PRICE GOUGING is absolutely happening right now in our grocery stores. And I did not say stores are already increasing prices by 7.5%, which is the VAT rate. I said PRICE GOUGING, where the markup on some grocery items is as much as 40% in the last few weeks. I was at a store just now and a fresh fruit item (which is duty-free and has been for years) and is usually priced around $7.00 is now on the shelf at almost TEN DOLLARS ($9.49 to be exact). An only 7.5% increase (VAT rate) would cause the price to go from $7.00 to $7.53. To go from $7.00 to $9.49 is A 35.5% INCREASE IN PRICE ON A DUTY FREE ITEM BEFORE VAT HAS EVEN BEEN ADDED. At another store, a pack of peas which has always been priced at around $5 is now around $7.50 – again, a 35.7% INCREASE in price. This is not VAT, this is PRICE GOUGING AHEAD OF VAT.
I’m not going to be silent about what is going on in this country. Bahamians who no longer feel like eating and living – can stay silent. TIME TO START TAKING PICS OF THESE ITEMS WITH THE PRICES AND NAMING AND SHAMING THESE STORES ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND OTHER INTERNET SITES – AND THAT IS JUST A BEGINNING. Consumers are going to have to fight for their rights or starve. No business likes bad publicity. If you are price gouging, bad publicity is the least of what should happen to your business establishment. NEW COMPREHENSIVE CONSUMER ACTION PAGE COMING. Any Bahamian business that will be offering fair, competitive prices and services can be supported. Price gougers and clear overpricing must be called out. I am going to do my part to help Bahamian consumers know their rights and advocate for the same. AND BAHAMIANS MUST ALSO GET UP AND ACT. SITTING BACK AND HOPING SOMEONE WILL SAVE THE DAY FOR YOU WILL NOT WORK. NO “ONE PERSON” IN THIS COUNTRY CAN SAVE US. WHAT WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO WORK FOR OR FIGHT FOR – WE WILL NOT GET.
CONSUMERS – YOUR MONEY IS YOUR POWER