in times of crisis. It would be another thing if he was selling water for a higher price on a hot day, but this is a global issue, and many people are scared and seriously need these resources rather than making money.
Carter Sansone (Cincinnati,Ohio)
No we shouldn't raise the prices on things that could keep many people safe. It wouldn't be right to hoard all the supplies and for people to go without being able to get these sanitizing items at an affordable cost. Mr. Colvin and his brother aren't doing anyone a service and got what they deserved when they couldn't sell the materials, though it doesn't make them immoral it just wasn't the right thing to do. I don't think that eBay and Amazon should let these people sell the items on the websites for prices that high but if the prices are more reasonable then that would be fine but they are responsible for keeping those prices lower and not 50$ a bottle. Retailers jobs are to sell as much of their supplies as possible but that doesn't mean they should let the one person have all the supplies when everyone who walks into their stores are in need of the hand sanitizer that the guy just loaded up on and is pushing 5 carts worth of it out of the store. Mr. Colvin should not be punished but should be told to give his supply to the people either that mean selling t a reasonable price or donating it to different groups that would spread the supplies around to people.
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Carter Sansone What if he doesn't WANT to give his supplies to other people? Should he be forced to do so?
Lane (Ohio)
The rising price of products during this time is unfair. There is a difference between raising the price a buck or two but making it cost 50% more is horrible. Having a stockpile and selling it for so much more is not a service. It’s making it harder to find stores not bought out and it’s more expensive to buy from the seller. I feel like Mr. Colvin was being immoral by selling it for such a high price. We can agree online realtors have a big job by making sure people do not abuse selling these products. It’s up to them to make sure we have enough products and we don’t go broke doing that. They made the right choice by restricting these sellers so they aren't able to scam people. Any realtor at this time has the responsibility to limit the buying of these products. They need to save money and help everyone have enough supplies. They should place limits depending on how much people they are buying for Mr.Coliven should have donated the supplies he purchased because he couldn’t sell them anymore online.That would have been the right thing to do and it would have helped people who don’t have these supplies. This is new for all of us so let’s be smart with our choices.
Jordan S (Ohio Cinncinati)
I think that this isn't a good thing to do. One reason i know this is because if they didn't buy the hand sanitizer there would still be some for other people to buy. Another reason that they are wrong is because they are buying hand sanitizer and selling it for more than a reasonable profit at a time that people have less money do to job loss. Companies like Amazon and eBay should control and restrict companies that try to price gouge their customers. Mr. Colvin should donate the supplies to first responders in Tennessee.
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Jordan S Awesome job! Do you think the authorities should have a right to TAKE AWAY his supplies and distribute them to others? Why or why not?
Moses (Cinci,OH.)
No we shouldn't rise the price for these things . We shouldn't because people need these things to stay healthy. If they were to rise the price for these things then some people may not buy them and will eventually end up getting more people sick. What he did was immoral because people have no choice but to buy those things if they want to stay healthy plus the have to spend on other things as well like food and stuff especially at a time like this. I know people want money but what's the point if you are also going to be making the place worse buy making people have more stress on the because they feel like they have to spend so much of their money on cleaning supplies. He should try to at least benefit other people and instead of putting more stress on them
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Moses Awesome job! Do you think the authorities should have a right to TAKE AWAY his supplies and distribute them to others? Why or why not?
Josh Reifel (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn, IL)
In my macroeconomics class, we learned about the law of supply and demand. One of the effects this law has is that when demand increases for a good, the price increases. Although I am fully willing to say that it was immoral of them to buy the complete stock of hand sanitizer from as many stores as they could, I do think a (small) markup is allowed. Eighty dollars for one bottle is way too high, but selling it for eight is reasonable. I am operating upon the circumstance that they just somehow had 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer because I think buying out so many stores for the sole purpose of pulling the price up is abhorrent. Depriving people from easy access to a good that will greatly increase their chances of staying healthy is not something that should be done in a time of great crisis. On the other hand, allowing for the opportunity to purchase the good on Amazon for a small markup is passable but it is important to keep in mind how much of a necessity this good is and keep the price low to allow for widespread access.
Mckenna (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn IL)
While it definitely is a smart money move, I think there is a line that should not be crossed when raising prices. For example, a small increase in the price for hand sanitizer may help out the business... however, increasing these prices up to things like an absurd $60 is immoral. There are many people that would not be able to afford this increase in prices, even if they desperately need the product.
Simone Cronier (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Smart, very smart. If I loved taking advantage of people, I would be doing the same thing. But since I don’t, It’s one hundred percent immoral. What about the poor families who just need a roll of toilet paper. Or the homeless guy with a sick baby. Stealing thousands of hand sanitizers, TOILET PAPER, and masks is frankly, annoying. Therefore, I’ve got to laugh at Mr. Colvin’s situation. He should’ve thought about law enforcement stopping him before committing illegal activity. The reason I’m so against Mr. Colvin’s actions is that I tried buying a mask incase COVID-19 would still be around when I’m flying across the country, but Every. Single. One. was out of stock. It took me an hour to finally find a reasonably priced one that would come in on time. Hours after I bought it, it sold out. Through my searching, I found some were over $50 (for ONE surgical mask). I couldn’t believe anyone would buy anything this outrageous, but nonetheless, humanity proved me wrong. They were sold out too. Okay so I guess I shouldn’t have been that surprised. Price gouging has been around for decades. In fact, Mr. Colvin spent $7,000 on COVID-19 care packages to participate. The crazy part isn’t that he’s selling them at 20x regular value, it’s that he’s actually tricked himself into thinking he’s doing a public service. Price gouging is not and will never be okay. No matter how many items Mr. Colvin donates, his reason will only ever be because he got shut down from selling.
Cooper Hyldahl (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Simone Cronier I agree with everything you said in your comment. It is absolutely insane what people are willing to do for money. To me, the worst part is the excuses they are making. I would like to know if these people truly think they are doing a public service or if they are just saying that to make themselves feel better. While reading some of the comments on the original article, many were praising the actions of the people gauging the prices, saying that was how capitalism worked and they should do whatever they have to do to make money. They said that if people were willing to buy hand sanitizer for 125 dollars, why not sell it at that price. Like you, I fundamentally disagree with this philosophy because of the situations you mentioned: poor families that need a roll of toilet paper, a homeless person with a sick baby. These people matter too. Just because they can't afford these basic goods at these insanely inflated prices doesn't mean that they aren't entitled to them just like any other American.
Brianna G. (White Oak Middle School)
My answers and opinions on the four bullet points, No, they amount of money you spend on an item shouldn't raise just because a lot of people are buying it. We NEED these things and some people don't that the money to be spending extra on things. Yes, they're providing a service, but they shouldn't raise prices even higher than they already are. I think that people take advantage of the amount of money people are willing to spend during a pandemic. Yes, I think that what he did was immoral because he raised prices even higher on Amazon to get a profit. Online retailers have a huge responsibility because they're supposed to find these accounts and take them down before they make too much off of it. Yes, companies did the right thing because everyone needs and wants it and it's not fair to let one person buy and hold every item. Retailers in general have a big responsibility because they have to make sure everyone gets what they need and want. Yes, they should place limits so that everyone can get what they need. I think that he should've sold them locally and at a lower price to benefit people rather than benefitting himself. I don't think that it's serious enough to punish him by the state of Tennessee, he should just not do what he did again.
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Brianna G. Awesome job! Do you think the authorities should be able to take away his supplies and distribute them to others? Why or why not?
Abby Morean (Massachusetts)
It is immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis. Companies know that people will go out and stock up on what they need. They know that people will buy what they need to buy, especially basic necessities, so raising prices will drastically increase their profits. Right now, people are freaking out, as this pandemic is unprecedented and we don’t know what’s going to happen next. We are at a weak point, with everyone frightened and scrambling around trying to ensure their safety. Overcharging everyday people for everyday goods is wrong, it’s exploiting these people. It shows that these companies really don’t care about their consumers, only the money they make off of them. If anything, prices should stay the same or be lowered, because many people are being laid off and it may be extra hard to find work since most places are temporarily closed. This makes it harder to afford the things we want and need, and in a time like this the last thing we need is the added stressor of money. Companies understand all of this, but they care about their profits more, which is why increasing the price of goods during a crisis is immoral.
Taryn Connolly (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Abby Morean You say it's immoral to raise the prices of a good or service but isn't it just a smart business tactic. People are over preparing which in turn means that the demand for products is high so the companies will raise their prices to prepare for the time when their products are no longer needed. When the products are no longer in demand the business may hit a downfall or a decrease in sales which can lead to a slow month so they will need the extra money to keep themselves afloat until sales pick back up. Yes they will increase the prices to take advantage of our excessing purchases when shopping, but then when people spend too much money on things we don’t need then it then becomes that person's fault. People are buying excessive amounts of a product and most of the time they don’t have anywhere to put them so buy what you can house and then if needed go back for more.
Jude Lucido (Hoggard High School, Wilmington NC)
@Taryn Connolly The idea that companies are raising prices to prepare for a downfall in sales is a very good point, and I never thought about that. But I think this is a different situation. The Colvin brothers don't have a hand sanitizer company, they simply bought a bunch of hand sanitizer to sell it for a higher price. That's very wrong, and the brothers know that. They know they aren't running a business, they're just making a quick buck.
jekari jenkins (CIncinnati Ohio ms.enderle's room 111)
I think this is immoral to make profit off this. Prices shall stay the same because it’s basically exploiting people when they are at their weakest point. The prices should always be negotiable & reasonable enough to where people can afford it. Corona Virus has people at our weakest state & i don’t believe people should benefit off that. It has gotten plenty of things cancelled that we looked forward to let alone price inflation. No, i don’t agree that people should make profit off higher prices due to the corona virus.
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@jekari jenkins Awesome job! Do you think the authorities should be able to take away his supplies and distribute them to others? Why or why not?
Sophia, Mrs Lewis first hour (Mason Michigan, Mason middle school.)
I think that it is immoral to stock up on goods that others need. When he took all 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer he was taken from schools and retirement homes that really need them. What if he did not take all of those items may be an elder would have not died. I think that it was very rude of him to take those. from the picture, he looks like a younger man he has less of a chance of dying or even getting it because of his age. I think that it is immoral to stock up on goods that others need. When he took all 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer he was taken from schools and retirement homes that need them. What if he did not take all of those items may be an elder would have not died. I think that it was very rude of him to take those. from the picture, he looks like a younger man he has less of a chance of dying or even getting it because of his age. He was selfish when he and his brother decided to take all of that hand sanitizer. That is why I think it was immoral to stock on goods that others need. I think that it is immoral to stock up on goods that others need. When he took all 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer he was taken from schools and retirement homes that need them. When he took all 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer he was taken from schools and retirement homes that need them. What if he did not take all of those items may be an elder would have not died. That is why I think it was immoral to stock on goods that others need.
Ra'khi Dey (OHIO)
Just because the demand of the items is high doesn't mean that the price has to be high. It is providing service but it’s not helping the society by marking the price up high. What Mrs.Colvin did is immoral because people were already stressed out and now they have to worry about the price and they can’t ignore the deal either because they are rare to find. The online retailers have to prevent a lot of price gouging during a crisis. They did the right thing. The retailers in general have to prevent a lot of stockpiling because the person who buys a lot can take advantage of it. They should place a limit on how many times a person can buy so they don’t run out of the items and people don’t take advantage of it. I think he should have donated it to the hospital or sold it where people are running out of the items at a low price. He should be punished by the state of Tennessee.
Ms. Enderle (WOMS)
@Ra'khi Dey Awesome job! Do you think the authorities should be able to take away his supplies and distribute them to others? Do they have that right? Why or why not?
