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Where could i find the relevant laws


seanl9103
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I know this has nothing to do with the police but hopfully someone can help me.

I have been away from work for a while and some of our items of stock has been miss priced. As we have so much stock, i can;t really check everything, untill a customer wants to buy it and i have to inform them that the price is wrong.

Normally when i tell them that the price is wrong they say that it's law that i have to sell them the item at the price is it marked up as.

They are normally quite horrible people to communicate with when this happens.

Could anyone point me in the right direction to the relevant peice of legislation . So i can protect myself when this happens again.

Thanks in advance.

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sale of goods act?

miss priced

She's Mrs Alex Reid now......

Edited by oddbod
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The legal position is that having an advertised price is simply an offer to tender for trade, and that there is no legal obligation on the proprietor to sell it at that price. This applies to genuine mistakes however I do know that shops that mess up like this regularly get warnings from Trading Standards for some reason or another.

The fact that you are knowingly advertising goods at incorrect price is a bit different. I don't think it necessarily means you are legally bound to sell at the lower price but it could be classed as misleading advertising etc.

Edited by adslegend
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You are categorically not legally bound to sell them anything, regardless of the price.

However, if you know the prices are wrong and you've still got the stock on the shelves, Trading Standards will not be happy with you. You need to check it and correct it, because you're falsely advertising those goods.

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the relevant case law is: Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd [1953] - it established that items on a shop shelf for sale were an invitation to treat and not a legally binding contract.

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I love it when consumers spot an honest mistake and expect you to sell them the latest £5000 TV for £50 because someone put the dot in the wrong place, usually followed by the classic line "I know my rights". Complete rubbish.

As mentioned above, the price is simply an 'invitation to treat' (in contract law terminology) which is simply inviting a prospective purchaser to make an offer for the item at which point it is up to the seller to either decline or accept that offer (as such shop keepers reserve the right to sell anything, such as alcohol or other products). The contract isn't formed until the offer is accepted, which is done by the shop not the consumer.

Therefore the consumer has no 'rights' to purchase a product simply because it's displayed at the wrong price.

I'm sure law_grad will be along shortly to give us the shakespearean version :p

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Not so Shakespearian, or is it :p

But more a round up of what’s been said and an extra addition:

In the first instant, and as per the comments by bensonby, the price is merely an invitation to treat…so it doesn’t obligate you to sell or contract at that price.

However, and as others have said, that doesn’t stop a potential customer taking umbrage at your failure to accept their offer, and going to Trading Standards or the OFT…that’s if the OFT still exists, as its combining into Trading Standards I believe. (But that said, and whichever body remains, they could potentially take action and ultimately seek to fine you for misleading consumers)

The addition that I would add, and depending upon the nature of your business, then it could be possible for a staff member or an automated system to accept that invitation to treat…thus creating a contract, where the consumer has paid but you serve up the goods by delivery later.

Example:

You sell large & bulky furniture and a Saturday staff member accepts the wrong price as payment, but the customer doesn’t take possession until you deliver that item…so although a contract of sale has been entered into, you still posses the goods.

Maybe, and this is a big maybe, then that contract could be considered voidable or avoidable…even though prima facie you have contracted.

This depends upon the nature of the pricing error, and as to whether it’s a “genuine mistake†and (paraphrased) of a nature that most people can see as an incorrect price.

This is best shown by example:

You are a furniture shop and the £5,000 leather luxury settee has a £5 price tag upon it…a situation that most people would see as being beyond the normal saving or special offer, and must be a mistake.

However, this “genuine mistake†isn’t so much a right but a defence from failure to fulfil a contract, and would assist in defending any claim by the other contracting party…should they attempt to use the courts to enforce the contract and have you surrender the goods as per original contract.

It’s also worth noting, that as it’s a defence, then if you were a future store that often ran “crazy mad price cut specials†and frequently sold settees at £5 a time, then evidence of that fact would assist the other party in their attempt at undermining the defence of “genuine mistakeâ€

As for the original mistake in mis-pricing, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as BristolSam's mate might say. B-):w00t:

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Basically (and leaving aside trading standards for a moment), if a shop is going to sell you the item (and it doesn't have to do that at all) it has to sell it at you at the incorrect low price. So if a sofa is £500 and accidentally priced at £300, if the shop decides to sell, it has to be at the £300. It can't suddenly demand £500 with no warning. The shop is within its rights to not sell, don't forget, and you are under no obligation to buy. If you get to the counter and the till says £500, you can walk away if the shop chooses not to honour the sale at that price.

However, don't forget all the press ads that have been run with genuine printing errors.

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Basically (and leaving aside trading standards for a moment), if a shop is going to sell you the item (and it doesn't have to do that at all) it has to sell it at you at the incorrect low price. So if a sofa is £500 and accidentally priced at £300, if the shop decides to sell, it has to be at the £300. It can't suddenly demand £500 with no warning. The shop is within its rights to not sell, don't forget, and you are under no obligation to buy. If you get to the counter and the till says £500, you can walk away if the shop chooses not to honour the sale at that price.

However, don't forget all the press ads that have been run with genuine printing errors.

This is not correct. There is no obligation to sell at the lower price.

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This is not correct. There is no obligation to sell at the lower price.

That's pretty much what David said. The shop doesn't have to sell it to you at the lower (incorrect) price, but you can walk away if they demand the correct (higher) price.

However, in practice (and this has happened to me*) most of the bigger chains will take it on the chin and sell it to you at the marked price. It is after all, their mistake. Though I'd imagine that someone will soon be given the job of re-pricing the items on the shelf.

*PC World. External hard drive, should have been £99, but marked at £65. I bought two w00t.gif

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That's pretty much what David said.

No it's not.

So if a sofa is £500 and accidentally priced at £300, if the shop decides to sell, it has to be at the £300.

This is simply not true.

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This is simply not true.

Well, ok, it's wrong if you want to split hairs.

If you get to the till with an item marked at £300 and the cashier asks for £500. You can say at that point "but it's marked at £300 and that's all I'm going to pay"

The shop then has the option of honoring the marked price (£300), or continuing to ask the till price (£500) for it. At which point you have the option of paying the £500 or walking away. (After speaking to a Manager I'd say, and trying to get them to accept the £300, fairs fair after all, that's (£300) what the shop have told you it's going to cost, and to then ask for £500 is a bit off. It's not your fault after all, if the shop seems unable to price its items correctly)

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At which point you have the option of paying the £500 or walking away.

Or you could haggle for somewhere in between. The principle is that the price isn't fixed until both the buyer and the seller agree it and a contract is formed.

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