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Home > Craft Topics > Regulations > Price Marking

Price Marking of Goods for Retail sale

The following information is for guidance only. For further information, please contact your local Trading Standards Service.

 

The Order applies to products only and is limited to sales between traders and consumers. It does not apply to services or products supplied in the course of the provision of a service. The Order also does not apply to sales by auction or sales of works of art or antiques.

 

What does the Order require?

 

Where goods are offered for retail sale, the selling price and, where appropriate, the unit price (e.g. 65p per 100 grammes) must be given to consumers in writing (including prices in catalogues, shops and online).

 

How should price indications be given?

 

When selling to the general public, all pricing information must be CLEARLY LEGIBLE, UNAMBIGUOUS, EASILY IDENTIFIABLE AND INCLUSIVE OF VAT AND ANY ADDITIONAL TAXES.

Pricing information must be given close to the product; or with distance contracts (e.g. online or mail order sales) and advertisements, close to a picture or written description of the product. In relation to sales by telephone, price indications must be clearly audible and linked to the subject of the transaction.

Prices can be shown:

*         on goods themselves;

*         on a ticket or notice near to the goods; or

*         grouped together with other prices on a list or catalogue(s) in close proximity to the goods. If counter catalogues are used, there should be sufficient copies for consumers to refer to.

Pricing information must be available, i.e. clearly visible, to consumers without them having to ask for assistance in order to see it.

 

Legibility refers to a consumer with normal sight. Traders must also comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and take account of the special needs of the elderly and disabled groups. Traders are encouraged to take account of the Royal National Institute for the Blind’s Clear Print Guidelines, for further information visit the RNIB website.

Goods which are kept out of sight of the consumer are exempt from price marking until an indication is given that they are for sale.

 

What about goods in shop windows?

 

Items displayed for sale in a shop window must display pricing information as per the requirements above. Exceptions to this are jewellery, precious metal or watches - where the individual selling price is more than £3,000 - which need not bear pricing information in close proximity to the item, i.e. in the window. The pricing information must still, however, be given elsewhere, e.g. by means of a price list in store.

Window displays, which do not contain products that are removed and sold to consumers, may be regarded as being purely promotional, and they will fall within the definition of 'advertisement' and be exempt. Traders are advised to contact their local Trading Standards Service for guidance on this matter.

 

Can price indications be in a foreign currency?

 

If a trader indicates that he is willing to accept foreign currency for the purchase of a product, in addition to the required price indications in sterling he must also:

*         give the price in the foreign currency together with any commission to be charged; or

*         clearly give the conversion rate together with the commission to be charged; and

*         indicate that these do not apply to transactions via a payment card for a non sterling account.

What about VAT and other charges?

 

All price indications which can be seen by consumers must include VAT and any other compulsory charges or taxes. Postage, packing or delivery charges may be shown separately as long as they are unambiguous, easily identifiable and clearly legible.

If the rate or application of VAT or any other tax changes:

*         General notices in store may be used for up to 14 days after the change takes effect, indicating that prices will be adjusted at the till to reflect the change in tax.

*         Catalogues and sales literature may continue to be distributed providing:

* a label is attached indicating prices will be adjusted to reflect the change, and

* there is sufficient information to allow adjusted prices to be established, or

* a supplement accompanies the catalogue/sales literature which enables consumers to establish the selling price.

What are the unit pricing requirements?

 

A unit price must be given when products are as follows:

*         sold loose from bulk (e.g. fruit and vegetables, meat and fish), or

*         required by the Weights & Measures Act 1985 to be marked with an indication of quantity or to be made up in a prescribed quantity (e.g. jam). A summary of the requirements under Weights & Measures legislation is given at Annex B.

A unit price must be given in adverts only where the selling price of a product is indicated.

The unit price for most products is the price per kilogram, litre, metre, square metre, or cubic metre and the unit ‘one’ for goods sold by number. Certain items, identified in Annex A, are exempt from this requirement and the unit price should be given for an alternative quantity (e.g. price per 100g for sweets). Similar products should use the same unit for unit pricing purposes to allow consumers to readily compare prices between them.

For solid food products in a liquid medium (i.e. water, brine, vinegar, syrups and fruit or vegetable juice) the unit price should refer to the net drained weight of the product.

Traders can give the imperial equivalent unit price, provided the metric unit price is given greater prominence and the imperial equivalent equates to the metric price.

Where the unit price falls below £1 it must be given to the nearest 0.1p. If it is above £1 it may be given to the nearest 1p or 0.1p.

The following do not require an indication of selling price:

*         Advertisements (this exemption does not apply to catalogues, or to advertisements which are intended to encourage distance contracts e.g. via the internet, or mail order adverts in newspapers).

*         Products sold loose from bulk (these will require unit pricing - selling price refers to the final price payable for a given quantity of a product).

The following do not require an indication of the unit price:

*         Advertisements by radio, television, cinema or in a small shop*.

