MacIver News Minute: Alexa Finds Amazon Shoppers Illegal Deals Thanks To Minimum Markup Law

July 17, 2018

For yet another year, shoppers around the globe will rush to Amazon for Prime Day, the online retail giant’s annual day of deals. Unfortunately for shoppers in Wisconsin, it’s also a day of crime thanks to our state’s antiquated minimum markup law.

The minimum markup law, also known as the Unfair Sales Act, is a relic of the Great Depression that effectively outlaws low prices. The law requires that alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel are marked up 3 percent at the wholesale level, 6 percent at the retail level for alcohol and tobacco, and 9.18 percent at the retail level for motor fuel. It also forbids retailers from selling most other products below cost.

That means many of the millions of ridiculously good deals on Amazon Prime Day – or “Amazon Crime Day” as it’s known in Wisconsin – are actually illegally cheap.

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