Seems that people are panicking:
N-95 face masks are sold out. Hand sanitizer is sold out in many locations.
Some folks are raising prices for these items. People are complaining about “Price Gouging” and, apparently some local governments are fining those who are raising prices.
Firstly, these folks have the right to sell their property for whatever price they choose to.
Second, no one forces the “customer” to buy the items.
THirdly, deciding how much is “Too much” smacks of Government price control (and we all can see how well that works out in places like Venzuela)
Failure to prepare for a communicable disease outbreak is failure to prepare. IF the market is willing to pay $1000 for 4 large bottles of hand sanitzer, then that is the price. Shortages are like that. Part of the price one pays for failing to prepare.
(Hint: Washing your hands is almost 100% as effective)
(Protip: It isn’t that hard to make your own hand sanitizer using commonly available ingredients that are not, as yet, in short supply))
Failure to plan means that you get to pay a higher price to those who did plan, or who possess the items you now want urgently and are in short supply. It is called the Law of Supply and Demand.
I applaud those who raise their prices. They are in business to make a profit, and they take chances every day when they place orders for items that they hope people will buy. They have it and others want it. Simple. If others are willing to pay a price for that item, then that is the market price. If not, then the seller will have to lower their prices.
Those who failed to plan ahead should pay a price for their lack of foresight.
Much like those who buy their (relatively expensive)soda pop at a Convenience store or a vending machine rather than going to a supermarket and paying less, or those folks who pay a higher price at a liquor store for a six pack of cold beer rather than buying it warm by the case and refrigerating it themselves.
ETA: Why is it not “Price Gouging” when motel rooms quintuple in price before the Daytona 500 or the Superbowl , or airline tickets tripling in price before Thanksgiving?