The new Commerce Law, recently submitted by the Serbian government to the National Assembly for adoption, stipulates stricter rules and forms of shop discounts and sales.
The law defines what is a sale and what a seasonal sale (or seasonal price discount). It stipulates that seasonal sales out of season can occur up to twice a year, in the period between 25th December and 10th January and between 1st and 15th July, for a maximum of 60 days.
Under the new legal provisions, the sale at a price lower than the previously stated prices should not last more than 31 days.
Shops that have a sale that lasts no longer than three days do not have to indicate the previous price, but the percentage of the discount must be clear.
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In the case of sales, the trader or service provider is obliged to clearly indicate both the reduced price and the previous price at the point of sale.
Shops are also obliged to separate the goods being sold at the discounted prices from the goods being sold at the normal price. From the beginning of the sale until the closing, the shop must not order and include in the sale a new quantity of goods.
The word “sale” in Serbia is often very casually used and it usually indicates goods that are no longer going to be sold, or at least not by that shop, at lower prices. However, retail inspectors have noticed that, after a few days of the sale, shops start selling the discounted product again at the normal price. This often leads consumers making wrong purchasing decisions hence, there was a need to specify the basic forms of sale and specific rules for each of them.
Under the new law, it will be prohibited to advertise for sales of goods in a small quantity, behind which is a clear intention to attract customers to buy other goods, unless the quantity available on the day of the sale is clearly indicated.
When advertising a discount percentage, the maximum discount percentage may be indicated if it relates to at least one-fifth of the goods in the range in each store.
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