There are guidelines to help you when you make price comparisons in special cases such as:
- on food, drink and perishable goods
- in distance selling contracts
- when you're making a series of reductions
Food, drink and perishable goods
Generally, the price you should use for any price comparison is your most recent price available for 28 days or more in a row. However, if you reduce an item of food or drink for quick sale because it's close to exceeding its shelf life, you can use a previous price that applied for a shorter period if this is reasonable in the circumstances. The price you use for the comparison should be the last price that the product was on sale at in the same outlet.
This also applies to perishable non-food items if they have a short shelf life - for example, less than six weeks.
If you only sell products through distance contracts so there's no face-to-face contact with your customers, you shouldn't make a price comparison with a previous price that wasn't your own last price.
You might sell the same products for different prices from different types of outlet - for example online and in your shop. If you compare one price with another that's available in a different outlet, you'll need to explain this clearly.
Making a series of reductions
If you advertise a price reduction and then offer further discounts, the first reduction may have applied for a shorter period than would generally be considered reasonable when compared to the original full price. Where this happens, you should make sure people can understand the reductions by showing the:
- highest price
- reduced price or prices
- current selling price
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- Health and safety basics for business
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services