The Growing Significance of the European Pricing Indication Directive for Online Shops and Shoppers

The European Pricing Indication Directive has become more critical for online stores due to a recent increase in legal actions, such as warnings and lawsuits, related to non-compliance. This law is crucial for businesses selling to customers in the European Economic Area (EEA) and aims to promote transparent pricing and prevent misleading ads.


Shopping online has never been easier, and it’s a huge part of our lives now. But it’s not just about buying things – it’s also about being fair. This is where the European Pricing Indication Directive comes in. It’s a law that makes sure online prices are clear and honest. And if you’re an online store selling to Europe and offering deals, you need to know about it.

Don’t get it twisted. Not following this law can lead to big problems, including legal issues and hefty fines. Think 4% of yearly earnings or 2 million euros minimum. That’s a heavy hit to anyone’s pocket.

This blog post is all about why this directive is so important, how it helps shoppers, and what online stores can do to follow the rules.

The Math

Let’s look at a made-up company, “Company A”. They make 50 million euros a year, and their profit margin is 10%, so they get to keep 5 million. If they break the rules and get fined, they’ll have to pay 4% of their yearly income, or 2 million euros.

Remember, this is 2 million from their profits, not the total income. So that’s a whopping 40% of their profits gone (2 million out of 5 million). That can cause real damage to their business and future growth.

If we don’t know a company’s income, they still have to pay the 2 million euro fine. This could ruin a small business, eating up all their profits, or even forcing them into debt.

In short, these fines can hit companies hard because they come out of profits, not income. It’s a clear example of why it’s vital to stick to the rules.

Why This Directive Matters

Online stores need to know about the European Pricing Indication Directive. It’s becoming a big deal. It helps them avoid problems and keep their good reputation.

Shopping online can be confusing, with prices changing all the time. People want to know online stores are playing fair. If they don’t, they could face serious issues. This could mean huge financial losses, job cuts, or even having to close down.

Right now, many online stores aren’t following the rules. That’s why customers often win in court. It’s crucial for online stores to follow this directive. It keeps customers happy and helps avoid any legal trouble.

Shopify App to the Rescue

Navigating the online market can be complex, but our Shopify app can simplify it for you. Designed in collaboration with Europe’s highest-grossing online shop, our app offers a fully automated, user-friendly solution to help you comply with the European Pricing Indication Directive.

With our app, there’s no need for a developer. The process is fully automated, saving you time and trouble. It’s perfect for large inventories, optimized to manage and maintain pricing transparency efficiently and reliably.

For a small fee starting at $5 a month, less than the cost of a package delivery or a quick lunch, you could save yourself from a potential fine of up to 4% of your annual revenue – that’s likely to be between 20-40% of your profit in the e-commerce world.

If it works for Europe’s top online shop, it will work for you. Invest in our Shopify app and protect your profits, your reputation, and your peace of mind.


How Fines are Determined for Breaking the European Pricing Rules

In this section, we’ll explain how countries in Europe figure out the fines for businesses that don’t follow the rules about showing prices. These rules come from something called the Price Indication Directive (PID). The fines must be strong enough to make sure businesses take the rules seriously.

When deciding how much a fine should be, countries need to think about several things:

  1. How bad the rule-breaking was and how long it happened.
  2. What the business did to fix the problem and help customers.
  3. If the business has broken rules before.
  4. How much money the business made or saved by breaking the rule, if they know.
  5. If the business has been fined for the same thing in other countries, if they know.
  6. Any other things that make the rule-breaking worse or not as bad.

Sometimes, businesses might break rules from the PID and another set of rules called the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD). If that happens, they could face even bigger fines. The most a business could be fined is 4% of the money they made in the country that year. If the country doesn’t know how much money the business made, they can fine them at least 2 million euros.

The main goal of these fines is to make sure businesses follow the rules and treat customers fairly.

Tips for Retailer Compliance

To ensure compliance with the European Pricing Indication Directive, online retailers should:

  • Display the lowest price charged for a product within the last 30 days or more when announcing a price reduction
  • Accompany general price reduction announcements, like “20% off everything,” with the lowest price charged for each product within the last 30 days or more at the point of sale
  • Remember that the directive doesn’t apply to non-promotional price reductions, such as price fluctuations or personalized discounts

What the rules say about sales and discounts

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Article 6a of the Price Indication Directive (PID) focuses on making sure businesses are honest about price reductions. This means they can’t pretend a discount is bigger than it actually is or trick customers with fake “before” prices. These rules help customers know what they’re really saving.

Who do these rules apply to?

These rules apply to businesses selling physical goods, but not services or digital content. It doesn’t matter if they sell things in stores or online, or if they’re based inside or outside Europe. If they sell to customers in Europe, they need to follow these rules.

