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Astoria Supermarket Accused of Price Gouging, Selling Disinfectant Spray at Excessive Prices: AG

City Fresh Market (Google)

March 11, 2020 By Christian Murray

New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered an Astoria supermarket to cease and desist charging customers excessive prices for disinfectant spray.

James ordered two stores—one in Manhattan and the other the Astoria supermarket—to stop profiting from people’s fear of the Coronavirus.

She said that investigators found that City Fresh Market, located at 21-15 Broadway in Astoria, was charging its customers $14.99 for an 19 oz bottle of disinfectant spray. Meanwhile, Scheman & Grant Hardware–doing business as Ace Hardware in Midtown Manhattan—was charging $79.99 for a 1200mL bottle of hand sanitizer.

Scheman was also price gouging on face masks and was fined over the weekend, according to the AG’s office.

“On my watch, we will not tolerate schemes or frauds designed to turn large profits by exploiting people’s health concerns,” James said. “While there remains no cause for widespread panic, some people are looking to prey on others’ anxiety and line their own pockets. My office will remain vigilant in ensuring that we find and stop such unlawful activity.”

James said the businesses were in breach of Section 396-R of the New York General Business Law, which prohibits the sale of goods necessary for the health of consumers at excessive prices during any abnormal disruption of the market.

She said that Office of Attorney General investigators will continue to monitor businesses across the state for potential scams designed to exploit public concern related to the spread of the Coronavirus.

James urged residents to report retailers to her office if they appear to be taking advantage of consumer fear through price gouging.

Click here for the AG complaint form

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13 Comments

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Cg

Last time i checked this was called CAPITALISM… go buy it at the dollar store. One vendors loss Is another’s gain.

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W

Very sad.is it possible that the price increase started from the manufacturer and then got passed down to the distributor then to the store.these arevtroubked times..store owners shouldn’t price gouge. And in the event more contract the virus, those healthy need to drop locally to keep the stores open so the workers still have jobs and income to pay rent and expenses . We live in a society where we are dependent on each other .

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Natalie

This place over charges for EVERYTHING. I am glad that this has brought it to light

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Alice

The authorities should also limit how many a customer can buy of the necessary supplies. I saw one woman buy 12 cans of lysol and 20 bottles of hand sanitizer at a local pharmacy last week. When I asked her why so many she told me she was planning on selling them on line.

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George

Every place that had non price gouged prices sold out. We obviously need higher prices so that the supply can match the demand.

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Ethan

I’m honestly surprised that some of these products are not being sold on street corners and subway platforms at this point.

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Athena

This is ridiculous. Everything is going up as far as food and household products are concerned in Astoria ever since this virus hit NYC. I think I will try eating smaller portions and will resort to shopping at night. People are not keeping their distance. One lady went into my cart (touching my food and groceries) trying to help me place my items on the cashiers counter and I told her to stop. My 5 cents bag fees were listed as a grocery items at a local supermarket when i forgot to bring my own bag. The paper bags had no handles to help you carry home! Some cashiers are using gloves touching our food and products and then handling money. I saw deli and isle workers not wearing gloves. Since cashiers just sit there with less to do because they do not bag items when you bring your own bag they can at least change their gloves and wipe the counters and credit card machines that everyone touches. I think I am better off buying boxed goods!

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