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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default California Law When the Sticker Price Doesn't Match the Scanner's Price

    My question involves business law in the state of: California. I currently got a management job with a seasonal Halloween store in San Diego California. I'm having a issue with sticker price i need to put to rest. We use these small orange price stickers on our merchandise but scan the upc for price. Sometimes they come up differently.. if its a small difference.. big woop.. well give them the lower price.. but recently Ive been having problems with 150$ costumes getting to the register with 20$ dollar price tags and then the customer demands we give the sticker price because its illegal otherwise and they'll report us. I even had one guy threaten me over this matter. I talked to bbb and they said its only advertised price. but since the representative i talked to wasn't a lawyer i ask you. San Diego California sticker price final price? We are just a small privately owned business and this is gutting us. Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    6

    Default Re: California Law When the Sticker Price Doesn't Match the Scanner's Price

    You need to be careful, I am in management at a large retail store and the customer can cal weights and measurements on the store, at which point they will send someone out to investigate and the store could be fined. I wouild also recomend the store make sure the stickers used are not easily peeled off to be put on higher peiced merchandise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    28,650

    Default Re: California Law When the Sticker Price Doesn't Match the Scanner's Price

    Are you looking for this statute:
    Quote Quoting California B&P Code, 12024.2.
    (a) It is unlawful for any person, at the time of sale of a commodity, to do any of the following:
    (1) Charge an amount greater than the price, or to compute an amount greater than a true extension of a price per unit, that is then advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted for that commodity.

    (2) Charge an amount greater than the lowest price posted on the commodity itself or on a shelf tag that corresponds to the commodity, notwithstanding any limitation of the time period for which the posted price is in effect.
    (b) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by both, if the violation is willful or grossly negligent, or when the overcharge is more than one dollar ($1).

    (c) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) when the overcharge is one dollar ($1) or less.

    (d) As used in subdivisions (b) and (c), "overcharge" means the amount by which the charge for a commodity exceeds a price that is advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted to that consumer for that commodity at the time of sale.

    (e) Except as provided in subdivision (f), for purposes of this section, when more than one price for the same commodity is advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted, the person offering the commodity for sale shall charge the lowest of those prices.

    (f) Pricing may be subject to a condition of sale, such as membership in a retailer-sponsored club, the purchase of a minimum quantity, or the purchase of multiples of the same item, provided that the condition is conspicuously posted in the same location as the price.[/INDENT]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: California Law When the Sticker Price Doesn't Match the Scanner's Price

    so wait. Dumb this down.

    If somebody changes a sticker or if it is simply a misprinted sticker we not only have to sell them the merchandise at that price we must sell all duplicates of that merchandise at that price?
    Filing a police report and going to court sounds like way more time and money then its worth. Consumer protection leaves US with no protection.

    Can i use the old right to refuse service to anybody trick or am i just asking to get sued?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
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    Default Re: California Law When the Sticker Price Doesn't Match the Scanner's Price

    Quote Quoting singlemost
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    I'm having a issue with sticker price i need to put to rest. We use these small orange price stickers on our merchandise but scan the upc for price.
    And if the prices were entered into the system incorrectly, then that is the retailers error and they will have to sell the item at the tagged/advertised price!

    Quote Quoting singlemost
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    Sometimes they come up differently.. if its a small difference.. big woop.. well give them the lower price.. but recently Ive been having problems with 150$ costumes getting to the register with 20$ dollar price tags and then the customer demands we give the sticker price because its illegal otherwise and they'll report us.
    And rightfully so!

    Quote Quoting singlemost
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    I talked to bbb and they said its only advertised price.
    Not true... In fact, if it were a printed ad, you do have a certain level of protection as long as you run a retraction in the local newspapers (as long as it is run prior to the advertised price start date).

    IN other words, you advertise X item at $Y price, but an error is made and it is advertised at $Z price, then you can either run a retraction prior to the sale start date, or you would be required to sell it at the $Z price.

    Quote Quoting singlemost
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    San Diego California sticker price final price?
    Correct! Unless you're offering a lower price (example: X% off of sticker).

    Quote Quoting singlemost
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    We are just a small privately owned business and this is gutting us.
    Privately owned businesses or publicly held corporate retailers... The law applies equally.

    Quote Quoting singlemost
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    If somebody changes a sticker or if it is simply a misprinted sticker
    Those are two different isues:
    Somebody changes stickers: That is akin to "theft" (see California penal Code section 490.5(c)) and is generally treated as a misdemeanor (and at times, a felony depending on the cost of the item)... You can make a citizens arrest (see California penal Code section 490.5(f)), and/or call the police and report the matter to them. The law also has provisions that allow you to request that such a customer (who switched the tag) to pay you what is commonly referred to as a "civil demand" (again, see CPC 490.5(c) (link above))...

    And no, in this case, you don't have to sell them the item at the lower (switched) sticker price. Just keep in mind that if you do make such an accusation, then the burden to prove that the customer did in fact switch the tag is upon you; whether it be by showing a video tape of the customer doing the switch, the testimony (under oath) of a store employee... etc. So tread lightly and extremely carefully.

    A misprinted sticker: You're responsible for the error and therefore, that particular customer that chooses to buy that item (with the misprinted sticker) gets to buy it at the sticker price. Failure to do so, and assuming the customer chooses to report the matter to the Dept of Weights and Measures, can result in criminal charges (the misdemeanor referenced in aaron's post) pursuant to California B&P Code section 12024.2.

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    we not only have to sell them the merchandise at that price we must sell all duplicates of that merchandise at that price?
    Well, as long as the item is tagged at a specific price (and assuming it was your error) then YES, you have to sell it at that price.

    In other words, you, as the merchant, must be diligent enough to tag your merchandise at the correct price, otherwise, it comes out of your pocket!!!

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    Filing a police report and going to court sounds like way more time and money then its worth.
    Its part of doing business... If you don't think its worth the time and money, then don't do it; sell the item at the reduced price and move on to the next customer!

    Quote Quoting singlemost
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    Consumer protection leaves US with no protection.
    Actually, it works both ways... the level and details of protection that the law affords you as a retailer, is beyond the scope of what any one person can explain to you here. I would have assumed that for your employer to open and run a retail store, that they would have researched the matter and prepared themselves and their employees accordingly.

    Quote Quoting singlemost
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    Can i use the old right to refuse service to anybody trick or am i just asking to get sued?
    Well, in a sense, yes you can... Although by doing so, you are setting yourself up for a visit from the Dept of Weights and Measures if (more like "when") that upset customer whom you kicked out, decided to file a complaint!!!

    I concur with ladyhart that it would be in your best interest to ensure that the tags are easily switchable, but along with that, it is your responsibility to ensure that your merchandise is properly and correctly priced.

    Happy Halloween!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: California Law When the Sticker Price Doesn't Match the Scanner's Price

    Thank you for all your input. Very much appreciated.

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