Think someone is charging too much for their good or service before, during, or after Hurricane Florence? Never Fear — lil’ Josh Stein, your elfin highly-woke duly elected attorney general is on the case.
I sure wish we could get politicians and drivebys to understand supply-and-demand. These are some of the same people who think it’s outrageous you can’t buy homeowner insurance — meant to protect your home from future problems – AFTER your house burns down. Not a lot of folks out there interested in insuring a pile of charred building material fragments.
Let’s say I run a gas station. I get gas deliveries every Monday. Let’s say — on Tuesday — the drivebys spark a panic that causes a run on gasoline. By Wednesday, I am down to half – capacity on gas. I’m not getting any more gas until the upcoming Monday. The demand is still raging.
I could keep prices where they are, sell out by Thursday, and close my doors until Monday when the truck comes to refill my tanks. Or I could raise my prices to build a cash-flow cushion until the Monday truck comes.
Let’s look at tree removal service. Demand for that kind of work skyrockets before, during and after a storm. The drivebys are already griping about prices for those services.
Consider this. Demand is high for the service. Resources for providing the service are limited. (Tree removal workers may be prevented from working due to storm-related issues.) Working conditions are also more dangerous than at other times (downed power lines, debris, etc.).
Contrary to what lil’ Josh and the drivebys want you to think, this is not all about greed. Things cost more when demand is higher and there are fewer alternatives. Prices will be what people will actually pay. When there is an unexpected spike in demand for a good or service ( a run on it, if you will), it’s quite reasonable for a vendor to adjust his prices to cover the increased cost of providing said good or service or to tide the vendor over if inventory runs out.