The coronavirus pandemic has caused Americans to storm grocery stores, waiting in long lines and filling up their carts with necessities including toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Amid the panic, there have been numerous reports of price gouging, from $50 bottles of Purell, to $10 for a single toilet roll, to nearly $900 boxes of ammunition.
Most states have laws that prohibit price gouging when a state of emergency is called. Forty-eight states have declared states of emergency over the outbreak so far.
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With Americans panic buying provisions during the coronavirus outbreak, there have been numerous reports of stores price gouging in-demand products across the country, taking advantage of already stressed out shoppers who may be struggling to make ends meet.
There has been an onslaught of such reports on social media, as well as to state authorities and consumer protection agencies, showing there has been a price spike in items like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and even ammunition.
Most states have laws that prohibit price gouging when a state of emergency is called.
Forty-eight states have declared states of emergency over the outbreak so far, and President Donald Trump declared a national emergency last Friday.
Here are a few of the incidents Americans have reported on Twitter:
The Associated Press (AP) reviewed a price gouging report from Maine, where single rolls of toilet paper were being sold for $10.
A New York City man showed his receipt for three 8-ounce bottles of Purell hand sanitizer, which he bought at a local pharmacy for a total of $150.
A four-pack of Lysol disinfectant spray was going for $59.99 on Amazon Prime, according to one shopper.
A Walmart shopper found Emergen-C being sold for the “everyday low price” of $9.97, but lifted the tag to find its previous listing price — $7.92.
One woman showed a pack of Charmin toilet being sold for $9.99 a pop. When she pulled up the price tag, she saw it had been sold for $5.29 previously.
One user shared a screenshot showing how one website was selling a box of ammunition for $899 a box. A search by Business Insider showed that it was going for less than half that price on another website.
This store in NYC was fined for price gouging. Was selling 8 ounce purell, which before all of this sold for $2.50, for $50 each, a 1900% increase (via @ninapineda7) pic.twitter.com/YAnCQv6X4j
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 13, 2020
According to an AP survey of state attorneys general and consumer protection agencies, published Thursday, reports of price gouging during the coronavirus outbreak have already exceeded 5,000, with hundreds of new cases a day.
The reports were made against big-box retailers and mom-and-pop shops alike.
Many states have posted the information for hotlines where shoppers can report these incidents, and the offenders will be punished.
However, as the AP …read more
Source:: Business Insider