Some people are reacting to the coronavirus in a mature, responsible way. While others are panic-buying, hoarding supplies, leaving nothing to buy for everyone else, and flaunting how much they don’t care about social distancing. And a select few are even hoping to scalp others by reselling basic supplies like toilet paper.
But the internet isn’t standing for this kind of behavior. People are shaming jerks online who are making the corona-crisis more difficult for us all. Scroll down for Bored Panda’s list about corona-jerks getting outed and let us know in the comments below if this made you lose a bit of faith in humanity. Be sure to read on for our interview with Sam Dogen, founder of the Financial Samurai website, about price gouging.
Most people you talk to will be able to tell you that they’ve already seen small examples of price-gouging. Like selling face masks for exorbitant prices. It looks like some individuals see the crisis as an opportunity. An opportunity to fill their pockets with quick cash in exchange for their moral integrity.
Bored Panda spoke with Sam Dogen, founder of the Financial Samurai website, about price gouging and scalping in the wake of the corona-crisis. We wanted to find out why we're already seeing people pay huge prices for hygiene products.
"Panic makes people do things irrationally," Dogen said. "There is no need to have a year's supply of toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Supply will come back within a couple months as we are currently experiencing a supply shock as well."
"So if you must hoard, then buy for not more than two months of supply. Most people buy one month's supply of personal hygiene products, so two months is not that much more."
Dogen reiterated that it's vital that people don't give in to price gouging. "Price gouging is a pure indication of panic buying. If you do not panic buy, then you will not succumb to paying inflated prices. People who price gouge during a global pandemic should be fined and banned from reselling things online again. Instead of price gouging, they should be doing something to help their fellow brothers and sisters."
He also mentioned that price gouging is nothing new during times of distress. "Price gouging happened during the 2008–2009 financial crisis, after many devastating storms, and other tragedies."
"I understand the desire to profit to take care of your own finances, but when there is a large tragedy, it is incumbent on all of us to step up and help each other out."
CBS4 found out about an underground scalper and gouger network in Denver that resells personal hygiene products at greatly increased prices. One of these men was selling packages of (yup, you guessed it) toilet paper for 4 to 5 dollars per 4-pack on Craigslist. Even though they cost around 1 dollar per pack in stores.
“If you want more, it will be gone by tomorrow,” the man told undercover CBS4 reporters when he met them. According to the scalper, he’s been making good money and sold around 100 rolls already. When the man realized that he was being filmed, he refused to talk to the reporters further.online.
The undercover reporters met another man who sold 4 to 5 dollar-worth bottles of hand sanitizer for 20 dollars each. He explained that most of his customers are worried about the coronavirus.
“I just wanted to cash in and make a few bucks,” he said. Fortunately, in this case, the man realized that he was acting wrong, returned the money, and reduced the cost of his products to their usual price.
In the US, over 30 states have laws that make it illegal for people to price gouge during a state of emergency or a disaster. However, other states, like Colorado, don’t have such restrictions.
Which makes it easy for jerks to hoard supplies and then resell them for people who are in panic-mode. The good news is, the majority of folks are fighting back, even if, for now, it mostly means shaming these jerks