This price will make you sick. A Garment District hardware store is selling 1200 ml bottles of Purell for $79. The same bottle retailed for as little as $5.49 before the coronavirus scare.
“That’s what we pay for them,” an employee at Scheman & Grant Hardware at Eighth Avenue and 38th Street claimed to media, as the store readied to close for the night on Friday. “Everyone who comes in the store,” buys them, he said while sitting on a stool and guarding the store’s declining hand sanitizer stockpile.
“We sold about fifty of those today.” But Ace Hardware, to which the store is affiliated, was offering 1200 ml bottles of Purell for only $9.99 online though it was out of stock Friday night.
Before selling out Friday, Scheman & Grant Hardware also had 2-liter bottles of Purell on sale for an even more astounding $109.
That’s five times what Amazon was offering them for online, before they too sold out.
The price sounds like scoring, Mayor de Blasio stated when asked about the store’s sky-high sanitizer Friday night.
“I’d like my Department of Consumer Affairs to pay them a visit immediately,” he said.
A manager at the Ace Hardware-affiliated store declined to comment. Ace did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It’s not surprising that desperate New Yorkers were shelling out $79 for the virus-obliterating goo. Demand for hand sanitizers spiked 1,400 percent from December to January, media reported, resulting in widespread shortages across the country.
Half dozen stores nearby to Scheman & Grant in the Garment District including a Staples, a CVS a Duane Reade, a 7-11 and a Gristedes. All were sold out, although a knockoff Purell called “Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer could be had at a bodega at 31st and 8th for just $9.95.
The coronavirus scare has created a high demand for masks and cleaning products especially hand sanitizer.
And with many many stores and online retailers running out, desperate buyers were willing to pay sky-high prices for anything that was left.
Sam’s Club had been offering 2-liter Purells for $20.87, but was out of stock Friday night.
eBay has meanwhile taken the high road, banning the sale of masks and hand sanitizer entirely in response to price hike.
The online retailer told sellers on Thursday that it is rejecting listings for hospital-grade masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, media reported on Friday.
Ryan Lopez, 29, a restaurant worker in Times Square area dropped in Scheman & Grant to buy a sink handle, and reacted with disgust to the Purell prices.
“It makes me mad, man. It’s not right what they’re doing,” he said. They’re taking advantage of everything that’s going on. My boss at work was talking about. He has to make his own hand sanitizer out of alcohol and aloe Vera because look at these prices.”