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Price gouging


Snarky-Guru
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The prices on basics are astronomical and so many shops have already been cleared out. It feels like the government's and the public's responses to the virus will be more deadly than the virus itself. With nothing to buy and people out of work, how long will it be before rioting starts? And this time they'll be breaking into regular homes since the shops have already been cleared out.
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There's people doing it, but there's not enough supply for the majority of us to do it. The ones who are, are the most panicky and stupid amongst us.

 

There's a pair of brothers in Tennessee who stockpiled about 18000 bottles of hand sanitizer and a lot of wipes once news of this broke, figuring they could make a good profit by reselling them. They correctly predicted that it would be a big deal, but they got shut down for price gouging. 1 of the brothers makes his living by re-selling stuff on Amazon and Ebay, so it makes sense he'd have this idea. But they were trying to gouge for so much that Amazon and Ebay took their listings down and suspended the accounts. The storage facility kicked them out, and then the attorney general put them under investigation for price gouging. They sold about 300 bottles before being shut down, and then ended up donating everything else they had to local charities and churches for free distribution.

 

He says "I had no idea they wouldn't be able to re-stock the shelves with these items, I wasn't trying to hurt anyone!" - BS dude. You drove to every single store you could in your local area to buy 18K bottles of hand sanitizer and bunches of wipes. You were COUNTING on the stock not being replenished quickly or to full capacity, otherwise your plan wouldn't have been worth doing. Hard to sell sanitizer for a huge mark up when they'd still be available in stores for normal price. While I don't think he was necessarily actively trying to hurt anyone as his objective, he cared more about making a profit than the consequences of his actions on other people.

Edited by Zack T
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While I don't think he was necessarily actively trying to hurt anyone as his objective, he cared more about making a profit than the consequences of his actions on other people.

I think it's awful behavior, but how is that any different from every other corporation? It sounds like regular capitalism. About the only thing that's priced reasonably right now is gasoline. And stock.

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Corporations have to follow their craftily guided laws about price raising. And deal with competition with each other, monopolies are generally illegal unless you're the TV/Internet/Phone provider industry, apparently. And that's what this guy was trying to do, not only severely price gauge a product by about 1000%, but create a monopoly on the availability of the product in order to be able to sell it at that price. So double whammy. Even with the charitable donation (which multiple articles refer to as "forced to donate to charity" and I wonder about the legality of that myself), I dunno if he'll get off the hook. But he might. 'Merica.
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Some corporations have recently been in "trouble" for it too. Well, if you call a cease-and-desist letter trouble. Menards was the latest, I think.

 

What's funny is that when I see an online listing for a product that is incredibly higher than it normally sells for, I just assume that the seller isn't available. I figured that's their signal for being out of stock or on vacation at that time. Some platforms don't allow sellers to turn off and on. Or I figure it's some type of drug deal and I'm not privy to the language. That theory is more fun.

Edited by ShadowEdge
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