Price Gouging

During a declared state of emergency, such as the one declared for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), it is illegal for a business to increase its prices for essential goods or services by more than 10 percent, unless they can show their own supply or labor costs have increased.

The law applies to several products and necessities including: food and drink (including food and drink for animals); emergency supplies such as water, flashlights, radios, batteries, candles, soaps, diapers, baby formula, toiletries; and medical supplies such as prescription and nonprescription medications, bandages, gauze, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, and other antibacterial products.

If you believe that a business is engaging in price gouging, please take the time to fill out an online form and submit it via email to the Merced County District Attorney’s Office