Price Gouging Is Illegal. But what is Price Gouging?

What is price gouging?

Under American Samoa law, price gouging is increasing prices after an emergency is declared. Raising prices more than 10% above pre-declaration prices. There are exceptions that allow businesses to increase prices by more than 10%.


What are the valid reasons for increasing prices after an emergency is declared?

American Samoa law allow people and businesses to increase their prices more than 10% if the costs to the retailer for supplies or labor increases. When we receive a report of price gouging, we will investigate whether or not the price increase is justified.

So if a retailer was selling tomatoes for $1 before the declaration, and after the declaration the retailers was selling them for $2, that could be price gouging. If the retailer couldn't get the tomatoes in by ship, the retailer had someone bring them in by plane that would increase the cost to the retailer. That would justify a reasonable price increase.


What does price gouging cover?

The law on price gouging in American Samoa prohibits unjustified price increases of over 10% on