Kevin O’Malley (Hoggard High School in Wilmington,NC)
The hoarding and over selling of public necessities in a crisis for personal gain is completely wrong. While this can be argued as capitalism or "retail arbitration", there really is no justifying keeping goods from the people who desperately need it to help slow down this outbreak. These people who plan to profit on this terrible thing are sick and need to look at what they are doing for a quick buck. There is a moral line that should come between capitalism and the right thing to do, and in this situation that line was passed a long time ago. This is not the first time I have heard about exploiting people in times of crisis, and makes me think back to when I was taught about J.P Morgan buying a lot of railroads from people in the depression. This goes to show that capitalism has always caused some issues and some people will always do whats best for them in hard times for others. People will always try to make it to the top, even if that means that they have to push a few people down in the process, in some ways this is a part of human nature. However, we must stop this trend, and try to prevent these capatilistic exploitations from happening as they have in the past. What Amazon and Ebay have done is exactly the right thing to do. While the people who have made their stockpiles will fight to stop it, it should show them that what they were doing was wrong and that they will have to pay the consequences for it.
Anna Kilpatrick (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I do not think that it is right for resellers to be making “crazy money” off of much needed supplies, especially in this time of crisis. Taking advantage of people when they are just trying to get the materials they need for this public health crisis is immoral. I’m glad that companies like Amazon and eBay were able to restrict this type of reselling on their sites, but I wish they didn’t have to leave Mr. Colvin with no place to sell all the supplies that people needed. I think that the stockpiling of supplies could have been prevented if they weren’t able to purchase so much at one time, but I understand why stores might not have stopped him when people weren’t as concerned with the coronavirus as they are now. I know that as there have been more deaths in the United States, some stores are limiting how much of certain resources you can buy at a time since they are in such high demand now. I hope that people will discontinue stockpiling resources and reselling them at high prices at this point of the public health crisis.
William Hudson (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
This weekend, my parents started gathering medicine in case we got sick. Our list included cough syrup and zinc cough drops. The cost of Walmart brand cough drops on Amazon was $75. Seventy-five dollars for something that normally costs about $5. That's a 1,400% increase. Everyone’s number one priority should be keeping each other safe. Now is the time to come together and help each other and not make a profit at other people’s expense. People should also not hoard things. There are big shortages of masks and gowns for doctors and nurses. If they get sick and can’t work, what will happen to us all. We should save supplies for people who really need them. This situation feels a bit like the vaccination debate. A big part of getting vaccines is to protect others as well as yourself. If you get the flu or measles, you might make babies or old people sick. This is the same thing on a bigger scale. We have to share resources to keep everyone safe. Finally, I think we all need to act ethically. What does it say about our society if rich people have months worth of toilet paper and poor people can’t afford to buy medicine or hand sanitizer? People are going to die. The well-being of people should before making money off of the pandemic. There is no justification for profiting from the need for survival. Taking basic resources away from needy people is cruel, unnecessary and inhumane.
Lucy Fergusson (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I think it is immoral for companies to raise the price of health needs during a pandemic, hurricane, or any other crisis. It is also not acceptable for anyone to buy up these needs in stock and sell them for a profit as the Colvin brothers did with buying hand sanitizer. When a pandemic like this happens people's first thought shouldn't be "how can I make a profit off of this" it should be something more along the line of "how can I help as many people as I can". And in my opinion, that is the opposite of what people that price gouge are doing. Some people are in great need of these items and might only be able to find it for more than $20, do you think that is moral?
Dora (New York)
I believe that it is immoral to increase the price of health goods during a crisis. I realize that there is a cost to health care, but it should be a reasonable one. No one should ever exploit people in their most vulnerable moments. I think it's sad that people in our society continue to have a thirst for money, even during a worldwide crisis. While it might be acceptable for the Colvin brothers to have bought the hand sanitizer to sell at a slightly higher price, they should not be making "crazy money" to benefit themselves because of a pandemic. It's not okay to put people's lives in danger so you can get tons of money. It is a very selfish act. Since now Mr. Colvin can't sell his hand sanitizer anywhere, he should donate them to hospitals or hand them out to people who need them. I understand that he spent a lot of money on the hand sanitizers, so he might consider selling them to hospitals at the price that he bought them or even a lowered price. I'm glad that this event helped retailers like Amazon and eBay realize how selfish people can be, and that they put some much-needed restrictions on their platform. I hope that Mr. Colvin sells his 17,700 hand sanitizers at reasonable prices. I also hope that he realizes, and helps us realize, that making money off of a pandemic is wrong.
Gabriel Powers (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I agree with you how selfish using a worldwide pandemic for personal gain, especially when that gain is through products that people need most, is. Restrictions on amounts of products sold to a person in retail are definitely important during times of crisis like the virus outbreak, simply because of how easy it is to exploit that system without them. Mass selling a product to people isn’t necessarily bad, but that’s only if it is fairly priced and purposed towards giving to the community in times of need. Donating would be a great way for Mr. Colvin to actually give to the community, and I hope that’s what he chose to do in order to change from this inherently wrong cause.
Maddi C. (TX)
I think they should not so much raise the prices but find a way to regulate the number of items that can be purchased at that time. It’s understandable how companies would want to raise their prices; however, at the same time they still need to be accesible to lower class individuals and families. I think that the idea was smart but not everybody needs hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes,etc at their households. People could simply use soap and water to keep their hands clean and regularly cleaning your household with safe yet effective chemicals or natural cleaners.
Jason Xia (Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY)
I would argue that it would be necessary for the government to either create a temporary universal basic income to offset the losses of the lower class and increase purchasing power during price inflation, or distribute supplies to outcompete temporary businesses that spring up to take advantage of the pandemic. We would argue that companies should be allowed to increase prices, but during the pandemic, prices should not follow demand but rather follow supply. It is understandable that companies may have to raise prices to survive when workers prefer to self-quarantine and labor becomes scarce, but at the same time, this hits the working class the hardest. A universal basic income solves by providing a temporary cash injection to the economy, curbing the effects of the recession on the poor. Second, it would allow for higher prices to be affordable to consumers. Lastly, the jobs that are hit hardest tend to be taxi drivers and fast-food workers, who cannot afford to stay in quarantine for extended periods of time. Because of the economically polarizing effects of the virus, a redistributive universal basic income would protect the working class temporarily while the virus blows over.
Cole Noberini (Hoggard High school in Wilmington, NC)
I don’t support the marketing strategy that Mr. Colvin has employed. True, with transportation and packaging fees his profit is limited, but that doesn’t justify his actions. While he might make a small amount of profit, customers in need have to pay every dime, dimes that people may not be able to earn back with so many jobs closing. It’s immoral that he saw a need to profit off people in a crisis in the first place. I think that helping people is a responsibility of anyone who can, and they certainly shouldn’t have to pay for it.
Augie Zucchero (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
Personally I think this is pretty messed up. Monetary gain should never come before ones health. In times of sickness and major panic everyone is affected, so everyone needs these basic supplies and the up charging and scamming that is going on is utterly immoral. I say this -and I’m sure many agree- yet this has became a part of the Americans daily life. Pharmaceutical companies, who hold the cure for many sicknesses, see medical disasters as dollar bills, the prices of drugs are almost always higher than they should be. So looking back at it if the multimillion dollar pharmaceutical company get to up charge millions of Americans then the brothers may as well also.
Avi McGrady (Manhattan Middle School in Boulder, CO)
Mr. Colvin's reselling online may have not been as much as a problem as people thought it. “There’s a crushing overwhelming demand in certain cities right now,” he said. “The Dollar General in the middle of nowhere outside of Lexington, Ky., doesn’t have that.” Said Mr. Colvin. In my opinion, he has a point. Very little people will visit that dollar store, as it's outside any urban areas. I believe that Mr. Colvin could have handled the situation better, Instead of selling each bottle for 10 dollars, he could have sold 2 bottles for 10 dollars. There's a good chance that he could have made more profit from that. Mr. Colvin did raise the prices a bit too much, but he did have money in mind, and wasn't doing it straight from the bottom of his heart. I believe that online retailers did the right thing by taking down Mr. Colvin's profile. I do think that people should be able to sell hand sanitizers on amazon, but not to inflate prices as much as Mr. Colvin. I also think that retailers should have a limit to buying many of the same item. Mr. colvin shouldn't be punished by the state, but he should give away his thousands of hand sanitizers
Nayyer Ahmed (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn IL)
Yes I think it is immoral to raise prices during a crisis, and it is even more so to take as much as you can get so you can make others overpay. I work at a retail store and I see families with with 3-4 children unable to get toilet paper and detergent and other things. The worst is to see the aisle that used to be full of baby food become empty. The smallest purest form of a human unable to obtain food, parents asking me if we plan on restocking soon cause they need these necessities. I have a simple answer which is “I don’t know”. People who stockpile to resell don’t understand the consequences of making a quick dollar. The reality is that it hurts a lot of people around them and the moral value lost can never be regained by money.
Anna Kilpatrick (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Nayyer Ahmed It’s so sad to hear how you have seen the effects of stockpiling on families. I don’t think that the people who stockpile and then resell at much higher prices realize the situations they put families in that can’t afford to pay crazy prices for simple resources. I hope that stores are making an effort to limit how much a person can buy at a time, since it puts other people in tough situations.
Jeffery Austin (Hoggard High School)
Now is it immoral for people and businesses to increase prices for goods in times of crisis? Yes. But should it be allowed? Also yes. One of the most simple parts of supply and demand is if your demand surpasses supply, you raise prices to decrease demand. We can scold Mr. Colvin all we want for his terrible actions. But we have to admit that Mr. Colvin had the demand for what he was selling. And if the consumer wants to buy it, they should. In fact, I see raising prices as a way to stop panic buying. Consumers will probably think a whole lot more over buying hand sanitizer for $5 instead of $1. The Coronavirus is a terrible disease. But that should not lead to government intervention in the markets. Consumers should have enough sense not to buy a 1 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer for $15.
Hayden Carroll (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Jeffery Austin I agree that although Mr. Colvin's intentions were immoral, it's not like he was forcing people to buy his 20 dollar hand sanitizer. To me, thinking it's rational to spend 20 dollars on a single bottle of hand sanitizer is just as bad as Mr. Colvin raising prices as high as he did. I do have a problem with him cleaning out entire stores of hand sanitizer for his benefit, but the act of jacking the prices up on it's own doesn't bother me.
Mia Finelli (Hoggard High School Wilmington, NC)
@Jeffery Austin You have a very interesting point about all of this. We all know the theory of supply and demand, but when it comes down to it when an external factor makes it's way into economics anything can happen. The idea that Mr. Colvin raising prices would balance out the demand for hand sanitizers is new to me. I see your point, but that's definitely not what he is going for. He wants to profit off of panic and desperation and there's a real problem with that.
Sid S. (Somewhere in Oregon)
@Jeffery Austin Though you have an interesting opinion of this, you must take into account that people are buying products from price gougers like Mr. Colvin because of the shelves being cleaned off by said price gougers. Because of the extremely low supply of cleaning products, there is no other option other to buy a 1 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer for $15.
Jeffrey (JBMS)
I think That while it is incredibly immoral to horde items during a crisis to make a profit it should most certainly not be banned. this is the negative side of being in a capitalist country but there are also positive sides of being in this country and in life you have to take the good with the bad. still I think that people that do this should at least give the stuff away rather than selling it.
Emily Suit (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Jeffrey I think that is should be banned due to the fact that when people are hording items in the was the he did there aren't any left for the rest of us, if it was banned this wouldn't be as much of an issue as it has become and maybe all the stores wouldn't be complete sold out. not everyone needs to buy a lifetime supply of hand sanitizer and toilet paper because they simply aren't going to need it all and its just wasteful and taking it away from those who need it and re selling it for higher prices is even worse.
