Monday, August 19th, 2019

No flat screen TV for you


Black Friday is almost upon us. Retailers are already advertising specials on the internet, and there are websites dedicated to finding the best deals. Unfortunately for Wisconsinites, the best deals may be over the border in Illinois because of Wisconsin’s minimum mark-up law, still in effect. In an article I wrote for the MacIver Institute, our friend Chris discovered the hard way the cost of the minimum mark-up law:

Chris was scouring the internet advertisements for pre-Black Friday deals when he came across a 42″ LCD TV at Wal-Mart for $498. Chris thought Christmas came early, loaded the family up in the car, and went to Wal-Mart to take advantage of the “in-store” special.

Unfortunately for Chris, he did not notice that the online advertisement said, “Prices and availability may vary in AK, HI, OK and WI.”

At Wal-Mart, the clerk told Chris they could not honor the sale price because of Wisconsin’s minimum mark-up law. The bargain television Chris was hoping to buy shot up in price from $498 to around $650. Chris decided to pass on the new television.

Chris was out a bargain on the new television. Wal-Mart was out the sale of the television. The state of Wisconsin was out the sales tax. Miller Park did not get the sales tax revenue, either. Everyone lost, and Chris’ children will be watching Frosty the Snowman on an old television with a tuning knob. I’m not sure if it even gets UHF.

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