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Sale Price Tags: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the importance of price tags in the retail business?

A.

Inform: Price tags inform the customer about the price or sale price of an item. It may also contain product information like product name, name of the producer, weight or capacity, barcode/EAN.

Clears confusion: Tags provide the same information to everybody in a manner that there is no confusion.

Encourage Sales: Having clear prices on items leads to transparency and thus encourages customers to purchase items. Bold ‘sale tags’ can make the product seem even more attractive.

Organize: Price Tags help retailers segregate items with the same prices together and organize merchandise according to their prices so that it is easy to show items to customers.

Q. Is there a price tag law in America?

A.

No, there is no federal price tag law in America. However, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, at least 19 states and 2 territories have some sort of unit-pricing laws for retailers. 

Under the guidelines, unit prices can be displayed either with a separate Price Tag on the shelf or on the same tag as the package price.


In New York, for example, “all consumer commodities shall have conspicuously displayed, at the point of exposure or offering for sale, the total selling price exclusive of tax by means of (a) a stamp, tag or label attached to the item or (b) by a sign at the point of display which indicates the item to which the price refers, provided that this information is plainly visible at the point of display for sale of the items so indicated.”

Q. How to prepare for a garage sale?

A.

You can prepare for a garage sale or a yard sale in the following easy steps -

  • - Get organized

Group like items together. Create different departments for sellable goods like collectibles, tools, furniture, sporting goods, decor, linens, kitchen electronics, books, toys, and framed photos.

  • - Display merchandise

Use a clothing rack or horizontal ladder to display clothes. Shoppers like things at eye level. Make sure most of your items are placed high enough for a good touch-and-feel experience. Your garage sale shoppers will appreciate not having to bend up and down. Therefore use tables for displaying. If you do have to put some items on the ground, be sure to put a tarp, plastic painting sheets, blankets, or bed sheets down first.

  • - Use signs and tags

Advertise your sale with signs and direct shoppers to the sale with the help of arrows. Also, label your products with appropriate Sale Price Tags.

  • - Keep prices in check

Selling items at low prices would ensure smooth clearance rather than selling items at a high price. A good rule of thumb for garage sales is to price each item for about 20 percent of what you paid for it. For example, if you bought an item for $5, consider selling it for $1 or less at the garage sale.

  • - Provide entertainment

Provide a comfortable shopping experience for shoppers. If it's a hot day, have fans going and sell bottled water. Play light music in the background — make a playlist of songs that people can hum. Have something to do while people shop, like reading a magazine. Greet people and be friendly, but don’t watch them shop. This can make them nervous.

Q. What are the benefits of color-coding with sale price tags?

A.

Color-coded tags can help stores manage inventory by their price range or clearance sale. For example - items above $500 can be labeled with a green tag while those below $500 can be labeled with Blue Price Tag. Items can be identified with a bright color for maximum attention. Color-coding of merchandise can also be done according to the department or year of manufacture. Individual groups of color-coded items may be sorted by department, year of manufacture, or product type. Rather than having a jumble of different items, matching the color of the tags can save time and avoid confusion while searching and identifying items. Color-coded merchandise tags help you manage inventory efficiently and quickly because it requires just visual inspection.

Q. Are clearance tags the same as sale tags?

A.

Although used interchangeably most of the time, clearance tags and sale tags do have a difference. A “sale” is thrown to attract customers to the store with discounted prices on either selected items or the entire range.

On the other hand, “clearance” helps you sell unwanted inventory to make room for new items. Clearance is also a type of sale that is organized because the product is not selling well or that the retailer is shutting the store because of relocation, fire, over-ordering, or loss. 

Sale tags are put on items that are still popular among customers, whereas Clearance Tags are placed on items that are most likely seasonal and/or outdated.

Q. Is it legal to display one sale price and charge another?

A.

Although there is no federal law related to this, the Federal Trade Commission calls a fantastic advertised offer that is later told is a mistake, “bait-and-switch” scheme, also referred to as "bait advertising,” which is illegal.

Laws against false or deceptive advertising require an intent to deceive by the advertiser. If a company can prove that an advertised price was simply a mistake, then it's not false advertising. But still, promoting one sale price and charging something else degrades the image of the seller.


States like California do have some business and professional codes regarding displaying incorrect pricing. It says that if you find a pricing error at your local store in California, they have to give it to you. If they don’t, they’re breaking the law.

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