Regulator: Retailers must display past month's lowest price during sales

Sale being advertised at a shopping mall in Tallinn. Photo is illustrative.
Sale being advertised at a shopping mall in Tallinn. Photo is illustrative. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

To ensure that consumers are provided with truthful information on savings during sales, retailers in Estonia have been required since late May to display an item's lowest price from the last 30 days as well. The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) is verifying compliance with requirements by monitoring retailers' price info.

One problem identified thus far is marked down goods displaying alleged previous prices at which the goods in question had never been sold at that business, the TTJA said.

The consumer protection watchdog has launched proceedings against several businesses and requested clarification regarding the publishing of sales prices. It is likewise continuing to monitor businesses' sales campaigns and the display of sales prices.

The relationship between previous and sales prices is essential to consumers being able to understand the savings being offered by a particular business and to ensuring that consumers aren't misled by promised savings, the authority explained.

Thus, previous prices cited by retailers must be actual prices applied at a specific retail location and cannot merely be a marketing tool used to make a sale more attractive.

The TTJA likewise stressed that sales discounts must take the lowest price of the past 30 days into account. For example, if a business has sold the same product for €100 and for €110 within the past 30 days, sales discounts must be calculated based on the lowest price within that timeframe, which in the case of this example is €100.

Discounts advertised during sales campaigns must be calculated correctly at business locations as well, the watchdog continued.

For example, if a retailer advertises that all goods are 20 percent off every Monday in July, that means that on each successive Monday, the retailer must calculate the new sales price according to the lowest price of the past 30 days. This means that if an item cost €100 at the start of the campaign, then on the first Monday of July, it would be marked down to €80.

The following Monday, however, the percent off would be calculated based on €80 — the item's lowest price of the past 30 days — bringing the new sales price down to €64.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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