Pricing



Introduction
In the USA traders are free to choose the price at which they wish to sell goods or services. This means the price for the same thing can be different from shop to shop. But this doesn't mean that there are no laws about prices. Check out the pricing pointers below.


Bargaining
Although bargaining is not common in the USA, it is legal.
It is more common to ask a trader for a discount. We often ask for a discount on expensive goods when we pay cash or buy more than one item at the same time, eg a TV and a video recorder.

If you ask, some traders will lower their price to match the price of another trader selling the same thing. Before you ask, find out the lowest price at which other traders are selling the goods.
This is useful if you want to buy from a certain trader because they offer a free service such as a service checkup eg, a free adjustment of brakes and gears six weeks after you buy a bicycle.


Rounding prices
One and two cent coins are no longer in circulation but their value still remains. This means that a trader can still offer goods for sale at $1.99. The method by which some goods are sold (by weight or measure) also means that prices may not necessarily end in 0 or 5.
The price you actually have to pay for these goods depends on how you pay.


If paying in cash
If you are paying cash, the trader can round the price up or down to the nearest 5 or 10 cent value. One method that is commonly used it to round down prices ending in 1,2 to 0 and 6,7 to 5 and round up prices ending in 3,4 to 5 and 8,9 to 0. But the trader should be consistent in applying whatever rounding policy is used.
eg, for an item marked $1.99, traders can charge either $1.95 or $2.00.


If paying by check, credit card, or EFTPOS
The trader cannot round the price. This is because these methods of payment allow you to pay the exact price.


Fees for payment by check or EFTPOS

check fees
Traders can charge you a "check fee" provided that you are told verbally or in writing (eg a sign) about the fee before you buy the goods.

EFTPOS
Traders can charge customers paying by EFTPOS a fee provided that you are told verbally or in writing (eg, a clear sign) about the fee before you buy the goods - eg, on the petrol pump by the EFTPOS sign.
Charging service fees for using EFTPOS for withdrawing cash is not common practice, but some traders do.
We recommend that traders place a prominent sign that customers can see before they make the decision to use EFTPOS - eg, at the counter, or on a petrol pump.


'Wholesale price' and 'retail price'
The wholesale price is the price the retailer pays the manufacturer or the distributor for the goods. The retailer usually adds a 'mark-up' or extra cost to cover their expenses and profit. The retail price includes the mark-up and is the price at which the retailer sells the goods to you.


'Recommended Retail Price'
This is a price suggested by the manufacturer or the distributor. The trader doesn't have to sell at the 'recommended retail price' or RRP. In a competitive market goods may never sell at RRP.