2024 NCWM National Price Verification Survey

2024 NCWM National Price Verification Survey

  • Report on the 2024 NCWM National Price Verification Survey Report: Download Here


The NCWM in collaboration with NIST and state and county Weights and Measures jurisdictions conducted a national survey on price verification. The purpose of a national survey for price verification is to determine compliance rates in retail establishments throughout the country using the Examination Procedure for Price Verification as contained in NIST Handbook 130 Uniform Laws and Regulations, 2023 Edition as the standard. The survey also gathered statistical information on types of retail stores and the range of errors found.

Twenty-six U.S. states and 20 local (county and city) jurisdictions participated by performing inspections and submitting the data. Types of retail stores were divided into categories to allow for comparisons of results among store types. This detail is available in the final report.

The survey results assist in providing information to the retail industry, consumer groups, Weights and Measures compliance programs and other stakeholders to educate and inform the various parties on the issues of pricing accuracy in retail stores. The various groups can use the information for specific purposes.

For example:

    • Retailers may use the information as a catalyst for creating pricing improvement action plans and staff training.
    • Consumer groups may use the information to educate shoppers that errors can exist in the marketplace and how to address this at the store level when errors are found.
    • Enforcement programs may use the information to better allocate inspection resources based on store types and to highlight the issue of pricing accuracy with their administrators.
    • The NCWM can use this survey to heighten the awareness of pricing issues and to communicate why pricing integrity matters as well as the role the NCWM has in equity in the marketplace.


The retail trade industry is a significant part of the US economy.

    • Retail trade contributed 5.8% to U.S GDP in Q4 2022 (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
    • Total U.S retail sales for Q2 2023 were estimated at $1,798.2 billion (U.S. Census Bureau)
    • Total U.S retail sales for Q2 2023 have increased 0.6% on the same period in 2022 (U.S. Census Bureau)
    • There are 1,069,010 private retail establishments in the U.S, as of Q4 2022 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    • There are 15.5 million retail employees on payroll in the U.S, as of July 2023 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Source: Retail Statistics 2023 [Latest Figures] | Retail Dogma

While there has been a notable growth in ecommerce, the majority of consumers continue to rely on brick-and-mortar establishments to purchase consumer goods.

As consumers continue to frequent retail establishments, the issue of good pricing practices and pricing accuracy has been and continues to be of importance to both those consumers and competing retailers. When inaccurate pricing occurs, consumers can be left to pay more than the price stated at the time of purchase. This can be defined as a misrepresentation of price, as consumers are overcharged for goods, and is a violation of Weights & Measures Laws around the country. In addition, retailers who spend time and resources on adequate staffing and training for employees to follow good pricing practices are at a competitive economic disadvantage when competing retailers are not investing resources to do the same. This can lead to situations where equity in the marketplace between businesses is not present.

Weights & Measures jurisdictions conduct inspections of retail locations to check for pricing accuracy. During 2022 and 2023, comments and reports from many jurisdictions reported significant issues with pricing accuracy, indicating a lack of good pricing practices in many retail stores.

Much information being reported during that time was general in nature, with little documentation or statistics available. The national survey on price verification provides randomized documented statistics regarding pricing accuracy. It also provides sector-specific information about where improvements can be made and where the industry may be following good pricing practices.