COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Gov. Henry McMaster declared a State of Emergency on Friday due to concerns over COVID-19 and South Carolina’s law against price gouging is currently in effect.
According to SC’s price gouging law, it is unlawful to “rent or sell or offer to rent or sell a commodity at an unconscionable price.”
The law also says that “a price increase that reflect the usual and customary seasonal fluctuation in the price of the subject essential commodity or the rental or lease of a dwelling unit or self-storage facility is not a violation of this section.”
The law will remain in effect until the declaration expires or is terminated.
“We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of things like hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and other commodities as defined by the statute. By our law, that’s a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “We wish to emphasize, as we have seen in the past, that price gouging under the current law is difficult to prove, even substantial price increases. What might seem large to the public may not be illegal in court.”
The following are the steps you can take to report price gouging in your area:
- Note the time, place, address, and name of the business
- Note the price you paid
- Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those businesses
- Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price
- Provide your name and contact information
Anyone found guilty of price gouging is g
According to a news release, you can email examples or documentation to pricegouging @scag.gov or call 803-737-3953.