March 11, 2020, By Michael Dorgan
A Sunnyside discount store has come under fire on social media for allegedly selling hand sanitizer products at inflated prices.
A Facebook post, which went up on the “Lost Sunnyside Woodside LIC and community” page, said that Sunrise 99 Cent Store, located at 40-08 Queens Blvd, was selling 32-ounce bottles of Purell hand sanitizer for $45. A photo of the bottle accompanied the post.
The posting was shared 14 times and included almost 40 comments. Comments included statements like, “gougers,” “close them down,” and “boycott this s**thole.”
The Sunnyside Post discovered this morning that the store was no longer selling the Purell bottles referred to in the Facebook post, which are in fact 33.8 fluid ounce in size.
However, the owner did say that “one or two [33.8 fluid ounce Purell] bottles” were available for purchase yesterday for $40.
The owner, who didn’t disclose her full name, said she was now using the 33.8 fluid ounce Purell bottles for her own personal use. She had a bottle beside her that did not have a price tag on it and was not visible to customers.
She denied selling the item at inflated prices and said she had all the invoices and the supplier’s information to prove it.
The owner said she is only making a small profit on the item and that “some people are just trying to make a story.”
The store was selling 8 fluid ounce bottles this morning for $8 and 30 fluid ounce bottles for $20.00.
The owner allowed the Sunnyside Post to take pictures of the bottles for comparative purposes– including the Purell bottle that is no longer for sale.
Section 396-R of the New York General Business Law, prohibits the sale of goods necessary for the health of consumers at excessive prices during any abnormal disruption of the market.
The Facebook post also alleged that the store was selling face masks for $50 a box. There were no face mask boxes on display this morning, however, there were packs of 10 loose face masks being sold in zipper seal bags for $10 a pack.
The City’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) has made it illegal for retailers to sell medical face masks at drastically increased prices after the masks have become in high demand over fears of the coronavirus spreading.
New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered an Astoria supermarket to cease and desist charging customer’s excessive prices for disinfectant spray. James ordered two stores—one in Manhattan and the other the Astoria supermarket—to stop profiting from people’s fear of the Coronavirus.