Henry Noye discusses deceptive pricing in The Washington Post

November 27, 2023

Henry Noye, a partner, and member of Obermayer’s Catastrophic Loss Group was quoted in The Washington Post on November 21, 2023, in connection with deceptive pricing – “A common, illegal tactic retailers use to lure consumers,” and has gotten some retailers in legal trouble for violating consumer guidelines. 

What is deceptive pricing?

Deceptive pricing is a tactic meant to trick shoppers into thinking they’re getting a better price than usual. This usually involves a retailer raising the price of a particular item for a short period, only to mark it down to the original price while marketing it as a limited-time, steep discount. Sometimes it’s more brazen, involving products never actually listed at the full price and only appearing with a supposed markdown.

Is deceptive pricing illegal?

Yes, but it’s complicated. The Federal Trade Commission has guidelines that make deceptive pricing illegal, but the regulator backed off enforcing them in the 1970s to let states take the lead.

“But it’s difficult for consumers to build their own case and prove harm. They’d have to document a retailer’s pricing of a specific product over a period of time and establish that it habitually engages in fictitious trade practices. These are usually done on a large-scale, class basis, or on behalf of consumers from a government standpoint,” said Henry Noye. 

Read the full article here