What businesses need to do when announcing discounts

When businesses have a sale or discount, they need to follow these rules:

  • They have to tell you what the old price was before the discount.
  • The old price must be the lowest price they had for at least 30 days before the sale.
  • Countries can have different rules for things that go bad or expire quickly.
  • For new products that have been out for less than 30 days, countries can choose to have shorter time periods.
  • If a store has more than one discount happening, they can use the price before any discount as the old price.

What the rules don’t apply to

The rules don’t apply to:

  • Price changes without announcing a discount.
  • Deals that give customers long-term benefits.
  • Special discounts for individual customers.
  • Claims like “best prices” or “lowest prices” without mentioning specific discounts.
  • Comparing prices with other businesses or bundled offers.
  • Progressive price reductions.


    “Progressive discounts” refer to a type of promotional pricing strategy where the discount increases over time or with the purchase of additional items. In some cases, the discount may increase as a customer buys more items, or it may increase over a specific time period. This encourages customers to buy more items or make repeat purchases to take advantage of the growing discount.

Who doesn’t have to follow these rules:

  1. Websites that just help businesses sell their stuff, like online marketplaces, or show prices from other sellers.
  2. “Cash-back” offers where another company, not the seller, promises to give some money back to the customer.

See what Cronum: Price Changes can do for you without any sneaky costs or unexpected shocks. Give our app a go for a whole 7 days, totally free, and watch your store skyrocket. If you’re not loving it, you won’t pay a cent. Don’t hang around – click here and kick off your free, risk-free trial today!

What’s allowed and not allowed with discounts:

  1. General discounts like “20% off everything today” or “20% off Christmas decorations this week” are allowed. The old price doesn’t have to be shown in the same place as the discount, but it should be shown where the item is being sold.
  2. The rules apply to discounts that are available to lots of customers, even if they seem personalized, like codes or loyalty programs.
  3. The rules don’t apply to sellers’ loyalty programs that allow customers to earn points for future purchases.
  4. The rules don’t apply to truly personalized discounts, like a “20% off” coupon given after shopping and valid until the end of the month.

Other important information:

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The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) also applies to other parts of price reductions that the PID doesn’t cover, like misleading information about price benefits.

Businesses can compare their prices to other businesses or the manufacturer’s recommended price. These practices are not covered by the PID but are still regulated by the UCPD.

Now you know the basics of how businesses in Europe need to follow rules when announcing sales and discounts. This helps keep pricing fair and transparent for everyone!


The European Pricing Indication Directive is increasingly important for both online retailers and consumers. As legal actions related to non-compliance continue to rise, businesses must prioritize adhering to the directive’s requirements to avoid potential fines and maintain consumer trust. By understanding the directive’s benefits for consumers and collaborating to promote compliance, both retailers and consumers can contribute to a more transparent and trustworthy online shopping experience.

Cronum: Price Changes - The Perfect App for Big and Pro Shops

The Cronum: Price Changes app helps big and professional Shopify stores follow the European Price Indication Directive and the Omnibus Directive. By using this app, you can protect your store from big fines, up to 4% of your yearly money made, while selling even more stuff! The app is super cool because it sets up on its own, has lots of language options, lets you change how it looks, and works super fast, even for stores with loads of products. It’s way better than other apps and you don’t need to know any computer stuff or have a programmer to use it.

Awesome Features:

  • No programmer needed: The app sets up by itself in under 5 minutes
  • Fun design options: Make the app look just how you want it to
  • It keeps track of price changes for everything in your store
  • Lots of languages: Your customers can shop in their own language
  • Super speedy: Works great for stores with lots and lots of products

Plus, you get a 7-day free trial to see if you like it. So, for the cost of shipping just one package, you can protect your store from fines up to 2 million Euros! Why wait any longer?

Legal Advice and Accuracy of Information

Please be aware that Cronum UG does not provide legal advice or engage in the practice of law. The information and content provided on our website, blog, or any other communication channel are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice.

Cronum UG makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of the information for any specific purpose. As a result, Cronum UG disclaims any liability or responsibility for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information provided.

We strongly recommend consulting with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided by Cronum UG. By using our website, blog, or any other communication channel, you acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for your actions and decisions, and that Cronum UG shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or consequences arising from the use of, or reliance upon, the information provided.

The European Pricing Indication Directive has become more critical for online stores due to a recent increase in legal actions, such as warnings and lawsuits, related to non-compliance. This law is crucial for businesses selling to customers in the European Economic Area (EEA) and aims to promote transparent pricing and prevent misleading ads.
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