It's only gouging if you BUY IT at that price. Otherwise it's just advertising.
Would you rather find the following:
(1): a store with bare shelves, with an owner who sold all that he had at old prices, who can no longer get inventory, and who will be out of business soon because he still has to pay (rent, taxes, payroll, etc)?
(2): a store that is still earning enough profit because there are willing buyers coming in at an adequate rate to let the owner sell what IRREPLACABLE inventory he has at prices that are high enough that he HOPES he can sell what he needs to sell to tide him thru this time until he can restock his store?
This is a time of pure survival-mode for these small businesses. A smart businessman with zero resupply will sell JUST ENOUGH every month during this time of no resupply to pay his bills... and not a single item more. The goal is to BREAK EVEN at the end of the month while RETAINING AS MUCH INVENTORY AS POSSIBLE so he can try to do the same thing next month. He's going to need to bet his business on the hope that he can get more supply before he runs out of existing inventory. NOBODY likes it but the one who has the most investment in the "issue" is the small business owner. He's not "ripping you off"...he's desperately trying to stay alive. If you do not "Get" this, you've never run a small business. Cash flow is king. The monthly march of bills across your desk NEVER ends... if you cannot get what you sell... you are screwed.
Last edited by Willie Sutton; March 17, 2013 at 11:56 AM.