GREENSBORO, N.C. — The baby formula shortage is hitting dozens of states. Store shelves are 40% to 50% out of stock, North Carolina is included.
Chances are we have families in our neighborhood who are desperate to find the formula and unfortunately it also means we have folks who want to take advantage of all this.
“Folks are buying mass amounts of it and then reselling it on Amazon or Facebook charging a huge markup. That is against the law in NC. Our price gouging law is in effect and for any seller, whether you're a store or an individual, to charge an excessive price to exploit people's desperation is against the law,” said NC Attorney General Josh Stein.
Usually, we think of stores that get caught price gouging, but the NC AG makes it clear, that if you're a personal seller and you’re selling formula for an excessively high price on the Facebook marketplace or other sites, the AG can in fact go after you if they find out.
And seriously, do you think other people on social media won't spread the word about what you're doing?
“What I want viewers to know is, don't do it. Because if you do, we will come after you,” said Stein.
There is a specific price gouging complaint form on the North Carolina Attorney General's office website.
There's also a telephone number: 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.
The attorney general can't do anything about it unless you make a complaint.
The problem is the result of supply chain disruptions and a safety recall, and has had a cascade of effects: Retailers are limiting what customers can buy, and doctors and health workers are urging parents to contact food banks or physicians' offices, in addition to warning against watering down a formula to stretch supplies or using online DIY recipes.