New Zealand Law Society - Commission highlights possibly illegal pricing practices

Commission highlights possibly illegal pricing practices

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The Commerce Commission has published an open letter to retailers which highlights pricing practices which might breach the law and offers guidance on how to avoid them.

It says complaints about pricing were the single biggest category of complaint received by the Commission last year, and currently pricing is a particular area of focus for the Commission’s compliance education and enforcement work.

The open letter has been published on the Commission’s website and is being distributed to several thousand New Zealand retailers via Retail NZ.

The letter includes a one-page summary document with tips for retailers to consider when planning price promotion. These include:

  • Ensure discounts are taken off the usual selling price.
  • Don’t use fine print to hide important information like extra charges.
  • A ‘sale’ is a brief and limited opportunity to buy at a reduced price.
  • ‘Clearance’ sales are only for clearing goods.
  • Do not exaggerate savings to be made or the range of goods available at a discounted price.
  • Be careful with claims like “lowest” and “cheapest” prices.
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