Sean Hession (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
A few years ago, Hurricane Florence hit my hometown of Wilmington. Immediately before and after the storm, it was hard to buy essentials like toilet paper and water. Though all needed these things badly, they were in short supply. Charities helped some, but not everyone was able to get essentials. The stores were sold out. I was then surprised to see a man selling my neighbor jugs of water for far more than they were worth. This made me feel that my neighbor was being exploited, taken advantage of during a time of need. Because of this experience, it makes me uncomfortable hearing that there are people doing the very same thing by overcharging for cleaning products during the coronavirus outbreak. This is wrong and should not be allowed. The recent coronavirus, COVID-19, is obviously something that people should try not to get. Its high lethality poses a serious risk to everyone, which is why large portions of the world have cancelled work and school and urged people to stay at home. Overcharging for cleanliness necessities during this time should never happen. Hand sanitizer, for example, can be lifesaving by killing the virus if it is on a person's skin. Therefore, overcharging for hand sanitizer and other cleaning products is like putting a price on someone's own life. This is incredibly immoral, as some who do not have as much money may not be able to get the cleaning supplies. Amazon did the right thing by stopping this and hopefully other marketplaces follow.
emma p (Hoggard high school Wilmington NC)
Throughout the days, as the Corona virus has gotten more prevalent, I have noticed that everyday items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizers, masks, etc have increased in price. I don't think that this should be allowed during a crisis because I think the main focus during a crisis should be making sure everyone stays safe instead of people making money off of people. If anything I think the prices should go down rather than up. I think we need to figure out more efficient solutions to producing goods without raising the prices.
Bella Steiner (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@emma p I agree with what you're saying. At first I thought that it wasn't that bad that prices were raised during this crisis. I thought that it was a good idea because it would bring in a lot of money to those big corporations and even to the grocery stores. However after reading your comment, it seems almost immoral to raise the prices. I think that raising prices during a time of crisis is causing more crisis within cities because everyone is trying to stock up on everything they can while it’s still there.
Madison Lin (Rolling Hills Middle School, Campbell CA)
During a pandemic, people globally all have a common need for resources, and the need for some specific items are high. The majority of the population after a while, can’t find any more of the items with high demands, and people then assume that there’s too little of those resources to be bought. In “He Has 17,700 Bottles of Hand Sanitizer and Nowhere to Sell Them,” Jack Nickas states, “Mr. Colvin said he had posted 300 bottles of hand sanitizer and immediately sold them all for between $8 and $70 each, multiples higher than what he had bought them for.” To Colvin, he’s just making money. But what he isn’t considering is that he’s taking away what people need for his own sake, placing his own desire for profit above everybody else's basic needs. While he gets benefits from this scheme, many people are putting themselves at risk, just from the depravity of one item. During CO-VID 19, so many people are at risk, and maybe that one bottle of hand sanitizer could protect them from the virus. Health and safety should always come before money, no matter pandemic or not. It’s not only the public that’s worried about this matter though. Sellers like Amazon started taking action against price-gouging, the process of selling something way overpriced, threatening to take action against closing accounts which do so. I truly hope if this situation arises again, people will consider others' well beings above money and profit.
Emma Dunne (Hoggard Highschool in Wilmington, NC)
In crisis people need to be aware and helping to others. Calvin decided to hoard items that people without them couldn't get. Hurricane Florence affected the area im in last year and this situation happened with many people. You would go into the stores and the shelfs were empty. This cause people who didn't have anything to continue to struggle without it. This also lead to price gouging. This is an immoral thing to do because it makes items that are needed more expensive and in the long run worsens the situation. Right now we are in a state of emergency with Corona Virus (COVID-19) and before this I haven't really noticed the price of hand sanitizer but lets home no price gouging on products is happening.
Emma Dunne (Hoggard Highschool in Wilmington, NC)
In crisis people need to be aware and helping to others. Calvin decided to hoard items that people without them couldn't get. Hurricane Florence affected the area im in last year and this situation happened with many people. You would go into the stores and the shelfs were empty. This cause people who didn't have anything to continue to struggle without it. This also lead to price gouging. This is an immoral thing to do because it makes items that are needed more expensive and in the long run worsens the situation. Right now we are in a state of emergency with Corona Virus (COVID-19) and before this I haven't really noticed the price of hand sanitizer but lets home no price gouging on products is happening.
Sofia Noonan (Hoggard Highschool Wilmington, NC)
@Emma Dunne I agree with you that it is immoral and completely wrong to use other's fear and distress to your own advantage. I believe your point that actions such as Colvin's only worsen the current conditions and spread more panic is very legitimate. As a whole society that is struggling together, we should want to unify and help each other, not tear each other down and waste people's money and resources during this time of harship. There is no excuse for actions such as this and I hope that one day there will be limitations to do such things.
Sam McNamara (John T. Hoggard High (Wilmington, NC))
At first glance, I saw what Mr. Colvin is doing as immoral and taking advantage of others. However, upon thinking more about this, I don't believe he was entirely wrong in what he did. It was noted that he did not go to metro-area stores or any place that was seeing a great amount of business every day; rather, he visited "stores in the backwoods" where people had yet to reach, and where many probably had no idea existed to begin with. It is not as though he was swiping these bottles of hand-sanitizer from other people and checking out at busy stores with a cart-full of sanitizer while everyone else had only a few bottles. If I had to bet, all of these hand sanitizer bottles out in the backwoods probably would not have sold due to their inaccessibility for many. So, by buying these bottles and selling them online, Colvin is making hand sanitizer available to people living in metropolitan areas or those who otherwise do not have the means to reach a backwood store far outside the city. He does mark his prices up significantly, but he has eBay or Amazon commissions, the cost of gasoline to drive 1,300 miles to collect all of his product, and shipping costs eating into his profits. Taking everything into consideration, his profit per bottle is likely only a few dollars, which makes it unreasonable to call him greedy and selfish.
Cole Noberini (Hoggard High school in Wilmington, NC)
I have to disagree with you completely. For one, trying to make a profit in the first place can never be justified over people in need. For all we know, he didn't get sanitization products in metropolitan areas because people already took them all in a panic. Those stores that got cleaned out stayed in business because people bought products from them, stores that now don't have any for the people who didn't prepare fast. Many companies have been shut down along with jobs and a source of income due to the virus. Some people can't work online, which is why even though little profit is being made, people still have to be a lot of money that can't be earned back. So yeah, I have to respectfully disagree with you on how this isn't immoral.
Uma Volety (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Sam McNamara Respectfully, I disagree with your stance on this issue. I see what you are saying about him going to backwoods stores that may not have been found otherwise, but with the current demands of hand sanitizers and masks, it is likely that someone would've found the stores at some point. Aside from the fact that he is hoarding the supplies, there is another aspect to this issue, he is drastically marking up the prices of wanted goods in a time of crisis. It doesn't matter that once you factor in his gas money, commissions, and shipping costs his profits come out low. He is still exploiting desperate customer wants and needs to make money for himself. Even worse, he has allowed himself to think that he is helping our society. If Mr. Colvin really wanted to help people during this national emergency, he could've bought the products and distributed them to homeless shelters, food banks, and nursing homes, which would've greatly benefited at-risk populations and been a true selfless act to aid society.
Immanuel (Hillside Middle school)
I think Mr. Colvin is a smart person selling hand sanitizer to make lots of money, but in my opinion I think it is immoral to sell things that people need for their daily life. Also many people cannot afford the prices that he is selling it for ($8-$70) just for hand sanitizer. People need hand sanitizer, mask, cleaning products to stay away from the virus. What Mr. Colvin had done was just waste his money on hand sanitizer, mask and other items. Mr. Colvin should have given out what he had left to his community and other people. I do think what he did was very immortal and he should be helping the people in need instead.
Rachel (Michigan)
It is immoral to increase the price of goods while they are in a time in need. Mr. Colvin has taken every single bottle of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, masks, and other necessities from stores and even traveled so far to keep these items to himself and selfishly sell them to make a profit. Since he doesn't have anywhere to sell them, he should pass them out to people who really need it and are exposed to the virus. He should also give them to people who work in the health industry to decrease the chances of getting the virus. He should do this because since he took all of these things and have about 17,000 bottles in his garage, he should be able to give back. Many people cannot afford to pay a lot of money for a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. I hope he can learn from his mistakes and not think about doing it again for the sake of other people's health.
Hannah Krier (Hoggard High School , Wilmington , NC)
@Rachel I agree with you. I think Mr.Colvin should give some of the supplies to the health industry so they can help fight the virus themselves. I also agree that many people can not afford any supplies they need to get through this hard time and that people are taking advantage.
emma p (Hoggard high school Wilmington NC)
@Rachel I agree with you that increasing prices is immoral and should be allowed. I did not know until now that someone was buying a bunch of products and re selling them to make profit, that's just not right.
Aaliyah Butler (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Rachel I totally agree because who’s to say we won't catch the virus from a family member we live with. After awhile people will run out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer and they won't be able to get anymore because of the cough cough hoarders, and how do we know if they will share their supplies with others in need?
Grace Trimpey-Warhaftig (Hoggard High School in Wilmington NC)
During hurricane Florence last year many items were in high demand and so the prices were raised. This didn't last long before a ban was put on raising the prices since it was a state of emergency and people were in need of these items. I think the fact that Mr Colvin went out and took advantage of people who were trying to prevent themselves from getting sick or spreading disease during this time is not acceptable. While yes simple supply and demand was the basis for his reasoning this is exploiting the system in a terrible way. We are in what is known as a state of emergency in the US and there should be regulations put into place on how much prices should be allowed to be raised on items such as hand sanitizer.
Victoria Fey (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
What Colvin did is incredibly selfish. Hoarding products like hand sanitizer and toilet paper and raising their prices is just going to make this pandemic worse. As it said in the article, hospitals and individuals need these products as there is already a shortage of them and can’t afford to spend $80 or more on hand sanitizer. The elderly and those with respiratory illnesses are depending on sanitary products that Colvin is hoarding but now there are 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer sitting in his garage that no one will get to use. I understand that he was just trying to make a profit, but healthy people buying up all the products people are in need of is just selfish. I hope that Colvin and his brother give their stockpile to their community and hospitals.
Harrison Carter (Hoggard High School)
Price gouging is both immoral and crooked to practice. People should never take advantage of others, especially those who are suffering. In the event of a global pandemic like Covid-19, all of the people of the world need to unite and work towards eradicating the virus. People like Mr. Colvin only inhibit this worldwide effort. Mr. Colvin and the other Amazon sellers have essentially created a monopoly on the items that can save lives in this time of crisis. In 1890, President Taft put federal laws in place to break up American monopolies in the marketplace. That was well over 100 years ago and it is sad to see that there are still loopholes around these laws. It took several weeks for Amazon to begin regulating these villains and there are still some operating currently. I did some digging myself and found a 60 milliliter bottle of hand sanitizer for $9 on Amazon’s website. A single user has rated the product at one star and even left a review that says, “Shame on you. Taking advantage of people’s fears. This is a tiny 2 oz bottle for $9.” Mr. Colvin deserves to have wasted his money on all of those sanitary products. He can’t scam honest people’s money from them and expect nothing to happen to him in return. Hopefully he will get some sense and donate them to hospitals and shelters for those who need them most.
