One thing I noticed in Massachusetts, it that there are price tags on items at the grocery store.
I didn’t really think much about it, but when I got home- I noticed that it wasn’t on all items, just some items. It was on items from Shaws (like in the picture above- which is where we get most things) and at Whole Foods. When I ordered groceries online, I didn’t notice it as much. When I got a few items from Target, I know that the cheese had a price tag on it. So what’s the deal with this?
I did some research and found that Massachusetts, along with Michigan are the only 2 states that require grocery stores to price tags on items (see here).
The Division of Standards regulates and monitors this, called Accurate Scanning and Pricing- and will fine stores $100.00 for any item that scans higher than the lowest advertised, marked or shelf tag price. Ok, so why are price tags required on only certain items? Exemptions, of course- it’s the government.
I pulled up the law (thanks to my 2010 summer Law class) and the exemption list is long, but here are some:
snack foods such as cakes, gum, candy, chips, and nuts if offered for sale individually, weigh less than three ounces, cost seventy-five cents or less, and are located at the checkout area;
gallons and half gallons of milk; eggs; frozen food products;
soft drink bottles and cans; provided, however, that items are fully and accurately price marked at their regular shelf location and the seller maintains a list of such items as required by section one hundred and eighty-four D;
While researching, I found a few articles about trying to get a bill passed that would allow grocery stores with price scanners within X number of feet to be exempt from pricing each item, as long as stores guarantee workers will not lose their jobs once scanners are installed.
It seems like a waste of time and money to me. But it is somewhat handy to see the price tags on items.