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INFORMATION ABOUT THE ONGOING NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Price Gouging FAQ

Upon the declaration of an abnormal economic disruption by the governor, a person is prohibited from charging any other person a price for the following goods or services that is grossly in excess of the price generally charged for the same or similar goods or services in the usual course of business:

“Emergency supplies” includes, but is not limited to, water, flashlights, radios, batteries, candles, blankets, soap, diapers, temporary shelters, tape, toiletries, plywood, nails, and hammers; or

“Medical supplies” includes, but is not limited to, prescription and nonprescription medications, bandages, gauze, isopropyl alcohol, and antibacterial products.

Tennessee’s price gouging statute was activated when Governor Bill Lee declared a state of emergency prompted by the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus. This declaration triggered the state’s anti-price gouging law which prohibits vendors from charging too much during a crisis tied to a state of emergency.

Price gouging complaints received by Consumer Affairs are individually reviewed. Price increases are generally considered by evaluating several factors including the pre-existing price agreements and increases in cost by suppliers. High prices are not automatically price gouging and may be justifiable based on increased costs to the business.

Under the law, the Attorney General’s Office can put a stop to price gouging and seek refunds for consumers. The courts may also impose civil penalties against price gougers for every violation. The law applies to all levels of the supply chain from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer.

Under the law, the Attorney General’s Office can put a stop to price gouging and seek refunds for consumers. The courts may also impose civil penalties ($1,000 per violation) against price gougers. 

Click here to file a complaint: https://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/working-for-tennessee/consumer/file-a-complaint.html

If you need assistance with a complaint, please call 615-741-4737 or email consumer.affairs@ag.tn.gov

Report as many details as possible such as the name and location of the merchant, the date and time of your purchase, the method of payment, the price of the item in days prior to the sudden price increase, and the price you paid. Always keep your receipts. Include pictures of the displayed price if possible.