§16-303-6 Price comparisons.
§16-303-6 Price comparisons.
(a) Price comparison advertising is a form of advertising in which current prices are compared with former or future pricesor other stated values to demonstrate price reductions or cost savings. While price comparisons accurately reflecting market values in the trade area provide consumers with useful information in making value comparisons and market buying decisions, price comparisons based on arbitrary or inflated prices or values can only serve to deceive or mislead. The seller’s failure to disclose material information essential to consumer understanding of the price comparisons being made can also serve to deceive or mislead. It is the express intent of this section to insure that the reference price used in a price comparison is a figure which provides meaningful guidance to the consumer.
(b) It shall be an unfair or deceptive act or practice for any seller in any advertisement to make a price comparison:
(1) Which is not based on the seller’s regular price, future price, competitor’s price or a manufacturer’s suggested retail price; or
(2) Where the prices compared are not disclosed; or
(3) Of merchandise which differ in composition, grade or quality, style or design, model, name or brand, kind or variety, or service and performance characteristics, unless the general nature of the material differences is clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the advertisement with the price comparison.
(c) Seller’ future prices. A price comparison may be made by any seller based on the seller’s future price only if:
(1) The effective date of the future price increase is within ninety days after the price comparison is first stated in any advertisement or the effective date of the future price increase is disclosed in the advertisement;
(2) The future price increase takes effect as stated in the advertisement or, if not stated in the advertisement, within ninety days after the price comparison is first stated in the advertisement; and
(3) The merchandise is continuously offered at a price not less than the advertised future price for a reasonable period of time after the effective date of the price increase, except where compliance becomes impossible because of circumstances beyond the seller’s control, and the merchandise is displayed in a reasonable manner consistent with the display of merchandise of a similar type.
(d) Competitor’s prices. A price comparison may be based on a competitor’s price only if a substantial number of sellers in the trade area in which the price comparison is made are selling the merchandise at that price.
(e) Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices. A price comparison may be based on a manufacturer’s suggested retail price only if a substantial number of sellers in the trade area in which the price comparison is made are selling the merchandise at that price.
(f) Seller’s seasonal prices. A price comparison of merchandise of a seasonal nature in the seller’s place of business based on a price used during the immediately preceding selling season shall not be regulated by this section provided that it is not otherwise unfair or deceptive.
(g) Miscellaneous price comparisons. A price comparison shall be unfair or deceptive if it contains terms which state or suggest conditions which are not true. Examples of such unfair or deceptive price comparisons include:
(1) Advertising a price as wholesale when such advertised price is not a wholesale price.
(2) Representing prices to be factory prices when such prices are not the prices paid by persons purchasing directly from the factory. [Eff 6/19/81] (Auth: HRS §487-5) (Imp: HRS §§480-2, 487-5)