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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.


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