Wrong price displayed

What if a shop displays one price but charges a higher price – can you pay the lower price?By law, shops must display the correct price and ensure it is not misleading. This means that the price shown must be the same as the price charged at the checkout. The same also applies to prices displayed for goods on websites.

Special offers and sale prices

When a shop offers a discount or lower sale price, the price should be correct and not misleading in any way.

If the price advertised is not honoured by the business and you are asked to pay a higher price, you do not have an automatic right to buy the item at the special offer or sale price. As long as the shop or business tells you before you pay that the higher price applies, you have the option to either buy it at the higher price or decide not to. However, the shop or business may be in breach of consumer law in relation to misleading advertising.


You see a pair of shoes in a shop with a price tag of €39.99. However when you go to the till to pay for the shoes, the shop assistant tells you that price is wrong and the actual price is €49.99. Are you entitled to the shoes at the lower price?


The price displayed should match the price at the till. However, if you are told the correct price before buying the shoes, you are not entitled to buy them at the lower price. You have the option to buy the shoes at the higher price or decide not to.

Rules for using the original price in promotions

When running price promotions or ‘special offers’, it’s against the law for shops to give a false or misleading previous price.

For example, if the shop crosses out one price and replaces it with another lower price, the goods must have been on sale in that shop (or a large number of shops, in the case of a chain) at that original price for a reasonable time.

What is regarded ‘a reasonable time’ is not set out in law. The CCPC’s view is that the product should only be advertised as a discounted price (e.g. “Was /Now” ) for the same amount of time as it was available at the original higher price.

A dress has been for sale in a shop at €100 for four weeks. In the sale, the price of the dress is reduced to €75. It should only be advertised at the reduced price for four weeks – which is the same amount of time it was on sale for the previous price of €100.

If a chain or a business with more than one shop advertises goods at a certain price, that price should apply in all its shops where the goods are sold – unless the advertisement makes it clear that the price applies in certain shops only.

Did you know?
  • If the packaging on goods says that they are part of a multipack and are ‘not to be sold separately’ and the shop sells them separately, this is not a breach of consumer law.
  • This is only a recommendation from the manufacturer. However, you could complain to the manufacturer of the goods about the shop, as they are not acting in the spirit of the offer made by the manufacturer.



Last updated on 12 September 2019