Annie (University of Arizona)
There is, or at least should be, little debate on a subject matter that concerns human safety to the extent of infringing on the right to live. People around the U.S., especially the elderly population, are at much greater risk for contracting COVID-19 without prevention tactics like practicing social distancing or using sanitary products. By putting a direct price barrier in front of them, people like Colvin are actively giving at-risk populations a lack of choice in the matter of personal safety. There are people who, like Colvin said, live in areas where hand sanitizer/cleaner products are in such high demand that it is hard to find any in-store. Colvin's decision to purchase an immense supply, instead of leaving the supplies in-store in his hometown at low prices, is a decision made only with the purpose of profit in mind. Large stores like CostCo, Walmart, etc. will restock supplies as quickly as possible and maintain low prices, and if this is purchased on a need-only basis, people living in those cities will naturally find what they need at low price within reasonable time. It is the very fact that hoarders like Colvin are purchasing so much product that others are unable to locate what they need in-store. His "public service" is all-around negative, and the fact that public name-and-shame has brought him to consider donating his supplies is telling of how aware he is of his conscious choice to price gouge. It is obvious Colvin made a selfish decision.
Yates Kirby (Hoggard High School)
Part 1 Price gouging is not a thing and it is simply a way for people to say "I don't like your price so i'm going to use the government to force you to lower your price". That person has every right in the world to sell their product at the price they see fit. Now morally, it may be wrong. In a perfect world we all will sell something to our fellow humans for a price that is fair for all of us. Whether it be a product we produce or our labour, we should sell or buy it at a price fair for all parties involved. So no it is not morally right. But should it be illegal? No. In the case of Mr. Colvin who has stockpiled thousands of bottles of sanitizer and is selling them for 2 to 3 times what he paid, he should be allowed to sell them at least from a legal standpoint. If amazon and eBay choose to shut them down then so be it, that's their decision. If they want to lose out on thousands of dollars of commission then so be it. But there are thousands of people who would gladly pay 8$ a bottle for hand sanitizer just to have some and Mr. Colvin should be allowed to sell it at that price. The act of preventing him from selling it is also immoral because it prevents others from keeping themselves healthy. When in a time of crisis, the prices of some things such as oil and toilet paper may go up not due to malpractice but due to an increase in manufacturing costs. Suppliers might be shut down, less trucks means higher freight costs because -continue on part 2-
Elijah (Rockford, Michigan)
I personally believe that capitalizing off of crisis is improper and unfair to the rest of the world. Although one profits, the rest of the world suffers due to lack of necessities. Purchasing all of the goods in one’s neighborhood would result in the rest of the community having nothing. Selling them for higher prices is also unfair because everyone relies on such goods and shouldn’t have to pay extra, especially in crises such as the coronavirus. My personal opinion is that we should try to find better and more efficient solutions the equally distribute needs such as hand sanitizer and non-perishables so that everyone has enough to support their family, but not too little to where they need to keep coming back and put their family at risk.
Charlotte Saxton (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
In times of a crisis, everyone should look out for themselves, but also the community. What Matt Colvin did was only looking out for himself, even if he doesn’t believe he was price gouging. Sure, it makes sense that the bottles were so expensive because of shipping and he had to make a profit, but if he didn’t buy up all those supplies in the first place, nobody would be having to pay for shipping. His plan was very smart, but it is immoral in times of a crisis. It would be different if he was selling water bottles for a jacked up price on a hot day, but this is a worldwide problem, and many people are scared and in need of these resources. I remember a couple weeks back when hand sanitizer started to disappear from stores. I was with my mom in a CVS just shopping for regular stuff and she decided to pick up some hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes just to stock up, but the CVS was already completely out of both. As we were checking out we heard the women ahead of us asking where to find some because she had already been to many other places with no luck, and the cashier had no clue where any could be found either. Along with the hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes shortages, there’s also a toilet paper problem. Stores were getting sold out of toilet paper, and some people at my school were even taking toilet paper home from the stalls.
Ellie Portman (CO)
Retailers have an immense amount of responsibility when stockpiling. Retailers have to be aware of those who need certain products, such as hand sanitizer for hospitals and local businesses. Some consumers tend to hoard when they become fearful of a certain crisis, for example, this current coronavirus pandemic. To add on, retailers have to understand the severity of the crisis to be ethical and prosperous on how they tend to give away hand sanitizer. In order for retailers to be successful ethically, they have to limit the number of hand sanitizers per person. This will establish trust within the community that instead of taking more than necessary, others will have a better opportunity to stay healthy.
Hannah Krier (Hoggard High School , Wilmington , NC)
I think it is immortal to increase prices in a time of need. People need hand sanitizer. sanitary wipes, and masks to help keep themselves safe from the virus and some are just trying to make money off these people. I find it very selfish that websites and people are raising prices in this major time of need because some people can't afford the items they need. I think that Mr.Colvin should have given out what he stockpiled to his community. I do think what he did was very immortal and he should be helping the people in need instead.
Mason Evans (Hoggard High School Wilmington, NC)
While many will see stockpiling these resources and selling them as "immoral," I think that it was someone with no malignant intent and was just someone that was trying to take advantage of a situation. It is definitely an effective way to make money, and in a capitalist society, aren't we all striving for just that? Whether you think was bad or not to buy all of these materials, the government should buy the supplies from him for a fair price and distribute the materials where they are necessary. This can be done in a similar way to eminent domain, which is when the government buys land for a fair price from people to build roads or government facilities there. There's no reason to sit here and reprimand Mr. Colvin at this point; that does us no good. The materials will continue to sit in his garage and collect dust. Instead, action needs to be taken to help save lives.
Victoria Fey (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Mason Evans I think you made a really good point that instead of insulting Mr. Colvin we should take action. His stockpile of hand sanitizers could help so many people and I think after all the hate he is getting he has probably learned his lesson.
Evan Peña (Hoggard High School)
It is immoral to increase prices during a public health crisis if it is for a selfish reason such as making money for yourself. I do however think that companies should be able to raise their prices if their is a demand for them, but only companies and not individual resellers. For this reason, retailers should put a limit on how many of one product a single person can buy. I do believe that Mr. Colvin is taking advantage of a pandemic because he knows people will panic and try to stockpile supplies, so he makes sure they come to him to buy them. I'm not saying this isn't an effective marketing strategy, but he cannot feel too good charging panicked people extra money for necessities. At that point it is just taking advantage of them. Ebay and amazon must take responsibility for this. Online ordering is very popular now and they must have rules for price gouging during a crisis just as normal stores do.
Arden Wheeler (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
It is very immoral to increase the prices of these items, especially because it is during a worldwide pandemic. Buying low and selling high, as Mr. Colvin did with items such as Nike shoes was less immoral because these are not necessities. However, there is currently a shortage of the items Colvin is hoarding and it could potentially cause more deaths than necessary. Because these items could help prevent others from dying, it is especially immoral. He is acting selfishly by trying to drive up prices for items that have a lower retail price. Now, those who need to buy these items, such as the elderly and those who have compromised immune systems, may not be able to afford them and it could cause serious issues. Although stores like Amazon are trying to stop this from happening, there will always be people who are willing to put other people's lives in danger, just so they can potentially make a profit.
Sam McNamara (John T. Hoggard High (Wilmington, NC))
@Arden Wheeler I understand what you are saying, but in a way, I believe Mr. Colvin can relieve the shortage in areas of desperate need through what he is doing. By buying from stores that are used by few people and redistributing their product to places where there are people unable to meet their sanitary needs, he is making better use of these products. Rather than sitting on shelves in stores that are visited by 10 people every day, bottles bought by Mr. Colvin will be able to make their way into the city where people desperate for sanitizer are waiting. Yes, he sells at a considerable markup, but this is to make up the money he lost by driving 1,300 miles, paying for shipping, and selling through websites that take commissions. Now, had Mr. Colvin been buying from metropolitan area stores where large volumes of people would have had access to the sanitary supplies they need, I would consider what he did immoral. The fact that he bought from places where the sanitizer may never have made it out of the store, however, makes what he did justifiable.
Sean Hession (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Arden Wheeler I agree and would like to add to your point. Mr. Colvin was certainly price gouging for a necessity, which is just wrong. However, he was doing more than just selling a necessity for more than it was worth. He was also going to stores where hand sanitizer had not been bought yet and buying it all. In doing this, he was taking hand sanitizer from those who had not yet taken the time to go buy it. He bought out all the stores in the area, removing the opportunity for people nearby to buy cleaning products at low prices. This is incredibly immoral, as he is essentially removing people's access to potentially lifesaving products. As demand for these products continues to rise and panic continues to grow, people will want more and more cleaning products. The only way everyone will be able to get them is if profiteers like Mr. Colvin give up their moneymaking tendencies and allow everyone to get necessities at fair prices.
Avery Hodges (Hoggard Highschool in Wilmington, NC)
I think it is immoral to increase the price of sanitary items and necessities during a crisis like this. People need hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes to keep themselves at a distance from this virus, and people that buy and resale those items at a higher price are horrible. Say you're an old person, and in this case you are very susceptible to the Coronavirus, and it could KILL you if you contract it. Would you think it's fair for someone to take all the supplies you need to keep yourself safe and make you pay more for it? I think that it is 100% unjustifiable to put peoples lives in danger and make them pay extra for absolute necessities during a time of crisis.
Harrison Carter (Hoggard High School)
@Avery Hodges, I agree with you. What Mr. Colvin did in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic is crooked and immoral. The way I see it, the only way he can make up for his actions is to donate the rest of his supply to hospitals across the nation. I believe his scheme actually targets old people, purposefully or not. Not only are the elderly more likely to die from the Coronavirus but they also tend to lack the skill of online shopping. Elderly people like my grandparents have been buying lots of sanitary products out of fear they could contract the virus. They are also more likely to buy the first hand sanitizer bottle or mask they see on Amazon regardless of the price. This is because they often don't understand that there are identical products on the website at varying costs. Elderly people like my grandparents have been buying lots of sanitary products out of fear they could contract the virus. It is truly shameful what Mr. Colvin is doing during such a time of panic and fear.
Sophia Caparelli (Hoggard Highschool in Wilmington, NC)
An extremely high demand for sanitary items is definitely not a reason to take advantage of those in need during a pandemic. Matt Colvin was very selfish in taking all sanitary items from stores. Some people cannot afford items at regular price, let alone the price he was trying to sell them for. This is extremely immoral and a little outrageous that a person would put themselves before entire communities in a time of need, solely for their own benefit. While I understand that many people become entrepreneurs, using different business strategies to make a profit, there is a time to be responsible for yourself and know between right and wrong in your business decisions. I think that once Mr. Colvin was aware of the severity of the situation, he should've donated his supplies or sold it at regular, or even discounted price. Retailers have now started to put restraints on how much of a product someone can buy during this time in order to prevent the elimination of essentials throughout entire communities. The brothers in the article took their project to an unnecessary extent and should not have taken advantage of thousands of people in a time of need.
Camden Peterson (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Many people are arguing that buying and selling these good for a higher price is immoral. I see what they are saying but I honestly think this is a smart idea. It definitely isn’t the morally right thing to do but speaking from a business standpoint it is a very smart way to make money. I do not agree with what the Colin brothers are doing since the Corona Virus is so serious. I think that it really all depends on how serious the crisis is.
shimshon (california)
what i think Mr. Colvin should have sold all of the supplies for at least a dollar more than its worth because it said in the article that he was price gouging and banned from online stores.
Adam Larson (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I admit what the Colvins are doing is smart if they want to gain lots of money. But, this is immoral there is no question about it. But, if you were put in this position you would probably also do what they are doing. They are not all to blame here for their actions. Many people are doing this too. Money is power, if you have money you can get or do whatever you want. It's sad but true, that's how this world works now.
