In what has become affectionately known as "Prime Day," today kicks off a 48 hour long event on Amazon, where members of Amazon's Prime subscription service can snag deals on products across a number of categories. We'll leave you to hunt down your own deals today, but in the spirit of sales, here are a few things to think about when marketing your own sales and price comparisons:
- Pay attention to the FTC's Deceptive Pricing Guides. As we've highlighted on our blog before, these Guides lay down some rules of the road for things like price comparisons and MSRP based offers.
- And don't forget about the FTC's Guide Concerning the Use of the Word "Free" and Similar Representations as well ( also covered on our blog), which deal with BOGO offers, use of the term "free" and more.
- Pay close attention to state and local laws in this area. Many states, including some big ones like California, have specific and restrictive statutes governing deceptive price advertisements.
- If you're advertising a new lower price for a product (either in comparison to your own former price, or to a competitor's), you should have the proper basis for the comparison. Depending on both FTC, state and local requirements, this can involve asking a variety of questions, including: How long was that former price offered? To whom was it offered? In what trade area?
- When making price comparisons, make sure you're comparing analogous products, rather than making improper "apples to oranges" comparisons without appropriate disclosures.
- If you're promoting savings up to a certain point (e.g. "up to 50% off!"), make sure enough consumers will be able to take advantage of the highest discount stated (and note the differing FTC and self-regulatory guidance on claims like this, as well as varying applicable state laws).
- Don't leave your products on sale for too long. Once an item has been on sale for awhile, an advertiser may have the burden of substantiating that their "sale" price has not, in fact, become the new bona fide price of the item.
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