Hand Sanitizer for $152? State Cracking Down on Coronavirus Price Gouging

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As the coronavirus spreads, shelves across the world are clean out of hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes.

Shoppers are instead, going online to find third-party suppliers trying to profit off fears of Walmart and Amazon jacking up prices.

One seller listed a bottle of Purrell for $152.

“I think that’s ridiculous how they have to increase that, that’s a necessity we need to be safe and protect ourselves,” said Tammy Luong from San Jose.

Luong has checked a few stores but can't find anything, still, she's not willing to pay the high prices.

“It’s been difficult because even at work, they’re really being scarce with the Clorox wipes,” said Luong.

On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency, allowing the attorney general to go after shady sellers price gouging in person or online.

They can be fined up to $10,000 and face a year in jail.

“I’ve seen some for $17, I’ve seen some for even more,” Newsom said. “That’s unconscionable, that’s usurious and we need to go after those who are price gouging.”

It’s not just hand sanitizer but medical supplies, face masks, food, gas, and other essentials are also protected.

Shoppers are hoping the state will crack down.

“As long as there are capitalists, they’re always going to use this to make money off something, unfortunately,” said Carl Wright Jr. from San Jose.

Amazon said it removed more than 1 million products from sellers trying to profit off the virus.

Anyone who sees someone price gouging online can report it to the attorney general’s office.

You can report coronavirus price gouging here.

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