Price Gouging During Disasters?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by DWB1960, Nov 1, 2012.

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What's Your Opinion on Price Gouging???

  1. No problems. Capitalism in a Free Society

  2. 100% Total Douchebaggery

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    What's your opinion?
     
  2. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Moderator Staff Member

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    In CA, it's illegal, it's immoral, it's unethical, and about the scummiest thing there is. Can you tell I've lived in an area where it happened? And that those who engaged in the activity were charged and convicted!!!
     
  3. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    It's illegal but it still happens. Some gas stations in NYC and NJ raised their prices as much as $0.90 a gallon a couple of days before the storm.


    I started the poll just to see if anyone if going to defend the practice......
     
  4. ACfixer

    ACfixer Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm about as free market as anyone you'll ever meet, and I say it's despicable.

    We saw it in the Big Bear earthquake Don. One local supplier raised the prices on building materials through the roof. Another kept their prices at or near where they were before the quake and probably lost millions of dollars and was plagued by frequent shortages. Now 20 years later, the gouger is out of business and the good guy still thrives.
     
  5. mbargav

    mbargav Member

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    Total douchebaggery.
     
  6. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    You mean like when they sell out of the first 150 KTRs and people start flipping them for $500.00?

    Actually yes, it is as low as you can get. After some earthquakes people have tried to charge ten five times the regular price for bottled water.
     
  7. Blindspot

    Blindspot Member

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    Craigslist is absolutely loaded with butt-munchers reselling generators at 100%+ markup. I am particularly annoyed by how they pose as simple folk who bought and no longer need a new-in-the-box generator that they "just want to get their money back on" - $1,500 (for one that retails for $699).
     
  8. '58Bassman

    '58Bassman Member

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    People who gouge had better hope the concept/reality of Karma doesn't bite them on the ass. I, OTOH, hope it does.
     
  9. otis12

    otis12 Member

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    When south Florida got leveled,they were selling sheets of plywood for 200 bucks and 300dollar generators for 2 grand.I give money to the Salvation Army.And I'm not religous but there's a preacher in St.Louis,Larry Rice.The guy wears like 10 dollar suits.Helps homeless and old people.I gave him a truckload of window fans anonymous.The older I get the more I believe in KARMA
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  10. DamianP

    DamianP Member

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    That`s your free market system in all its glory. It seems pretty popular.

    I don`t see how anyone who supports it can complain.
     
  11. Mudder

    Mudder Supporting Member

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    I think actual price gouging is truly disappointing behavior, but it's a grey line. If it's hard to find plywood and people want it, the price goes up.
     
  12. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    I voted for the douchebaggery, but it's actually both. Just because something isn't against the law doesn't mean it's right.
     
  13. fool

    fool Member

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    Problem is even when the stores don't do it, there are plenty of 'entrepreneurs' who will buy them out and mark it up. It's a crap practice, but in any case where demand greatly outweighs supply some of it will happen.
     
  14. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, I needed a a couple of plugs to conveniently hook up my generator. EVERYONE in my area was out. I found a place in Webster, Massachusetts...about 1h 20m away. After I bought them over the phone and hung up (they just left them outside for me to pick up as they were closing), I though to myself that they're closed so no one else will be able to buy any plugs. I could just buy them out, bring them home with me and sell them to people who need them.

    I would mark them up, of course. I mean, I did have to do all of the research to find them, I drove 3 hours to get them, and I'm taking the risk that they won't sell. I think they cost $20 each. I thought I'd sell them for $25, or something like that. That seemed fair. Then I thought about it and realized that could be considered gouging, and I certainly don't want to be accused of that by some overzealous cop or bureaucrat.

    So the several dozen plugs sat in the empty warehouse instead of being put to use.

    Now, would that have been gouging? I'm all for helping people, but I'm not running a charity. I should at least recoup my costs and my time if I can, especially since I'm risking being stuck with dozens of plugs I don't need.

    Consider another case:

    I buy a generator just in case I loose power. Storm comes and goes, and it turns out I didn't need it. Well, I don't mind having a generator but I'll see if I can make some money on it. I put it on Craigslist for 2x what it's worth. If it sells, great...if not, oh well. Is that gouging? I guess technically it is, but I don't see it that way. It's not something I'd personally do. Think about this, though. If I just DIDN'T sell it, than it sits unused. If I sell it for double the price, someone out there decided that it's worth it....I'm not holding a gun to anyone's head.

    But now what if I go to Home Depot, buy 10 generators, hold on to them and then sell them right after the storm hits for 2x? That seems like a much different situation.

    So there's gouging, and then there's gouging.
     
  15. coldfingaz

    coldfingaz Member

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    It's not as cut & dry as we might like to believe.

    Supply & demand, baby... and unscrupulous business folks that are in it to make as big of profits as they can.

    Not condoning it, but it's the perfect storm & every so-called gouger should be evaluated on what they specifically are doing instead of lumping this into (a) it's ok or (b) it's not...

    Just one example of food for thought... have you guys considered the additional time, hassle & costs that goes into logisitics when **** like this happens?
     
  16. bsacamano

    bsacamano Member

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    Here's the scenario.

    Say I live in an area with mass power outages. All the stores are sold out of generators. Some dude buys a truckload of them a few states away, drives to my area and wants to sell one to me for a price I'm willing to pay. Many states' laws prohibit price hikes of more than 10% during times of emergency. So the state should be able to get in the way of this transaction if the price we've agreed on is more than 10% of what they guy paid? Are you freaking kidding me?
     
  17. oldschoolguy

    oldschoolguy Member

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    You mean like buying a number of peddles when they first come out and then marking them up?
     
  18. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Member

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    Gouging can actually serve useful purposes. Consider the following quick scenario that I have seen first hand having survived many hurricanes.

    A convenience store happens to have power after the storm, so they open up. They have a quantity of batteries on hand and triple the price. [You're already mad, aren't you?] A guy grabs up all the batteries then realizes he can't afford them all, so he puts some back. The next guy grabs a pack or two and so do several other people. Now several families have flashlight batteries instead of one--even if they had to pay too high a price to get them. The same can be said for ice. The exact same scenario plays out.

    You get the idea.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  19. mbargav

    mbargav Member

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    The question posed in the OP is price gouging during disasters. So no, it's nothing like marking up a Klon.
     
  20. Mr. Kite

    Mr. Kite Supporting Member

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    Bad form
     

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