*         Products which have had the price reduced due to damage or danger of deterioration.

*         An assortment of different items sold in a single package.

*         Products whose unit price would be 0.0p by virtue of the rounding provisions.

*         Where the items selling price is equal to its unit price.

*         Products prepacked in a constant quantity and bread made up in a prescribed quantity which are either sold :

*         from a small shop;*

*         by a mobile trader (e.g. selling from a stall, barrow etc); or

*         from a vending machine.

      *         Shops with a floor area or display not exceeding 280m² (note you may be required to produce evidence of this).

 

Promotions


Promotional offers should be unit priced to reflect the single standard product.

Retailers may give additional information if they wish, i.e. the reduced unit price if purchasing a multibuy offer may be shown, as long as it is clear to which products it relates.
Limited period promotions, which relate to individual products (e.g. 10% extra free), may retain the unit price of the standard product for the period of the offer. Retailers may give additional information if they wish - e.g. they may show the unit prices of both the standard and promotional products but they must be absolutely clear to which products they relate.


Special provisions relating to precious metals:

 

In the case of products where the selling price varies from day to day according to the price of the precious metals contained in them, the requirement to indicate the selling price may be complied with by indicating:

1. the weight, type and standard of fineness of each precious metal contained in the product with a clearly legible and prominent notice stating the price per unit of weight for each of these; and

2. any element of the selling price which is not referable to weight.

 

Annex A

 

Relevant units of quantity for specific products for the purpose of the definition of "unit price"

 

Product

Units

Herbs

10 g

Spices

10 g

Flavouring essences

10 ml

Food colourings

10 ml

Pickles

100 g

Sauces, edible oils

100 ml

Fresh processed salad

100 g

Ready to eat desserts

100g/ml

Cream and non-dairy alternatives to cream

100 ml

Bread (except where sold by no.)

100 g

Biscuits and shortbread (except where sold by no.)

100 g

Pies, pasties, sausage rolls, puddings and flans indicating net quantity (except where sold by no.)

100 g

Cooked or ready to eat fish, seafood and crustacea

100g

Cooked or ready to eat meat including game and poultry

100g

Dips and spreads excluding edible fats

100g

Ice cream and frozen desserts

100 g/ml

Preserves including honey

100 g

Soups

100 g

Fruit juices, soft drinks

100 ml

Coffee

100 g/ml

Tea and other beverages  prepared with liquid

100 g

Confectionery

100 g

Potato crisps and similar products commonly known as snack foods

100 g

Breakfast cereal products (except where required to be quantity marked by no.)

100 g

Wines, sparkling wine, liqueur wine, fortified wine

75 cl

Waters, including spa waters and aerated waters

100ml

Dry sauce mixes

100 g

Lubricating oils other than oils for internal combustion engines

100 ml

Seeds other than pea, bean, grass and wild bird seeds

10 g

Make-up products (except where sold by no.)

10 g/ml

Cosmetic products other than make-up products

100 g/ml

Handrolling and pipe tobacco

100 g

Coal, where sold by the kilogram

50 kg

Ballast, where sold by the kilogram

1,000 kg

 

Annex B

 

Non-exclusive list of products subject to quantity marking and unit pricing

 

Any package that carries an ‘e-mark’ has to be marked with quantity (in terms of weight or volume).

Most packaged food and drink is required to be marked with quantity.

The main non-food products which are required to carry quantity marking by weight volume (or sometimes by weight or volume) are as follows (subject to certain exemptions):

*         Construction products (including sand and other ballast, hard–core and aggregates, ready-mixed cement mortar, ready-mixed concrete, Portland cement);

*         decorating products (including paints, enamels and lacquers, paint solvents, paint strippers and thinners, varnishes and similar products, wood preservative, rust remover, petrifying fluid);

*         fuel/oil and car products (including liquid fuel, lubricating oil, mixtures of fuel/oil, lubricating grease and anti-freeze);

*         solid fuel products (coal, coke and solid fuels derived from these);

*         agricultural products (including agricultural liming materials, pre-packed fertilisers, inorganic fertilisers, liquid fertilisers, seeds and rolled oats);

*         aerosol dispensers;

*         cleaning and products (including household soap, detergents, conditioners and rinse aids, bleaches, cleaning and scouring powders, polishes and similar products, disinfectants);

*         cosmetics (including perfumes, soap, talcum powder, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorants);

*         household pet and bird foods;

*         knitting and rug yarns;

*         tobacco for pipes and for cigarettes rolled by hand or by use of a device operated only by hand; and

*         various multi-packs and many-item packs containing a quantity of the same product are also required to be quantity marked.

The following are required to be marked with number:

*         Cheroots, cigarettes, and cigars.

*         Postal stationery (paper or cards for use in correspondence) and envelopes.

*         Nails (or by weight).

The following have to be marked by length:

*         Bias binding, elastic, ribbon, tape and sewing thread.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

 

Failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence.

 

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