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Price Verification FAQs

Please contact your individual State's Weights and Measures authority. A current list of State Weights and Measures Directors and associated offices is provided here

Yes. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has jurisdiction over most advertising and pricing practices. Importantly, all States also have laws or regulations for price verification that prohibit inaccurate or deceptive advertising and pricing practices.

Yes. Pricing laws and regulations can vary by state, so it is important to understand the pricing laws and regulations of any state in which you do business.  See U.S. Pricing Laws and Regulations by listing state for more information.

In general, the weights and measures authority in each state is considered the enforcement agency granted the authority and power to ensure adherence to their pricing laws and regulations.  For specific information and/or questions pertinent to each state, please see the list of State Weights and Measures Directors for contact information. 

The Examination Procedure for Price Verification (EPPV) is an inspection procedure that provides State or Federal regulatory officials and other interested parties with the test procedures and recommended enforcement practices to monitor and evaluate the pricing practices of any store.

In 1993, NIST (as a non-regulatory agency) cooperated with the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) to develop the Examination Procedure for Price Verification (EPPV) to respond to public concerns about price accuracy. The EPPV was adopted by the NCWM in 1995 and is published in NIST Handbook 130, “Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Engine Fuel Quality”. 

The EPPV utilizes "randomized" and "stratified" sampling plans that evaluate products throughout a store to determine how well the store is maintaining price accuracy. The EPPV establishes procedures for comparing the price at which products are advertised or displayed to the price charged during the check-out procedure. These procedures may be used with any type of check-out process, from manual entry by the cashier to automated scanner systems.

Consumers want to be confident that the price at which a product is advertised or displayed is the price they will be charged in their commercial transactions. The EPPV was developed as a test procedure that regulatory officials and other parties may use to help ensure that consumers are charged the correct price for items they purchase.

Yes. The EPPV can be used in any retail store that offers and sells products, including (but not limited to) grocery, hardware, general merchandise, drug, automotive supply, convenience, and warehouse club stores.

No. The EPPV is an inspection procedure. The results of an inspection conducted using the EPPV must be evaluated for compliance with State or Federal laws and regulations.

No. However, many State weights and measures programs have adopted the EPPV for use in their inspections and the FTC utilized the EPPV in several nationwide studies of price accuracy in 1996 and 1998. See the 1998 FTC report on the Accuracy of Checkout Scanner Prices for historical information. 

NIST is a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. As such, OWM is unable to investigate any matters related to EPPV. If you have a complaint and/or inquiry, you may contact your State Weights and Measures program for assistance. Please see the list of State Directors for more information. 

Presently, OWM is partnering with the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) to conduct a 2024 National Price Verification Survey using the EPPV. The results of the survey are intended to inform consumer groups and assist retailers in improving pricing action plans. More information will be made available in the Fall of 2024.


Yes, but with some considerations. Under the EPPV, a store "fails" an inspection when more than 2 % of the product prices verified are advertised or displayed at a price that is different from that charged. These pricing errors may be either over-charges or under-charges and are not always against the consumer. The 2 % error rate is a guide to assist regulatory officials in evaluating the overall quality of a store's pricing practices. Depending on the type and pattern of errors found, regulatory agencies can take enforcement action against a store, even if it has an error rate under 2 %.

No. It is unlawful in all States to advertise a price that is not accurate. It would be incorrect to interpret the EPPV to mean that stores are allowed to have 2 % of their products incorrectly priced. Federal law also prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce." The error rate in the EPPV is only a guideline to help regulatory officials evaluate whether a store has good pricing practices and must not be interpreted to mean that any error is "acceptable" or that errors do not need to be corrected immediately after they are identified.

If a store passes inspection under the EPPV, then this indicates that at the time of inspection, at least 98 % of the product prices advertised or displayed were verified to be the same price charged during the check-out process.

The EPPV is published within the current edition of NIST Handbook 130, which is available via the OWM Publications and Documentary Standards page.

Created June 27, 2023, Updated May 10, 2024