Tackling Sanitizer Price-Gouging

In this Community Voices article, we are featuring an organization that has just registered on Connect: Bass Handcrafted Sanitizers. They are committed to keeping hand sanitizers affordable and contributing to supplies by producing their own, selling them at an affordable price, and even donating them to those in need. We interviewed Director David Bass about the idea and how he put together the team, despite just being a high school student.

How did the idea start?

Around March I started hearing about Covid-19 a lot, and what struck me was when I heard the news about a guy from Tennessee who bought hand sanitizers in bulk and sold them at extremely high prices. I think that it was wrong. Low-income earners and homeless people were suffering from this ridiculous price-gouging.  Overpricing was one of the problems. The lack of supply was another issue I found. At the peak of the pandemic, necessary items such as hand sanitizers and masks quickly sold out, and it would take weeks until they were restocked.  In response, I believed that we should create reasonable, cheap, and even free sanitizers for people in need, for the betterment of society. I thought to myself, “Why not make a hand sanitizer? It is not that hard.”

How did you form your team?

First, I started making hand sanitizers in my house. I used my pocket money to get all of the materials and equipment. I go to the American School in Japan and I have many talented peers who have worked on charities. I asked myself, why not combine their talents and invite them to run the organization with me? I started to spread the word about my idea, created a group chat, and added anyone interested in it. Luckily, a lot of people were also passionate about my idea, and we started to have meetings to kick off our activities. In the beginning, it was just me and my schoolmates, but now we have managed to recruit others outside of my school.

Tell us about your hand sanitizers.

We specifically create Bass Sanitizers using the formula provided by the World Health Organization, so rest assured that our products are safe to use and efficient to combat the virus. We price our regular 50ml bottle of sanitizer at ¥280 and we also produce scented hand sanitizers.  So far, we have produced more than 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 1,000 bottles have been sold or donated.

Our member is processing the sanitizers in the lab. 

What is your business model?

Our business model is fairly simple: when you buy one bottle from us, we will give away two bottles to charity. This means that not only can you buy cheap sanitizers from us, you are also helping two people who are in need of it.  Some of the charities we have been working with are PlaceToGrow, Food Not Bombs Yokosuka, Love Bird Saitama, and Musubi. These organizations will distribute our sanitizers effectively to institutions, small businesses, and impoverished people. We also go to senior care facilities such as Ikiiki Elderly Home to distribute our hand sanitizers. Besides cooperating with charities, we sometimes donate by ourselves. 

We sometimes donate by ourselves. 

What are your future goals?

We are aiming to produce 5,000 bottles. We are also thinking of partnering with Japanese high schools and institutions, helping them make their own hand sanitizers, and distributing them using our method. We, of course, want to magnify the impact and the scale, not just make it all about us. We also have a vision of making Bass Handcrafted Sanitizers an international brand, importing technology and methodologies to other countries that are hit hard by Covid-19, and which might suffer in future pandemics.

We are aiming to produce 5,000 bottles. 

Offer on Connect

We are offering Connect Members a 15% discount on all our hand sanitizers. To get the coupon codes, visit our offer here. All of the revenue will be used to produce more hand sanitizers and donate more, so we are looking forward to your purchases. We are also recruiting volunteers. We need people who are knowledgeable about marketing to Japanese consumers.  If you are inspired by our organization, we hope that you can spread the word on social media. Please visit our official website for more details on our products and our progress.



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