Air conditioners being sold for $2,000 as price-gougers cash in on heatdome desperation

Air conditioners being sold for $2,000 as price-gougers cash in on heatdome desperation
Triple-digit temperatures in the region have caused a run on air conditioners and fans, leaving store shelves empty

As the Pacific Northwest faces an unprecedented heatwave, some people are using the triple-digit temperatures to exponentially upsell air conditioners, selling the cooling units for a staggering $2,000.

The Daily Beast reports that price-gougers in Pacific Northwest and south-western Canada have been charging $2,000 for what would normally be $250 air conditioners, and $200 or more for small desk fans.

Much of the price-gouging action is coming from individual sellers hoping to make a quick buck off the desperation of their neighbors.

Amanda Wawryk, a reporter at Vancouver’s NEWS1130, shared a screenshot from a Facebook local “buy-sell” group which was calling out the price-gougers on their tactics.

“I hope everyone is able to keep cool during this period of exceptional heat … however … anyone attempting to take advantage/cash in by posting a fan or air conditioner for more than a normal and proper price will have their ad deleted as well as be removed/banned from the group,” the post read.

In other buy-sell groups and other retail sites like Craigslist, price-hiked cooling units were displayed without contention.

Most years the average temperature of the region hovers around 70 degrees (21C), but the recent heatwave – driven by climate change – has resulted in consistently triple-digit temperatures for several days.

Retailers in the region were not prepared for the massive run on air conditioners and fans that left their supply depleted.

The heatwave is expected to peak on Wednesday and then return to normal temperatures thereafter, but it has left residents of the region reeling and justifiably worried about temperatures during the more extreme summer months ahead.

Temperatures in Portland continually broke records over the weekend, reaching 108 degrees (42C) on Saturday and 112 degrees (44C) on Sunday. Temperatures jumped up again on Monday to 116 degrees (47C).

Pasco, Washington recorded the hottest temperature the state has seen since 1961 on Monday with 118 degrees (48C).

The heat has even melted power cables and caused streets to buckle in some parts of the region.

More than 1,100 people were hospitalised in Washington State and Oregon and more than 230 people died in British Columbia over the weekend due to heat related illnesses.

Vince Hlavaty, a medical officer in Washington State speaking with USA Today, told the publication that “we have never seen anything like this”.


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