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Simplify Pricing Regulations

Comment 10th July 2010

The regulations surrounding the pricing of retail goods should be simplified to the extent that only a single selling price can be shown. i.e. no "was", no "RRP" or "MRP", no "Buy one get one free", or any other similar gimmicks. Just one selling price per unit sold.

This would mean no price establishing by retailers is required. It means the general public would always get the best price without the confusion of trying to figure out what something actually costs. It means honest retailers don't lose out to dishonest retailers.

Why does this matter?

This is for the benefit of both the general public and for honest retailers and would make policing by Trading Standards/OFT manageable and simple.

The public far too often fool themselves by wanting to see what they are "saving" rather concentrating on what they are paying. The current system also requires honest retailers effectively to raise their prices for 28 days once every six months to "price establish" so that they can then show a "was" and "now". This means that at least 2 months of every year products are priced higher than they need and ought to be and higher than retailers are actually prepared to sell them for. That surely is not in the public interest.

Too many dishonest retailers, some large national brands possibly amongst them, ignore the current regulations to some or a large degree because they know that Trading Standards have very little time, and therefore ability, to police and enforce them. This totally simplified solution would make it clear and easy for TS/OFT to police.

The efforts to control alcohol binge drinking could also be helped by takling away the bulk buying encouragement of BOGOF and if it was combined with a ban on "happy hours" could seriously attack the time element of binge drinking.

Ultimately, it is also easier and cheaper for retailers to operate rather than than current system that encourages constant changes of prices and displays.

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