We have all seen it, the post about toilet paper being sold for $70 bucks a roll. A month ago, no one would have guessed people would be rushing to dollar stores, snatching toilet paper out of grocery carts, or purchasing rolls of toilet paper illegally. How have we come to this?
It all comes down to supply and demand. Usually, there is more than enough toilet paper to go around. Because toilet paper was plentiful, companies created varieties of every kind with competitive prices and alluring advertisements. No one realized what a luxury it was to stroll down an aisle full of toilet paper or the competition that made it possible. But that all changed a couple of weeks ago. Once people realized that they needed to prepare to not leave their homes, one of the first things they knew they couldn’t live without was toilet paper! The demand for toilet paper rose.
The supply of toilet paper was quickly snatched up by those early shoppers. Then, others dragged themselves to the grocery store only to find an empty toilet paper aisle. Afraid of being reduced to scrounging for crinkled receipts and coffee filters to utilize in the bathroom, people began frantically searching for toilet paper anywhere they could find it… at any cost. Suddenly the value of even the scratchiest ply skyrocketed.
The exorbitant price of toilet paper can be a problem, but there are a few solutions. 2/3 of states have laws to prevent price gouging, the act of raising prices of essential items when they are in high demand, during states of emergency. Also, the free market has its own solution. If a good or service becomes too expensive, it stands to reason that another business will create another option. With other options come the competitive prices we enjoy. So, if you are tired of expensive rolls of toilet paper or can’t wait for your order in a month, use the free enterprise system! Look for an innovative entrepreneur selling reusable toilet paper on Etsy or, if that freaks you out, try to be an entrepreneur yourself and find the next best thing.
Learn about price gouging in your state here.