BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Price gouging laws are in effect statewide because Governor Henry McMaster had declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said they have already received more than 300 phone calls complaining about price gouging around the Palmetto State.
AG Wilson said most of the time they see increases in costs, which could be due to supply and demand. Of course, several things are now in demand with stores running out of their supply of items.
But Wilson said the legal definition says the price increase must be unconscionable. So, just because it costs a little more, it may not actually be price gauging according to the law.
“That’s not to say there are people out there trying to exploit consumers during the state of emergency,” he said. “Those are the people we’re going to be focusing on- who are really charging unconscionable price.”
Wilson went on to say, “If you see something that you believe is price gouging we encourage you to go to our website SCAG.gov and email us the website and give us information and take pictures of the item, the time, the location, the place.”
Keep in mind, it takes a while for his investigators to determine whether price gauging was happening. That investigation will happen after the emergency is over.