Mairead Benson (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Raising the prices of much-needed goods during a crisis, to me, is a good thing, but also a bad thing. It's good because it helps the economy not completely crash during a time - like today - when people are too scared to go out and buy things. But on the other hand, it's bad because the things that you desperately need are outrageously expensive. When the article mentioned that Matt Colvin was selling bottles of hand sanitizer for almost $70, I almost had a heart attack. Hand sanitizer is something that people desperately need right now, and he's selling it for way more than any logical person would ever dream of. My mom and I went out to get some small things that we needed, like some cooking ingredients that my dad needed and batteries, and the majority of the shelves that hold bottled drinks, frozen food, and toilet paper were completely empty. We were looking for a bag of frozen tater-tots and we only found one bag, hidden behind the ruffle fries. When we walked by the dollar store, there was a handwritten sign on the door that said, "sorry, but we're out of hand sanitizer." Dramatically raising the prices of items people desperately need right now isn't helping anyone except the people selling them. If anything, it's harming the people who can't afford to spend $70 on a bottle of hand sanitizer that is normally $5 or less. I can't decide fully whether or not raising the prices during a time like this is good and bad, but I do know people are being hurt by it.
Chandler Garrett (Cedar Hill,Texas)
it is wrong and selfish think of how a family might not have much money for the necessities and they get money and they cant buy the things they need.
Madelyn Myers (Hoggard High School, Wilmington, NC)
I feel like the only thing you need to do is read that sentence and you've got your answer. Yeah, obviously it’s immoral to take things in high demand that are pretty crucial for a lot of people right now (like those respirator masks) and jack up the prices to sell to desperate people. I get that it’s not really a big deal if people are hoarding and selling toilet paper and hand sanitizer like it's the apocalypse. So I’m not judging Matt and Noah, but this is still a health crisis and some states have already put policies in place to try to stop price gouging, so this just feels like people doing the exact same thing.
Alexander Jacaruso (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Yes, I do believe it is immoral to increase the prices of necesities just the way the brothers did. Mr. Colvin isn't in the wrong in his situation he just raised the price a little bit to get a little more out of it. If the price is raised to almost 20 times the regular price it is too much and shouldn't even be allowed to be on the shelves of a store. It is an immoral act to raise the price so high that people aren't able to purchase what is in need for the general population.
Skylar O. (California)
I believe that it was immoral of Mr. Colvin to take advantage of the pandemic to make some extra cash. It was selfish of Colvin to put others' lives at risk to make money. Many healthcare officials require these materials such as masks to help those who are sick, and people like Mr. Colvin are why the doctors are experiencing frightening shortages when it comes to helping those who are sick with the coronavirus. It doesn't only affect the doctors and healthcare, but people in everyday life as well. One person emptying out the city's entire stock of sanitizing products, leaving none left for the other citizens to protect themselves, is a selfish act, especially in a time of crisis.
Alexandra K. (Manhattan, NY)
Is it selfish and immoral to increase the price of goods in high-demand during a crisis? In my opinion both yes and no. Some people genuinely need these supplies and a hand sanitizer costing up to $80 will not benefit anyone except the sellers. A lot of people can't afford regular priced hand sanitizer and wipes, let alone ones 20 times the price. On the other hand, Mr. Colvin is very entropraneural in the way he's making money. When an item is in high demand, it's ok to raise the price a little bit to get more out of it, but not to the extent that these brothers raised it to. Taking advantage of people in a dire situation is wrong and shouldn't be done.
Alexandra K. (Manhattan, NY)
Is it selfish and immoral to increase the price of goods in high-demand during a crisis? In my opinion both yes and no. Some people genuinely need these supplies and a hand sanitizer costing up to $80 will not benefit anyone except the sellers. A lot of people can't afford regular priced hand sanitizer and wipes, let alone ones 20 times the price. On the other hand, Mr. Colvin is very entrepaunal in the way he's making money. When an item is in high demand, it's ok to raise the price a little bit to get more out of it, but not to the extent that these brothers raised it to. Taking advantage of people in a dire situation is wrong and shouldn't be done.
Avery Hodges (Hoggard Highschool in Wilmington, NC)
@Alexandra K. I don't think it's justifiable in ANY way to increase these prices. Peoples lives are at danger during this time and they need all the help they can get to stay safe, and shouldn't be taken advantage of.
clarice (ny)
i don't think anyone will disagree that what mr. colvin did was immoral. he cashed in on a global pandemic for his own gain, taking supply away from those who were really in need. what's even worse is that he cannot sell all of his stock, so it is all just sitting in his storage, not being put to use. furthermore, he is healthy (or so i would assume, it wasn't mentioned that he was ill), so he really has no business hoarding these essential supplies that hospitals are rationing out. at least he is trying to sell them at a small profit, though i am sure many people will agree that it would be much preferred if he just gave away his stock to hospitals and the needy. it is safe to say greed and capitalism drove him to this. but it does not excuse his actions. i will say it again; what he did was wrong and immoral. and we need to spread awareness as to why it is, so that it may never happen again.
Ashlyn Barnes (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@clarice I agree I think what he did was very selfish and greddy I do think he should donate most or at least some of his supplies to people and places in need.
Hope Heinrichs (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Empty shelves, again, the grocery store looks like a scene from some apocalyptic movie. The first things to fly off the shelves were, of course, cleaning products, and then it seems toilet paper wasn't far behind. Increasing prices of goods is a normal thing that the economy does, but the second you throw a crisis into the mix, it becomes a question of morality. When Hurricane Florence happened a while back, it ruined so many roofs, and the roofing businesses reasonably increased the prices because there was a more significant demand in their services. These people chose to do the same; the Colvin brothers saw that there was an opportunity to gain a profit. It wasn't a bad idea, but they weren't a licensed business. Since this wasn't always their plan, they're taking advantage of the economy and putting others in a difficult place. It's is annoying to other people, but there aren't any laws stopping this kind of behavior. It's left to the big companies to try to weed out the undercover sellers.
Alexander Jacaruso (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Hope Heinrichs this is a good comparison. During hurricane Florence a lot of people were in need of help in their yards and getting trees off of their houses. Not many people where we lived raised the prices of essential items for these people. If anything prices were cut lower to make it more affordable for our town to get back on it's feet. It's just a shame people care more about money right now when the whole world is at risk.
Grace Trimpey-Warhaftig (Hoggard High School in Wilmington NC)
@Alexander Jacaruso Something I found interesting about hurricane Florance is that a ban was put on price guaging They didnt want people to be taken advantage of. Prior to reading this article I wondered when a ban would be put on the ridiculous price gouging of sanitary items. The price of these items should not be raised in a time in which thy are needed the most.
Haven M. (Wallingford, VT)
High demand for sanitary items is not excuse to take advantage of a global pandemic. Although it is an easy way to make profit at a time like this, it is immoral to exploit people's lack of self control during this time of somewhat uncontrollable mass panic. Many people who desperately need these products may not be able to afford them at a greater price. Stockpiling and selling these with an outrageous markup is unfair. Not only is Mr. Colvin to blame but so are major companies like Amazon and eBay. They had control over what was being sold and could monitor the price at which items were being sold. They ended up taking action and pulling the items from sale listings but they didn't act soon enough. Mr. Colvin ended up with over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer with no clue what to do with them. Amazon could've made a statement ahead of time saying what was not allowed ahead of everything. Such high demand during this crisis should instead justify reselling at a lower price. This will not allow people to make any cash profit but the profit of knowing they helped people in need should feel worth more than any cash profit they could've made.
Francine Wei (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Before I read the entire article, my opinion on price gouging was that it is definitely immoral during a time of universal emergency. I have reflected on what prices are reasonable if you consider all factors and which ones are not. Utilizing a time where these items are in high demand and need (especially by medical professionals on the frontline) to jack up prices to the tens or hundreds is immoral. But what Mr. Colvin is doing might not actually be immoral. If you think about it, he is actually distributing these needed items across the country to people who cannot get any from their immediate shops. We can estimate that the weight of a hand sanitizer plus the box can start at 1 pound, with it getting heavier based on the size and amount of the purchase. The cost for shipping at that weight starts at $9 and a 10 fluid ounce hand sanitizer costs between $8-$14. If you add the fact that Mr. Colvin drove 1,300 miles to find his supplies, then him reselling them to people around the country for $20 actually seems pretty reasonable. I don’t agree with him using this pandemic for personal gain and hoarding the much-needed items, but this article is about price gouging. To those that sell masks or hand sanitizer at prices of $50 or hundreds of dollars, that’s price gouging. I would also like to thank the people who are donating their resources like Asiyah and Javed.
Ashlyn Barnes (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I think raising the prices during a crisis is not smart. Some people aren't financially stable enough to afford the prices of essentials now, much less if they raise the prices of everyday household items you need during this time. Hand sanitizer, masks and gloves are all in high demand right now. I think the guys that bought all the hand sanitizer to sell it at a discounted price would be better for helping others out instead of just trying to make profit for themselves.
Elliot Wells (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Ashlyn Barnes I think it’s true that big stores like Walmart shouldn’t be raising their prices, because people will buy from them no matter what. Big, rich corporations like that can afford to have their sales plummet anyway. Other places, though, like small businesses or restaurants maybe should raise their prices. They have employees who need money during this time, and any sale would help. It could go in the other direction and further discourage customers, though, so maybe they shouldn’t.
Mairead Benson (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Ashlyn Barnes I agree with you 100%. The only people who are making a profit from buying all the much-needed supplies and reselling them at a higher price are the individual people, not corporations or the U.S. economy.
Jacob Jarrett (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
What part of this is moral? What part of this is fair? What part of this is in any way righteous? If we define the moral decision as the one that is right- just, virtuous, good- then how could anyone come to the conclusion that this is that? It is not in any way, shape, or form moral to capitalize on people’s fear and danger to better yourself financially. This is not being an entrepreneur. This is not being creative. This is being a shark. A predator waiting to pounce at the first poor family whose seven year old gets sick. A monster waiting to strike the first mother who gets worried about taking their child out in public. A devil plotting to trap all of the elderly who are too scared to visit their own families. I can’t really blame Mr. Colvin for this. He is, afterall, a natural product of the capitalist system we have in place. A system where money is required for everything. A system where personal comfort and gain are more important than society’s well being. A system where the moral decision is, more often than not, forsaken for the immoral one in pursuit of financial prosperity. This is price gouging. This is exploitative. It’s no different than Billy Bob doubling the amount he charges for gas in the wake of a hurricane. Times really haven’t changed. The capitalist machine continues as it always has. If we define the moral decision as the one that is right- the one that is taken out of the benevolence and munificence of one’s heart- then we can’t call this that.
Adam Larson (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Jacob Jarrett, I agree with you, the Colvins can be blamed for their actions but it's not all their faults. Money is power and everyone needs it if, we didn't have this idea of money being worth something. Then all the people who are doing this would probably help others, and donate their stash.
Kabir C (NYC)
What Mr. Colvin did was immoral, I don’t think anyone is debating that. High demand always leads to higher prices, but in a time of need, in a time of suffering, I feel like what he did was disgusting, even appalling. I believe that it shouldn’t be allowed. But some may say it’s not moral but it should be allowed, I mean it is not illegal. They would say, Oh he played the market, that isn’t illegal. America didn’t choose capitalism because it was moral, America chose capitalism because it works. Capitalism rewards people who think ahead. To that, I say monopoly laws. The Sherman Act of 1890 outlaws “monopolization [or] attempted monopolization”. He monopolized all the hand sanitizers in Tennessee. What he did was a crime and he should be punished accordingly. I mean he broke the law. If he hadn’t donated the hand sanitizers, the state of Tennessee should’ve confiscated them and given them to hospitals or people who needed them. What he did may not be murder or manslaughter but it is very close. And what he did is not all that different to the American health care market, specifically the price of insulin. Insulins price is jacked up way too much and should be regulated, just like hand sanitizers at a time like this. The rage towards Mr. Colvin is in part due to the panic coming from COVID-19. We should channel our inner panic into a reform, no a rehaul, of our health care system.
