Is This Price Gouging?



2000 watt camping generators are advertised at Aldi for about $150. That got me thinking about ways to evade price gouging laws in Gulf Coast states. Rather than speculate, I sent the following email to Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum via his website:

Greetings,

This is not a complaint. I hope you can assist me with an example I want to do in the Economics 100 class I teach at Rhodes College. Recently, 2000-watt camping generators have been advertised at a Memphis Aldi for $150. Suppose I purchased their stock of generators at the retail price and then advertised them in Florida newspapers for $1000 each for the next several months. If Florida is hit by a hurricane, I would then mark down the generators to $750 each—a 25% discount compared to my original $1000 per generator asking price. Would I run afoul of Florida’s price gouging laws by offering the generators at a 25% discount relative to my original asking price? Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kindest regards,

Art Carden
Assistant Professor of Economics and Business
Rhodes College
Memphis, TN

Cross-posted at Division of Labour. I’ll blog his office’s response if they will give me permission.

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