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How to file a price-gouging complaint


During a disaster, you can submit an online complaint about price gouging. Please attach photos, receipts, advertisements or other supporting documents to the form.

A disaster declaration triggers the state’s price-gouging rule, which forbids excessive prices for goods or services “needed by victims of disasters.” That includes, but is not limited to, water, food, medicines, sanitation supplies, utilities, and building materials. An excessive price is one “not justified by the seller’s actual costs of acquiring, producing, selling, transporting, and delivering the actual product sold, plus a reasonable profit.” 

The prohibition on charging excessive prices applies to all sellers of merchandise, which include but are not limited to brick and mortar stores, suppliers, internet stores, and sales on social media sites, for example, Craigslist, Facebook, and buy/sell online marketplaces. Sellers who accept excessive prices on online auction sites are not exempt from Iowa’s price-gouging law. 

For more information, see this Price-Gouging Fact Sheet.

To find out if a disaster declaration is in effect, see the Iowa Homeland Security page. 

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