Shopping for holiday deals? State officials say make a list, check it twice

MADISON -- Holiday promotions have kicked off at retailers throughout Wisconsin and the one-day deals and doorbusters are on their way. To help keep track of all of the deals and sale-specific terms, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) asks shoppers to pay close attention to the details of this season’s online and in-store promotions.

Over the holiday shopping season, most retailers will have different store hours, product inventories, and return policies than usual. Some discounts are only offered in stores while others may require the use of a retailer’s website or mobile apps. To minimize confusion and help set realistic expectations, shoppers should review the details in advertisements so they know about these limitations before they head out for a shopping spree.

Some tips to remember when you are shopping for deals this holiday season include:

    Wisconsin law requires stores to charge their lowest advertised price for a product and to refund any overcharge, so it is important for consumers to keep an eye on the prices at the register or in the online shopping cart. Take note: special pricing may only apply to specific products, so make sure that you have the correct item, color, and model name or number before you start to checkout. Speak up if you believe that an item did not register at its advertised price.

    If you are charged the wrong price on an item and the business will not correct the error, file a complaint with DATCP’s Weights and Measures Bureau, visit, send an e-mail to, or call 608-224-4942.