A girl sits on top of boxes containing toilet paper in Toowoomba, Australia.
- Haidee Janetzki of Toowoomba, in Queensland, Australia, accidentally ordered 2,304 rolls of toilet paper in February.
- Australia has been facing empty toilet paper shelves at stores across the country as people panic buy the product in bulk amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- Janetzki said she and her family decided to resell the toilet paper they bought, and used the money to pay for their daughter’s upcoming school trip.
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An Australian family who accidentally bought 48 boxes of toilet paper decided to resell the rolls as the country faces shortages thanks to coronavirus panic buys — and they used the money to help their daughter’s school.
Haidee Janetzki of Toowoomba, in Queensland, Australia, ordered the 2,304 rolls of toilet paper in February, and only noticed two days later when they were delivered to her home, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.
The order, bought on the online company Who Gives a Crap, cost $3,264 instead of the $68 that 48 rolls would have cost. Janetzki bought the rolls on her credit card but didn’t check her statement until after 48 boxes of toilet paper arrived at her door.
“Gobsmacked, confused and like a bit of an idiot,” Janetzki told Reuters of how she felt about the purchase. Her family said the rolls could have lasted them 12 years.
Janetzki told 7News that she made the error while switching toilet paper bands, and at first she thought they were delivered as a mistake.
“When it asked for quantity, I put 48, thinking that would be a box of 48 rolls,” Janetzki told 7News. “Turned out it was 48 boxes. The courier man turned up at the door with two pallets of toilet paper instead of one box.”
Chris and Haidee Janetzki/Reuters
The large purchase turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though: As grocery store shelves cleared across Australia when people panic bought toilet paper while preparing for a possible coronavirus outbreak, Janetzki was able to resell the rolls at the same price at which they bought them, according to Reuters. She’s using the funds to help pay for her daughter’s upcoming school trip.
Major retailers across Australia have seen toilet paper shelves empty in recent weeks, and some have even restricted the amount of rolls customers can buy, CNN reported.
Panic buys have spread across Hong Kong, the UK, US, Singapore, Australia, and more in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, despite government requests to discourage stockpiling.
While it’s unclear why toilet paper is being stockpiled, Frank Farley, a professor at Temple University and former president of the American Psychological Association, told CNN that it’s pretty normal.
“[The novel coronavirus] is engendering a sort of survivalist psychology, where we must live as much as possible at home and thus must ‘stock up’ on essentials, and that certainly includes toilet paper,” he told CNN. “After all, if we run out of [toilet paper], what do we replace it with?”
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