Social media is buzzing about photos of a woman apparently selling toilet paper from the back of her vehicle in the Langley Costco store parking lot on Friday, March 13th.
Posted by Alannah Bergman, the images show a white SUV with a yellow sign taped on the side that read “Toilet paper 4 sale!”
Bergman said she and her mother were leaving Costco when they saw the woman and took her picture.
“She was like, ‘don’t get a picture of my licence plate number’ and I said okay as I was taking a picture of her licence plate,” Bergman related in a public Facebook post.
As of Sunday afternoon, March 15th, the post had been shared 1,300 times.
Many shoppers looking for toilet paper have been leaving the Langley Cosco and other stores empty-handed as a result of panic buying prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Sunday, March 8, the Langley Advance Times described how, after two days of trying and failing to find a store with adequate stocks of toilet paper, Peter Latzel got up early to be first in line at the Langley Costco store.
Latzel, who lives near the Surrey-Langley border, said he wasn’t among those who were hoarding out of concern about the COVID-19 virus, but he was being forced to queue up to make sure he had enough for his wife and two kids.
A Costco worker said the store went through its entire stock in a matter of minutes on Saturday, but more had been brought in.
A video of what appeared to be the Langley Costco opening that same morning showed shoppers racing through the aisle to the back of the store where the toilet paper was stacked.
Attempts to profit from the sell-outs are running into some resistance.
On Friday, Amazon blocked the account of a Vancouver couple, Manny Ranga and Violeta Perez, who claimed to have made $100,000 in the past two weeks by mass-purchasing Lysol wipes at Lower Mainland Costco locations, and reselling them online at four times the cost.
“There is no place for price gouging on Amazon,” an Amazon spokesperson said to Black Press in an email response. “We are disappointed that bad actors are attempting to artificially raise prices on basic need products during a global health crisis and, in line with our long-standing policy, have recently blocked or removed hundreds of thousands of offers. We continue to actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policies.”