Price Gouging and the Coronavirus: What You Should Know

While there may not be a run in stores on the best anti wrinkle cream or nail polish, stores are certainly out of a lot of things in the past few weeks. Bleach, hand sanitizer… even toilet paper is hard to find. (And why? Of all things, why toilet paper?) If you go into a store and find these items selling well above retail pricing, you should know that this is considered price gouging, and is completely illegal.

While it is more common in smaller stores that may not know better, even larger chains have gotten in on it recently – the Michigan Attorney General sent a cease and desist letter to Menards, of all places, insisting they stop changing their prices and offer items like bleach for a fair market price.

This is going to get worse before it gets better. If you’re going out to a store – and we recommend only leaving for essentials, not for the best anti wrinkle cream – make sure you familiarize yourself with pricing tactics and know how to report price gouging in your state. The AG takes it very seriously.