Post Content


Black Friday is almost here! While looking through advertisements for the perfect deals, don’t forget the protections afforded to you as a consumer under Massachusetts Law. To help you prepare for this big shopping day, we’ve complied some important tips to keep in mind:

Shopping Terms You Should Know:

  • Warranty: All goods sold in Massachusetts have an implied warranty of merchantability. Goods must reasonably conform to an ordinary buyer’s expectation within a reasonable amount of time. If goods do not conform to this warranty, items are eligible for repair, refund, or replacement.
  • Layaway: Stores must disclose layaway plan policies, including cancellation and return (or non-return) of payments already made. Merchants cannot change the price of merchandise by increasing payments or by substituting lower priced items.
  • Rain Check: If a store runs out of an advertised item, it must allow you to buy the product at the advertised price once it is back in stock. Rain checks do not apply to limited items or if the product demand is more than the retailer expected. Stores may offer a comparable substitute for the out of stock item.
  • Sale: In order for the term “sale” to be used in an advertisement, the law requires savings to be at least 10% of items regularly priced $200 or less, and at least 5% for items over $200.

How to Shop Smartly and Save Money

  1. Research your potential purchases online prior to Black Friday, and create a shopping list. This may help you to avoid impulse buys when spotting a good deal.
  2. Plan your budget. A spending budget can help narrow your search. Be cautious of overspending!
  3. Save all your receipts. Remember there is no set law on return policies in Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to keep all receipts in case you want to return an item purchased on Black Friday.
  4. Utilize your credit card rewards. Cash back credit cards can help you save money on your purchases. Always check your spending limit and interest before using your reward cards.
  5. Compare and evaluate prices. Don’t rush to buy an item before researching a competitor’s price. Many retailers participate in price matching, it doesn’t hurt to ask a retailer to match the price from another store.


We hope you enjoy the beginning of this year’s holiday season with your family and friends celebrating Thanksgiving. And happy shopping!



If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs, and the MA Do Not Call Registry.


Written By:

Recent Posts

Beware of Coronavirus Scams posted on Mar 25

While schools and businesses are closed and everyone is practicing social distancing in an attempt to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), there is one group that is hard at work—scammers. Seeing an opportunity to take advantage in growing numbers, scammers are both resorting   …Continue Reading Beware of Coronavirus Scams

National Consumer Protection Week 2020 posted on Mar 2

National Consumer Protection Week 2020

Today marks the beginning of 23rd annual National Consumer Protection Week, a weeklong celebration of understanding consumer rights and making well-informed decisions about money championed by the Federal Trade Commissions’ (FTC). Educating consumers about fraud threats and other protection issues has become vital in recent   …Continue Reading National Consumer Protection Week 2020

Voting Early in Massachusetts: Here’s What You Need To Know posted on Feb 26

Voting Early in Massachusetts: Here’s What You Need To Know

For the first time in a Presidential Primary cycle, early voting will be made available to the citizens of Massachusetts, one week ahead of the Super Tuesday contests, where the Commonwealth’s pledged/bound delegates will be up for contention. Early Voting will take place this business   …Continue Reading Voting Early in Massachusetts: Here’s What You Need To Know