Emma McLaughlin (Hoggard High School Wilmington, NC)
Reading this article made my skin crawl. We are experiencing a pandemic killing people across the globe, the minute this virus reaches the United States people decide that making a personal gain is more important than the lives at risk. The CDC has recommended disinfecting surfaces to help contain the virus, yet when people go out to the store to buy what is recommended to keep them safe selfish jerks have bought out the entire store. A few weeks ago my mom was searching for hand sanitiser for her classroom, she has to pay for this out of her own pocket so buying one $50 hand sanitiser that will last one day is not practical. People are out of jobs due to the virus. This is not the time for struggling families to have to spend tons of money on cheap items. I am glad that the people who were trying to sell these products got shut down. It is a selfish and life threatening “business venture”, those that decided to go this route are now losing money and people who need the supplies are not getting it. I hope that something changes in them and they donate the supplies, then they can begin to right their wrongs.
Charlotte Saxton (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Emma McLaughlin I agree that it is sickening that people automatically think of making money off of others in times of a crisis. It’s ridiculous that anyone should be having to pay $50 for one bottle of hand sanitizer, especially also when jobs are being put on hold and most people aren’t making enough money to be able to buy these supplies that they desperately need. I hope that Colvin’s supply gets confiscated and donated, or that he donates it himself as well.
Haddie W (Kansas City Mo)
It is definitely immoral that Mr.Colvin decided to stockpile resources and inflate their prices. In my opinion it is a right for people to have resources at a non-inflated price. It is dis proportionate that the prices are this much so only rich or richer people would be able to buy resources, and a poor person might not be able to. It is unfair and unjust that people are stockpiling their supplies for personal gain and not making supplies available to people who are at a greater risk.
Katie (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Haddie W Some of the people at high risk are the people that are poor and unable to afford the proper resources. I agree that it was immoral. I think it's okay to stock up a little but what Mr.Colvin did was not just stocking up a little. He is the reason that people cannot afford the things that they need to get through this pandemic.
Holly D. (Danvers, MA)
The high demand for items like handsanitizer and masks during a public health crisis does not justify higher prices. People are becoming more and more greedy for some goods. These people can easily make a profit with people so desperate for these goods that other greedy people have already purchased. Selling goods for a higher price does make a profit for certain companies, but this does not require people to buy and sell these goods. However, it is a good way to make money. I think that what Mr. Colvin did was not that immoral, but rather well planned. He found another outlet for people to get these goods that they might need, or are greedy for, in a time of crisis. This was a good way to make money, even though some people got angry for it. Online retailers like Amazon and eBay have a lot of responsibility to make sure that these people selling goods are not price gouging, and they have done a good job with it so far. I think it was not fair for them to restrict sales because people are willing to spend any amount of money in order to get the goods they need. These companies took action, which was good, but this also may have lost customers because the point of these websites is that people can sell their goods online, which is what they were doing. Retailers are at fault for this stockpiling. They are not restricting people enough for buying goods until it was too late. I know people who bought over a hundred rolls toilet paper, and now stores are resticting people to 1-2.
Rachel (Boston)
I don't think anyone should be stockpiling more than they need. The high demand in a crisis should justify a lower price, not a higher one. I think the people who have stockpiled way more than they need should donate the supplies.
Lilian (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I think it’s so stupid that people are buying and reselling items that are important to help keep people healthy. And the fact that they make the prices outrageous is so messed up. The world is going through something major right now and people should be helping other people out. Taking advantage of people is so messed up especially right now. I think Amazon did the right thing by not allowing this to happen. They should continue to be strict about price gouging because hand sanitizer is not worth $70 dollars. I think that some stores and companies should limit the amount of items a person can buy, because no one needs that much hand sanitizer. Mr. Colvin should definitely donate all the stuff he’s hoarded. I do think it’s a little funny he’s stuck with all that hand sanitizer though.
Emma McLaughlin (Hoggard High School Wilmington, NC)
@Lilian I also think it is funny he is stuck with all that hand sanitizer. I also have to admit that the fact that he is losing money makes me very happy. I agree with your argument price gouging is a messed up thing to do.
Carter Osborn (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Lilian You could argue that it’s immoral, but at the end of the day, it is capitalism, and that’s what our country is run on. In my opinion, Mr. Colvin is using a pandemic as a way to not only sell people necessary supplies (although I do agree it is VERY expensive), but also to make a profit, which is the main goal of businesses. I am very business forward. I have a feeling that if I were in Mr. Colvin’s shoes, I would do the same thing. Sure, he looks like a slimy businessman, but most business eventually end overcharging you for products in the end. I don’t think that I would spend $70+ on hand sanitizer, but obviously some people are willing to pay such a ridiculous sum to keep themselves safe. If that’s what people are willing to use their money on, it is not my place to tell them they are making a dumb decision. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in us, as well as the worst in us. It has definitely made us more health conscientious, but it has also led us to spend $100 on hand sanitizer and masks. I hope that this is done with sooner than later, because I can’t wait to stop seeing toilet paper memes on Instagram.
Madelyn Myers (Hoggard High School, Wilmington, NC)
@Lilian Yeah it definitely feels like they're taking advantage of all the panic and fear going around right now. But i do feel bad for this man who ow has 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer and nothing to do with them, that family will have hand sanitizer for generations.
Ayden (Vienna, Virginia)
I do not think that it is O.K. for people to get hand sanitizer or other goods at a low price and sell it at a high price. This is especially true if you are taking away the public's supply and forcing them to buy it at a high price. The people who are doing that are being selfish and not good to the public. While most people will do anything to get their hands on a bottle of hand sanitizer, others are living it up, with lots of money. This is not fair to anyone who does not have hand sanitizer. I think that the people with huge supplies should have to give some of it up to either companies that will sell it, people who need it, or hospitals.
Shannon (Vienna,VA)
I think that what Mr. Colvin did was immoral because he took things (Hand sanitizer, masks, etc.) that people needed and sold them for three times the price. This is very unfair to the people who are getting sick during this crisis and don't have enough money to pay for them. It is also unfair to people who are scared they are going to get sick so they pay way to much for it and waste their money. Overall, I think that what Mr. Colvin did was immoral and nobody should ever do something like that.
Camden Peterson (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Shannon I agree, I feel like in this situation what he did was immoral. I feel like in the corona virus situation he has taken it too far since everyone is in such a panic
Maxwell Gettings (Danvers High School Danvers, MA)
I think that Mr. Colvin has a unique rationale for his actions during this pandemic. It's not disputed that many stores and hospitals are low on hand sanitizer thanks to the fear of the Corona pandemic. Mr. Colvin's opinion that he is merely re-distributing goods to where they are needed fails to recognize the morality of his actions. The Corona virus is a widespread disease. It's a highly infectious disease that started with a very small amount of infections in the US which then blossomed to many more cases across the US with more to come. When a person roams their community purchasing massive amounts of hand sanitizer, they are affecting the entirety of their community and jeopardizing its safety. This practice will not hurt people tremendously financially. However limiting something like hand sanitizer, which can help a person from getting infected or further spreading, puts a community at greater risk for the effects of a pandemic. The people who are in need of the supplies that Mr. Colvin believes he is helping are the ones who he took the supplies from in the first place. A critic of my opinion may state that if Mr. Colvin wasn't the one who bought the supplies for resale that some other greedy individual would buy them all anyway for themselves. This however is unlikely because there are many big brand stores like Target and Home Depot that have limited the amount of supplies people can purchase for the overall safety of their community.
Nuha S. (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn, IL)
Listen, you and I have probably both had the idea to do something just like these two boys did, just to make one heck of a profit. It’s something I think about, but never really venture to do, because personally I empathize with the weight of the burden carried by people who genuinely need those supplies, and are unable to get them. I believe it is not only ignorant, but downright unfair to target the people who are unable to buy supplies in bulk—like many excessively prepared upper middle class and upperclass people do—with higher than average prices. To target people at their weakest I think shows the lack of human empathy that goes into handling a pandemic like Covid-19.
Aidan Isaacs (Branham High school, San Jose, CA)
@Nuha S. I don't think that he was targeting anyone so much as he was simply looking for a profit from whoever is willing to buy.
William Owen (Bryant, AR)
@Aidan Isaacs I agree, but however I do believe the Target Market for his consumer goods during this time was the upper-middle and upperclass, as they can afford drastically increased prices and thus, benefit Mr.Colvins the most.
Megan Reichenbach (MELBOURNE, Australia)
I think Mr Colvin is very smart in his way of making money, but I also think he is not thinking about the consequences of his actions. It is unfair that prices for things in high demand but that is how the economy works. I think in a time of a crisis restricting sales is unjust. Yes, it is needed in some places more than others, but everyone should get a little bit. I don’t think Mr Colvin should be punished; it is unfair but it’s not unlawful.
Omar V (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn, IL)
I personally believe Matt Colvin is an extremely unlikeable person. It is disgusting to see him compare his actions—that are taking advantage of so many who are in vulnerable positions—to public services. He is just trying to justify and hide his low life personality by trying to present his actions under the light of an honorable deed. The thing that seperates public services and what Colvin did is that public services such as food pantries are not providing help for profit. One actual example of a real public service during this coronavirus epidemic is what my school is doing now that it has closed temporarily. Students in need that come from low income families are able to stop by the school at noon to receive a free and needed lunch, and starting next week, students will be able to have their lunches delivered to them using summer school bus routes.
Talhah (CA)
i think that it was very bad for the colvins to do this. it is very immoral and i think all the money he got should be returned to its owner.
Ryan Boaz (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
Many people will feel it is immoral and unfair to price-gouge. That taking advantage of people’s emotions in a dire situation is wrong. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that, but each case of price-gouging needs to be fairly looked at. It’s all context-specific, and context is essential in determining whether or not the price-gouging is "immoral." Price-gouging isn’t always to take advantage of people. Raising the price of a good to meet a demand is simple economics, and in many cases, “price-gouging” actually results in more equal distribution. When the government sets an artificial price on a precious good which it’s demand calls for a much higher price, people will not understand the importance of said good. This will dangerously result in the consumption of the precious good as if it’s not a precious good. What the Colvin brothers did is an entirely different situation. There is no confusing their intentions, regardless of what they may say. These brothers went out well before any crisis, bought all the supplies, took total control of the market, waited until people started panicking, and then they sold the supplies at outrageous prices. This isn’t price-gouging, it’s monopolization. They became the sole supplier, and with that power, they were able to set the price to whatever they wanted to. This behavior is absolutely wrong, and they should be ashamed of themselves. The actions of Amazon were warranted and I hope these brothers suffer repercussions.
Jenna (USA)
Inflating prices of basic essentials during a time of crisis is immoral. While the opportunity for profit is tempting to any bold entrepreneur, there are boundaries between fair cash and unethical practices. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant are needed by everyone right now, not just the rich. In a life-threatening situation, holding imperative supplies for profit might be as low as holding a living human hostage for ransom. In conclusion, tactical thinking is great, but corruption of this skill is immoral and should be frowned upon.
Nick Fleisher (New York City)
Although in a time of crisis we need to stick together, it is reasonable, when the entire population is trying to purchase necessary items, that companies should increase their price with their new value. For example, if a restaurant becomes the best eating establishment in the state it is reasonable for that restaurant to increase their price because everyone is trying to make a reservation to eat there. Although people should have a chance to eat there, it is not fair to the business to run out their supply and stay at the price of a fast food place. This relates to the Covid-19 crisis because although it is unfortunate that certain items like Purell or sanitary wipes are increasing their prices and they are harder to buy, it would be impossible and unrealistic to keep prices the same when everyone is trying to buy them. I can relate to this because it is difficult for me to obtain these items and I understand the struggle of other citizens. However, the providers are not taking advantage of people. They are being reasonable businessmen under a lot of pressure. In a time of crisis, not everything stays the same. As was brought up in the Supreme Court case, “Schench vs the United States”, “what is allowed in peace time is not allowed in war time”.
