Price Gouging In Shreveport-Bossier Amid Winter Storm?
Are we price gouging each other? What is the definition of price gouging? According to Wikipedia "Price gouging occurs when a seller increases the prices of goods, services or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. Usually, this event occurs after a demand or supply shock." What could the "supply shock" be?
Well, the Winter Storm brought us 10 inches of snow and an inch of ice. We saw so many 18-wheelers stranded on the side of the road, many of those carrying much-needed produce for our local grocery stores. If you've tried braving the crowds for groceries you've probably realized that there are hardly any groceries for purchase.
We caught up with a man who actually saw this happen at a local grocery store this weekend. He went to the dairy section to get milk, but it was gone. He saw one man with 10 gallons in his cart. He asked the man if he could get one from him. The guy said "No, I'm selling these for $20 a gallon once I leave the store." That is a crime and could be prosecuted.
I have resorted to sharing food with my friend and neighbors. It's turned into a who has what situation. One Facebook post caught my eye and had me concerned. "Has stonewall Chevron milk always been $8.40 A gallon?". Wait, $8.40 per gallon? That price seems astronomical, doesn't it? I saw several folks step up to defend the Chevron that is being accused of price gouging. Some claimed they have always seen the prices doubled at that convenience store.
Have you recently visited a store where you're convinced they are price gouging?
According to USpirg.org here are 2 ways to spot price gouging:
"1) Extraordinarily high prices: Businesses are allowed to increase prices for critical supplies during an emergency, but they are NOT allowed to raise the price of products excessively to take advantage of the current pandemic. While laws vary by state, increases over 20% may be considered price gouging.
2) Price Comparison Between Similar Products: Some state laws, prohibit significant increases in prices as compared to other products. For instance, if one hand sanitizer is priced at double the cost of similar products, that may violate price gouging laws."
If you think you've seen a business price gouging our community you can report it to Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Section. You can call the hotline direct at (800) 351-4889. Or contact your local Sheriff's office.