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Can a retailer change the price of a item already in stock? Answered

Can a retailer change the price of a item already in stock? Say a book is 5.99, can a retailer mark up the price of the book while its still on the self? I had someone tell me that it was illegal for a retailer to increase the price of a item already on the self...


Legal in the US too. What they can't do (usually) is charge you more at the register than was posted on the price sticker and/or shelf label.

Of course if you can find the item for a better price elsewhere, you're free to shop elsewhere. If they see a drop in sales, they may bring their prices down. Depends on whether their total profits are better or worse.

Also, note that prices marked on books by the publisher are _SUGGESTED_ retail. Some stores may charge more (though that's uncommon), some may sell at a discount from that suggested price.

Caveat emptor, and shop around. Or, if it isn't worth your effort, accept that you've decided convenience is worth the cost.

In the UK at least, this is perfectly legal.

It used to be possible to catch retailers doing this in the olden days when prices were stickered on the products and new prices got stuck on over the old ones. But nowadays the price is marked on the shelf edge ticket and all the retailer has to do is change this one (and the computerised till).

Fun Fact. I used to work in a supermarket chain in England called Kwik-Save and, before the days of computerised tills, the checkout girls had to memorise the price of everything.

But we also have "The Price Marking Order" which says that the price you are going to pay MUST be clearly displayed beside the product without you having to ask someone what the price is.

Ameri-note: It's legal here too.

Yup, retailers can sell their goods for any price they choose, and can change the prices up or down as many times as they like. You see signs all the time where they've cut the price, and the old price is shown with a strike through it next to the new lower price. They don't make such a fanfare for price increases, but it's still perfectly legal.

Except in California ( I believe).

I worked retail in the late '80's and was told the reason all the prices were put on tags on the shelf is that's the way they had to do it in our stores in California and every body had to do the same.

And they have to sell it for the price on the shelf.


They are allowed to refuse to sell it to you at all, though, without having to give a reason.

This means that is a printer glitch marks a shelf-ticket for a TV at £1.99 instead of £199, they can simply refuse to sell it to you rather than have to suffer the loss.

Yes, that's been established in a few court cases, when it was clearly unreasonable. I think its trading standards call on "reasonableness". 

In the UK the consumer protection act, 1987 says traders mustn't display "misleading prices". You could report this to Trading Standards who might investigate,  if  it was a 'one-off' mistake they'd probably just let it lie on file.


You keep using the phrase "on the self".  On whose person is the item?