LawRefs Customized Legal Information
Attorney Renee C. Walsh


The Scanner Law Still Exists!

What’s the main difference in the new scanner law and the old scanner law?

  • How the price is advertised.  Sellers can now display the price in the store at the place where the item is located.  Individually marked items are no longer required.

The new law is called the Shopping Reform and Modernization Act.  (The old law was called the Pricing and Advertising of Consumer Items Act.)  Both of the laws are commonly referred to as the “SCANNER LAW”.

 What are the exceptions?

The scanner law does not apply to:

a) Items sold by weight or volume which are not in a package or container;
b) items sold in a coin-operated vending machine;
c) prepared food intended for immediate consumption;
d) items purchased by mail or through a catalog, or which are not otherwise visible for inspection, if the price of the item is on the consumer’s written order or the bill/invoice;
e) unpackaged food items;
f) items which have a total weight of not more than 3 ounces, a total volume of not more than 3 cubic inches, and a total price of not more than 30 cents;
g) live plants;
h) live animals;
i) motor vehicles;
j) motor vehicle parts;
k) packages of 20 or fewer cigarettes;
l) greeting cards sold individually which have a readable coded price on the back of the card;
m) merchandise ordered by a consumer as a gift to be sent directly to the recipient.

If a scanner is used to charge you more than the price displayed and you have a receipt, then you get the bonus.

Once you complete your transaction notify the seller of the overcharge and request your bonus.  You do not have to do this in writing.  You do have to do this within 30 days.  Remember who you talk to and what is said.


What must the seller do?



The BONUS = 10 x the difference (min $1.00, max $5.00)

If the seller doesn’t pay, recover actual damages or $250.00, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney fees up to $300.00.

Contact me! I’ll help you get your $250 (or actual damages) and they’ll pay my fee!

Key requirements to success at getting $250:

  • Price on display
  • You have receipt
  • You notify store within 30 days
  • Store does not pay bonus within 2 days
  • You have photograph of advertising/display
  • You gave them (or tried to give them) your contact information


  1. Doreen M. says:

    I went to Whole Foods about 2 months ago and I was charged more than the displayed amount. When I went to customer service, I was able to get the difference plus the bonus. HOWEVER, just today I went to a local supermarket, purchased 3 electronic cigarettes and was charged $2 more than the displayed amount. I went to the manager and asked if the scanner applied to electronic cigarettes. I was advised that the Michigan Scanner law no longer exist, so I was only refunded the $2 difference, totaling $6.36 refund. Telling me it doesn’t apply to the electronic cigarette is one thing, but to flat out say the law no longer exist is another, and I believe a flat out LIE!! I advised I just recently redeemed the bonus at Whole Food didn’t matter, I was pretty much dismissed. Please advise.

    • Dear Doreen M.:

      The Scanner Law still exists and packs of cigarettes are applicable. Lying to you is an addition violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

  2. I went Costco and bought pants, originally priced at $18.99 and on sale for $9. I paid $18.99; not $9. I went to costumer service. They give me just a difference $10. My teacher said Michigan has a law for this.

    • Dear Mayumi:

      If you were at a Costco in Michigan, then the ‘Scanner Law’ applies and it sounds like you should have received a $5.00 bonus.

  3. Shelli B. says:

    I went to Lowe’s and bought some caps and bolts and stuff for fences. I bought a multi-pack of bolts and was charged $5 +. I told the cashier I swore I saw $4 + on the shelf tag. I told her I would then go look. She suggested I take a picture of it and go to the service desk. I did. They only gave me the difference and said to bounty law is gone. This is the second time Lowe’s has done this. It would help the consumer if they had to give money for their mistake.