5

If you go into an amusement park which you cannot go out of and back in (without a new ticket) or which is remote and far away from any shops, and find that a bottle of soft drink is being (legally) sold for $4 when its normal price is $1, what is that practice called?

  • 7
    Some consider it price gouging, but it's captive market pricing (e.g., the pricing at a movie theater or airport). Maybe there is a shorter and/or informal term for that type of pricing. – KannE Jul 24 '19 at 5:09
  • @KannE Gouging is the word that occurred to me, also. Perhaps you could make it into an answer? – Mick Jul 24 '19 at 7:05
  • @Mick, price gouging is something else. It is "the practice of increasing prices sharply, especially to take advantage of high demand" (Lexico.com) common examples of which include price increases of basic necessities after hurricanes or other natural disasters (Wikipedia). "Captive" means "having no freedom to choose alternatives or to avoid something", as in "advertisements at the cinema reach a captive audience" (Lexico.com). – peanutjelly Jul 24 '19 at 7:43
  • 2
    I usually call it daylight robbery and refuse to buy anything on principle. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 24 '19 at 7:46
2

profiteering prof·it·eer (prŏf′ĭ-tîr′) n. One who makes excessive profits on goods in short supply. intr.v. prof·it·eered, prof·it·eer·ing, prof·it·eers To make excessive profits on goods in short supply.

| improve this answer | |
  • It’s not about demand and supply. It’s about the consumers being confined in the place where the products are being sold (airport departure lounge, amusement park, movie theatre, etc.). – peanutjelly Jul 24 '19 at 16:02
  • 1
    @peanutjelly Which makes it about supply and demand. The only supply of what the consumer demands (in their currently confined location) is at a much higher price than normal. – Jason Bassford Jul 24 '19 at 18:52
  • @JasonBassford I do not disagree that it is a way of profiteering, but I’m after a more technical term and which applies specifically when there is confinement. “Captive market pricing” is, to me, really the best fit so far. – peanutjelly Jul 24 '19 at 19:09
  • @peanutjelly In that case, you should provide it as your own answer . . . – Jason Bassford Jul 24 '19 at 19:56
  • It's important to understand this word has a very negative connotation. It could be used complaining against a soulless corporation, but for an independent/mom+pop movie theater (for example) charging $4 for a soda as their main profit margin, it'd be a bit extreme. I think captive market or being a captive audience is more fitting in that case. From Wikipedia: "Profiteering is a pejorative term for the act of making a profit by methods considered unethical." – jdf Aug 2 '19 at 6:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.