Sarah Cashman (Danvers, MA)
In a time of crisis, raising the price of valuable products is immoral. This strategy is taking those who feel unsafe during the pandemic for granted, suggesting that the only way to acquire these products is by spending high sums of money. Similarly, it limits the recommended ways of preventing this fast spreading illness as those who rely on antibacterial products are running out of ways to acquire them. Those who are utilizing this method of raising prices may not realize the potential harm that they are causing as many rely on these products to keep them safe. A sense of empathy should be felt for those who are unable to afford these high priced products as it could potentially lead to individuals acquiring this illness, considering they didn't have the proper means to prevent it. Especially knowing that hospitals are now having to ration what little they have left of these products, due to selfish individuals looking for a profit. In a time of panic such as this, people should not be scheming and strategizing ways to make money. Instead, take what you need, and leave some for those whose lives it could possibly save.
Jillian Steeves (Danvers, MA)
In our current state of nationwide panic, nobody has it worse than the poor. The middle and upper classes can afford to go out and spend $400 stockpiling toilet paper and food. They can also afford to buy an $80 bottle of hand sanitizer, if they are desperate enough to resort to that. However, for the millions of Americans who are unemployed, or who live paycheck to paycheck, this is not the case. If businesses have the health of the public in mind, they should be taking action to make resources more accessible to the poor. While increasing prices lowers the chance of customers panic-buying more than they need, it does not solve the overall problem that health resources are unavailable for poor people. In fact, it does the opposite. Rather than increasing prices, businesses could enforce alternative policies. These might look like a one-per-person limit on high-demand items (such as hand sanitizer) or donations of these items to those who do not have access to them. With conditions as extreme as these, businesses should overlook their desire to make a profit, and instead should do whatever it takes to ensure the general health of the public.
Olivia (4B) (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
I do believe it is immoral to increase the price of goods during a crisis. I am aware that “supply and demand” is a huge component to pricing in a capitalist economy, but taking advantage of people during a time of need is cruel. The very idea of ending price gouging is so that consumers won’t be taken advantage of in desperate times for the sake of money. The example Mr. Colvin used was a gas station increasing prices immensely after a hurricane had struck. How is this any different than raising the prices of highly demanded products during a pandemic? In both situations, people are in desperate need of certain supplies, whether gas or hand sanitizer, and due to the demand they are having a harder time finding them. Sellers are aware of the shortage and jack up their prices because they know consumers will buy whenever they are able to find it. In a perfect world, price gouging wouldn’t be an issue, and sellers would genuinely care about getting highly needed products to their consumers as easily and efficiently as possible. They would want necessities to be widely available and affordable. Sadly, there are few limits to what some people will do for the high and mighty dollar. These sellers raising their prices mercilessly have no interest in their consumers’ needs, they interest in the profit they can make. I strongly believe that no people should be used when experiencing a crisis, and therefore I believe it is immoral to do so with the unheard of pricing of needed goods.
Avi Oza (Montgomery, New Jersey)
I believe that high demand for items doesn't justify higher prices. People that stock supplies sell them at much higher prices, because of an emergency, are taking advantage in a time when others are weak. I think that it is definitely immoral to do that, but I also see Mr. Colvin's point that he is redirecting goods to places with higher demand for them. I think that it is definitely online retailers responsibility to prevent price gouging during a crisis, because they are the ones with the most access to the people who are doing it, and they have the means to stop them. I think that the retailers did a good job of preventing the sale of Coronavirus related products from certain sellers, because if they continued allowing these people to sell, it would be very hard to prevent people from going back to what they were doing, especially if they are making a lot of money off of it. Retailers can prevent the selling of goods by certain people, but I don't think that they can prevent the stockpiling of goods. I think that people have the right to buy what they want, even in times of crisis. I think that Mr. Colvin should donate the supplies that he stockpiled, so the public can benefit at no cost. I think that he should be punished by the state of Tennessee, because he caused difficulty for many people in an already very hard time.
Heet Sapariya (Upper Merion High School)
I believe that in a time of crisis, Mr. Colvin's acts of stockpiling are immoral. The needs of a person are far greater than another person's profit over selling essentials. For example, hand sanitizers should not be purchased to an extent where only one buyer benefits. There will be other buyers in dire need of hand sanitizers than the benefitted buyer. I believe that online as well as traditional retailers should impose their responsibilities on customers. They should protect the needs of every buyer and not just one. If I assumed the role of a manager in one of the retail stores, I would make it a rule where you can buy only a certain amount of products. The quantity would vary due to many variables. For example, the product's popularity, stock, and time would all either hinder the amount to be bought or increase it. Mr. Colvin should have donated the supplies or sold them at regular prices locally to reduce the cost as he said. I believe he should not be punished by the government of Tennessee. This is because it is reasonable to have a high price since there are long-distance fees and hazardous material fees. In conclusion, I feel that people should not do this in the future and retailers should place limitations on how many items a person can buy.
Jaclyn Dougherty (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
During a public health crisis when the demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks increases, I think it is justifiable to raise prices by a dollar or two. Yet, since these items are usually so cheap, it is not fair to raise the prices much more. People who are buying these supplies in abundance only to sell them at higher prices are not really doing society a favor, they are only preventing easy access to necessities and taking advantage of society. I understand the easy profit opportunity, yet it is unfair to hoard items from the people who really are in need. Online retailers like Amazon and eBay do play a significant role in preventing price gouging by blocking those accounts or taking away access, but it is not necessarily their responsibility to control those specific people. Personally, I think it was the right thing to do to restrict the sales of items like hand sanitizer and masks from certain sellers if they know they are manipulating the consumers. For the people who are stockpiling, I think it is reasonable to stockpiling high demand items for a profit, but only if the prices are raised minimally. It is not fair to skyrocket prices of common, cheap items that people really do need. Yet, when these items are in such high demand, it makes sense to raise prices slightly to make a larger profit.
Shivani Patel (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
During a time of crisis, we should be helping each other, not taking advantage of people. Hand sanitizer, soap, masks, wipes, and toilet paper are a necessity. Price gouging these items right now is really just stupid. It would prevent a lot of people from buying them which would just make our communities very unsanitary. It would be more likely for all of us to get Coronavirus including the people that work at these companies that are price gouging. You can’t be richer if you’re dead or sick. Also, it’s ethically wrong. Some people already have a hard time buying these items, and to raise the price higher so you can make a little more money...are you really that shallow and greedy. You must be a really unhappy person. Amazon and ebay are in their place, and are right to ban all the people listing regular $4 hand sanitizer bottles for $70-80. $80 hand sanitizer, really? There better be diamonds and gold infused in it.
Allison Coble (Hoggard High School)
During a time of crises raising prices of crucial resources is immortal. Taking something as simple as hand sanitizer and overcharging it when someone really needs it is life threatening. The coronavirus spreads very quickly and simple resources can prevent a person from getting it. If the prices of these resources are high, not everyone can afford it making their risk higher. I believe that these resources should be handed out rather than overpriced, overpricing then can only make the disease more likely to spread, risking more lives. The article mentions Colvin collecting a plethora of resources and reselling them for high prices, leaving local hospitals rationing the things they have left. People should only be able to take what they need in a time of crises so there is enough for everyone. These hospitals are the first priority because they are curing those who have gotten it and can control the spread.
Soen McCormick (Hoggard High School in Wilmington,NC)
Is it morally okay for people to sell products that are valuable during a crisis? Well Matt Colvin decided to go to every store and buy all the cleaning supplies and sell them to those who were buying online. Now, I'd be fine with this if he got a profit of maybe $2-5 each, but he listed them for up to $80 a piece on amazon and he bought them at around $4. Thankfully, however, Amazon and Ebay have banned those who are price gauging. While the economics of “price gouging” is rather simple and straightforward, the ethics of emergency surge pricing is counter intuitive and very complicated. It’s often difficult for those who are both morally and economically minded to decide what to think about such situations. Increasing the price of goods or services during an emergency is not really immoral since the price increase can lead to a more fair and equitable distribution of scarce resources. I believe price gauging is fair and if Amazon had let him sell those products, sooner or later others would follow his path and they would sell them for a little bit cheaper and then the cycle would continue. "Economists and policy analysts opposed to price gouging laws have relied on the simple logic of price controls: if you cap price increases during an emergency, you discourage conservation of needed goods at exactly the time they are in high demand. Simultaneously, price caps discourage extraordinary supply efforts that would help bring goods in high demand into the affected area."
Caleb Diaz (Glenbard West High School IL)
High prices during crisis induced high demands in my opinion are extremely immoral. People who resale at higher prices during times like this are just as grimy if not more than the companies who raise prices. These people and companies know that people are taking desperate measures for fear of their life and they abuse that by increasing the price which then cuts out families that can’t afford and makes survival ten times more difficult for these families while the people and these companies sit back in luxuries earned in an immoral way. Mr. Colvin acted immorally in my opinion because there should be no excuse to think morally about making things harder for everybody else just so you can make a profit.
Mia Kennedy (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
High demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during a public health crisis doesn't justify higher prices. people need these products and just because they are in high demand and you COULD get away with makes the prices higher doesn't mean you should. During a crisis, people are worried about just being able to stay safe and be okay. Boosting up prices is immoral and terrible. These people need to stay safe and are being taken advantage of so that money can be made. The people reselling these products at higher prices are taking products families need to stay safe during this health crisis and boosting the prices up to make some extra money. It's terrible. These families need masks and hand sanitizer to be able to stay healthy during this virus, for instance. I also don't agree with what Mr. Colvin did . These items need to be available for families in need.
Allison Coble (Hoggard High School)
@Mia Kennedy Local stores are running out of crucial resources forcing people to jump at the first place that sells them. Many times these people are completely overpaying for a simple inexpensive product, when they can use that money on something different. I agree, what Mr.Colvin did is terrible, these resources should be available to everyone. Instead of reselling them for higher prices he should give them to those in need, or sell them for regular prices for people who can't just go out to the stores to get these crucial resources. In times of crises we should be helping others, not hurting them. This was very well done Mia.
Lauren (Glenbard West High School)
Although companies, specifically ones selling medicines and hygiene products, would benefit significantly from increasing the price of their goods, it is immoral to consumers, who already are buying more than they normally would. Many people are losing their incomes due to the closing of restaurants, governmental institutions, and other businesses, and asking them to spend more when they are already compromised is ridiculous. With all the stress and anxiety this pandemic is causing, it is immoral to add additional economic worry to the already simmering pot.
Conner Kelley (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
High demand for items during a public health crisis doesn't in my opinion justify the rising of prices. Resellers that are selling things at a way higher price than the original are taking advantage of people to make money. What Colvin did is immoral and he is preventing people from getting the supplies they need. Online retailers have the responsibility to keep prices from skyrocketing during a crisis so that people can get what they need. I think that Colvin should be punished by the state because he was preventing people from getting supplies that would help lots of people.
Mia Kennedy (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Conner Kelley Like you said, rising the prices of these items is immoral. Families need to get these products and raising the prices to make a little extra cash is not okay.
Thomas Warsh (Colonial Middle School PA)
I personally believe that yes, without a question it is immoral and wrong. And normally I would put a long explanation but I find this very simple. By taking a basic good available to anyone, and making it, in the end, harder to get for your own personal gain, you are violating the rights of our society. That these basic necessities should be available. Even worse is the fact that they are doing this in this time, because they know that now is when the demand is going higher, because the need is going higher. They are talking this tragedy and turning it into a money making scheme, and that is wrong.
