Concerns over potential price gouging on bags of rock salt - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Concerns over potential price gouging on bags of rock salt

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Finding bags of salt is hard enough, but some places that do have it are charging nearly three times as much.

Eyewitness News talked to a woman, who drove 13 miles to this gas station after hearing they had rock salt. But when she got to the register to purchase a 50-pound bag of road salt, she had to walk out empty handed.

"We have a six-car driveway sidewalk so we go through a lot," said Stephanie Hopwood.

Eyewitness News asked Hopwood what her reaction was when she found it was $25 per bag.

"I saw it on screen, $25," said Hopwood. "I said 'I'm not buying it' and I walked out."

This intense winter has definitely created a shortage in rock salt. Eyewitness News called around on Tuesday to see what other places are charging.

Goody's True Value Hardware in East Haven has 50-pound bags for $8.99. Lowe's sells the same size bag for $6.98.

Eyewitness News went to the same Orange gas station to see how much they are charging. The bags are out front but with no price listed.

Inside the woman at the counter said she had to call to get the price. Then came back saying $19.99 per bag.

Eyewitness News got the person she called on the phone who told the station he has to charge that much because it cost him more to buy it. He then told Eyewitness News he tries to keep all of his prices low including gas but rock salt prices are up because of the demand.

"No, he doesn't," said Hopwood. "That's too much that's really. He knows he's the only one who has it."

The gas station acknowledged they are the only ones in area with rock salt in stock.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen urges people to report higher than usual prices.

"We will look into all complaints made and hope that unless retailers themselves are purchasing rock salt at a higher than usual price, that they not increase prices for consumers," Jepsen said.

Hopwood's advice is shop around. She found a much better price,even though the bags were smaller.

"People should be aware that you don't have to pay $25 because someone else will have it," Hopwood said.

Jepsen said if you do find someone selling rock salt for a much higher price be sure to document the price and the seller.

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