New rules against scamming shoppers

Internet traders and high street shops will soon face large fines if they attempt to con consumers with fake bargains and fake prices.

The Office of Fair Trading estimates that every year shoppers are robbed of billions due to the use of many psychological tricks that trick people into believing that they are getting a great sale on an item and other similar underhanded tricks.

One such tactic is known as bait sales which are when shoppers are tempted to head to the stores for one great reduction on a well known product only to find out that it is sold out.  This tactic is used since most customers will end up purchasing another item while at the store for full price in its place.

The tactic drip pricing is one that is used by many airlines which offer one low headline price for a flight but then the price is quickly jacked up by extras that you have to pay for such as carryon luggage, seat room, air line specific fees etc.

In addition, stores will not be able to hang up signs advertising savings of ‘up 75% or said amount’ unless they truly do have sales inside that are real.  In addition, sales that reflect a large savings against a made up retail value will no longer be allowed.

The OFT is warning retailers that if they choose to ignore the new set of regulations they will face harsh prosecution and fines.

In an effort to determine its new set of regulations against false advertising, the OFT carried out a large study that looked at human behaviour and the effects of sales psychology on consumers.  The study showed that sales tricks often impact the way people choose to purchase goods adding up to billions of wasted pounds.