Matthew Bak (Glenbard West HS)
While there is a higher demand for sanitary items due to the coronavirus, raising the price is immoral and is taking advantage for the individuals who absolutely need it. A store raising the prices on these items demonstrates that they do not really care for anybody else’s personal needs and desires, it shows that they only care about their own, which is extremely immoral. Owners of businesses monopolizing these goods represents a dictatorship which has always had a negative connotation. However, we need to make sure these stores, if the prices will remain the same, will not run out of a stockpile themselves. A solution to this problem is to limit the amount of these populous goods that everybody wants, giving a fair chance and opportunity to everybody who needs and wants these desired goods. While it may feel beneficial for a company to exponentially raise the prices of goods, it represents a dictatorship, which is unfair to the people who absolutely need them, proving why it is immoral to increase prices.
Andrew Stolfe (Glenbard West High School Glen Ellyn, IL)
Increasing the price of goods during a crisis may be economically beneficial, but it is extremely immoral. People are already struggling with unemployment and low income as more and more jobs close or crash from the quarantine. It is not right to make them pay more for essential items, especially when these industries like grocery stores and hand sanitizer are booming as people scramble to stock up. They do not need the extra money and therefor have no right to harm others by raising prices.
Fares J Bourote (Danvers, MA)
While there is a strong demand for products such as sanitizes and covers, there is little reason for rising costs. Online retailers that purchase and distribute goods at a cheaper price will not have a benefit, because they could have kept the products in the shops so that everybody might buy them at their original price. Leaving too many families without goods is unethical just to exploit them to your own personal gain, particularly in a national crisis which we are now facing now. Stockpiling impacts not just the residents, but also the clinics who use such materials to deliver care. Stocks of materials required to support citizens are inadequate those who get ill, or anyone in your circle. That is why internet stores, such as Amazon and eBay, have a huge duty to avoid market manipulation throughout a crisis, because they have the power to limit inventory stockpiling. Reducing the number of goods that each individual would purchase might be a positive answer to this issue, because the delivery of merchandise would be more equal for all. Because Mr. Colvin has wanted to just be greedy and hoard materials, he can lend them away at their original price locally and probably even market them online. Though, if he wants to use his surplus of materials to help, Tennessee will not prosecute him.
Dulcie (Montclair NJ)
"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. ''
Nick Fleisher (New York City)
Can you please explain how this quote relates to price gauging?
Isabelle Ang (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
The increase in prices of goods during times of crisis is not justified. Increasing prices sends the message that only those with money should survive, which is completely immoral. It is selfish of individuals/businesses to essentially profit of someones suffering by raising prices for needed goods. Those that are going to the store and mass buying products—such as lysol—in order to resell them online at inflated prices are cruel and wrong for doing so. Those that are in need should not have to die or suffer solely because they are unable to afford the goods they need.
Asia Glass (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL)
Although there is a high demand for items like sanitizer and masks, the increasing of prices is not justified. Resellers who stockpile supplies and sell them at a higher price are not providing a service, as they could have left the supplies in the stores so that everyone could afford them at their original price. It is immoral to leave so many people without supplies just to sell them for your own personal benefits, especially in a health crisis like the one that we are experiencing now. Stockpiling not only only affects the citizens, but it also affects the hospitals that need these supplies to give treatment. It is unnecessary to stockpile on supplies that are needed to help the people who are sick if you or someone in your family are not sick. This is why online retailers, like Amazon and eBay, have a significant amount of responsibility to prevent price gouging during a crisis because they have the ability to restrict the stockpiling of products. Limiting the amount of products each person can buy could be a good solution to this problem, because there will be a more even distribution of products for everyone. Since Mr. Colvin decided to be selfish and stockpile supplies, he should give them out locally at their original price and possibly sell them online as well. However, he should not be punished by Tennessee if he decides to use his stockpile of supplies to help others.
Steph Cueva (King Of Prussia, PA)
I believe that when there's a high demand for items like hand sanitizer and masks during a public health crisis like the one that is happening now does not justify higher prices. I think that it is immoral for retailers to sell very needed supplies at a higher price when there are people who are stockpiling for no good reason and leaving other people with very little. I think that people who stockpile supplies and then sell them at a higher price are not providing a service and instead are taking advantage of people. I feel like online retailers like Amazon and eBay have a good amount of responsibility to prevent price gouging during a crisis because they can restrict the sales of coronavirus-related products from certain sellers. I think that retailers should have a lot of responsibility to prevent stockpiling as they should place limits on how many items that a person can buy.
Michelle B (Glenbard West HS)
Although the principles of economics suggest that an increase in demand of a product leads to an increase in price, it is immoral to manipulate this principle for personal gain in a time of crisis. Resellers who stock supplies and then sell them at a higher price are taking advantage of those who are in need. Many of the individuals who are stockpiling have no urgent use for items like hand sanitizer or masks as compared to those who are directly threatened by the virus or are more susceptible. Participating in this behavior is simply a method of monopolizing from individuals’ fear of the coronavirus. This behavior is exceptionally infuriating as doctors, who are in direct contact with the coronavirus, have to ration masks and risk their own safety while treating others because of stockpilers buying their materials out. Retailers should regulate the amount of items an individual can purchase in this time of crisis to prevent stockpiling and empty shelves. Online retailers should also ensure that any of these items being sold online are comparable to their retail price, instead of immediately banning the selling of a large supply of items if a stockpiler happens to leak through. This way products can still be bought fairly and the stockpiler makes little to no profit. With the collaboration of both retailers and online retailers, outrageous hoarding and prices of such essential products in a time of a pandemic can be eliminated.
Olivia V (Danvers)
Higher demand during crises, especially a pandemic is not justification to raise prices. The Colvin brothers describe their methods as capitalism, but capitalism is supposed to involve working hard to achieve success. These brothers are simply taking advantage of a health crisis, and they are not working hard whatsoever. Additionally, the argument that resellers are providing a service is faulty because hospitals and healthcare professionals are providing services to people who are sick. Hospitals can’t help when there are shortages of crucial hand sanitizer and respirator masks because people who aren’t even sick are hogging them and making a profit. Concerning supply and demand, anyone can buy from these resellers, even people in places where there hasn’t been a huge outbreak. Colvin is arguing that “[s]ome areas of the country need these products more than others.” Yes, it is completely true that hot-zones need these products more than other places, but as a reseller he is selling to everyone across the country. Everyone wants hand sanitizer at this point so there is demand from everywhere, he is not selling to where the product is needed, he is selling to anyone. I think that Mr. Colvin’s actions were completely immoral because he only considered the money, rather than people dying in hospitals because because of rationing supplies that Mr. Colvin had hoarded in his garage.
William Owen (Bryant, AR)
@Olivia V If you study basic economics, you will notice the Supply-Demand paradigm that comes up during not only worldwide emergencies, but during a regular market season. While I totally agree that Mr. Colvins actions were immoral and illegal, I do not believe that what you have said is true. "Higher demand during crisis, especially a pandemic is not justification to raise prices." I believe it is, just not raise prices to the extent in which only the 1% can purchase them. To have low supply and High demand does justify a raise in prices in the economic world. Thank you for the submission, and am trying to have some friendly internet banter about a topic I am passionate about, economics.
Julia Vaillancourt (Danvers, MA)
During times of high demand it is typical that retailers would want to raise prices in order to make the largest profit. A slight increase in cost by a few dollars could be acceptable, however the idea of reselling a $1 hand sanitizer for $70 is insane. The pandemic of Covid-19 is completely unprecedented, nobody knows what the right step is. I do not think it is okay to inflate a price of something that is important to the health, and safety of your community. Every place in the world is being affected. It is important for people to not buy all the resources that others may need more greatly. I think increasing the price of goods during a normal time in life is okay, especially when it is done strategically, and its not taking complete advantage of people. However, I feel that because this is such a stressful time for people it is not fair. Things like hand sanitizer and masks are things that can help slow down the spread of the virus, but if someone buys all of the supplies and ups the price, those people in need might not be able to purchase the resources. I think that the world needs to stop stressing about making a profit and come together during this pandemic. Every one is being infected and it is important to support one another. The overstocking of essential needs will only benefit your family. Everyone in your community is in need of these resources. So don't overstock, and don't inflate the prices. It is unfair to your community, and the population of the world.
Ben Galvanoni (Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn IL)
During a time of crisis, companies can tend to raise prices. This is because of higher demand in the products which will create a higher price for them to be distributed. The United States is a free market which allows businesses to change prices because of inflation, GDP, oil prices etc. Therefore, what should we do to prices during a national pandemic? As a U.S. it is important for people to watch market prices and know when a product could become much more valuable. Therefore it’s imperative to be ahead of the curve and seize the moment before the stock of the product or service diminishes. Mr Colvin saw an opportunity to benefit financially from this by buying low and selling high on sanitary products. While these actions can be considered immoral, there is alternative options to purchase these products in other places. People need to prepare for these type of occurrences to happen. Many need to know when to seize the opportunity to benefit themselves so they won’t be in situations that they need to resort to purchasing products at such high prices.
Priya Patel (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Ben Galvanoni I agree with you. People should buy products smartly and look ahead for the future. Although it’s immoral to raise prices during a time of crisis, people are able to make significant profits from this. After Hurricane Florence, in North Carolina, many tree removal companies raised their prices and made huge profits from this. Although the government interfered and stop this practice, this ensured fair prices for such products. In my opinion, the government interfering in the free market will ensure fair prices among individuals and prevent greedy people from making a profit from a bad situation.
Tex Graff (Swampscott, MA)
During a public health crisis hand sanitizer is very scarce. So to raise the price by 2-3 dollars is fair amount. But to raise the price all the way up to 70 dollars is out of the question. Resellers who are selling hand sanitizer for this much know how important hand sanitizer is right now so they are taking advantage of people by taking all of it and selling it for a ridiculous price. I am a person who likes shoes, when some new shoes come out people will buy them as fast a possible because they will be like 100-200 dollars at release but the next day they could be sold for up to 1,000 dollars. This is different from hand sanitizer. A lot of people need hand sanitizer to stay healthy but you don't need a very expensive pair of shoes. I think Mr. Colvin actions were immoral. He probably did it without thinking about what the impact would have. Online retailers have a lot of responsibility to prevent resellers from selling necessities during a pandemic. They should not restrict sales from resellers but could command them to lower the price or they would be restricted from selling the product. I think they could have done a better job to restrict the sales of coronavirus related products. I think Mr.Colvin should have sold them for a lot lower price then he was selling them for. I do not think he should be punished by the state of Tennessee since he is giving them out to charity.
Conner Kelley (Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC)
@Tex Graff I agree that retailers should have made him change the price but I think he should be punished a little because he was hoarding supplies and taking advantage of people that just want to stay safe.
Tex Graff (Swampscott, MA)
@Conner Kelley True, that makes sense.
Lauren Volkodav (Lehigh Valley)
In times of crisis, when consumer’s needs for certain products surpass the given supply, the market can command a higher price for the products because consumers are willing to pay more for the given products. In a free market, all exchanges are voluntary meaning one is not being forced to purchase items if they believe the price is too high and don’t need the item. Higher prices on items drive people only with a dire need for the item to purchase it, which can be an effective method in ensuring only those with an urgent demand for certain products will be able to purchase them. But on the other hand, resellers should not even have the ability to purchase an excess amount of a product. A single person doesn’t need 500 or even more than a few bottles of hand sanitizer. It is each store’s individual responsibility to make sure people like Mr. Colvin is unable to stockpile in the first place. Mr. Colvin made the decision to buy out numerous store’s supplies and it is not his fault for attempting to profit on the free market. Rather, individual stores should strictly limit the quantity of items when there is a high demand for it in order to prevent stockpiling in the future.
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