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Massachusetts law about shopping and returns

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources on the law of shopping and returns by the Trial Court Law Libraries.

Table of Contents

Best bets

A Massachusetts consumer guide to shopping rights, Office of Consumer Affairs. 
Explains laws that protect consumers so that you can make informed decisions about your purchases.  

Retail rights, Mass. Attorney General.
Everything you need to know about shopping in Massachusetts, including Advertising, Warranting, Refunds, Repairs, Cooling-Off Periods, Mail Order, Lay Away, Gift Cards and more. This is the place to start with your shopping question. Also available in Spanish and Portuguese.

Laws and regulations


Cash Purchases

Cooling Off Periods

Gift Certificates and Gift Cards

  • MGL c.255D, s.1 Gift certificate defined
  • MGL c.93, s.14S Store credits must be valid at least 7 years
  • MGL c.200A, s.5D Gift cards must be valid at least 7 years; Dates must be clearly indicated
  • 12 CFR 205 "Restricts... dormancy, inactivity, or service fees for certain prepaid products, primarily gift cards" and "prohibits the sale or issuance of such products if they have an expiration date of less than five years."


Item Pricing

Rain Checks



Unsolicited Merchandise


Web sources

Massachusetts Blue Laws, Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development
Includes links to the the laws themselves, as well as an overview, which explains the rules for opening on Sundays and holidays

Shopping 101 , Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs
Links to blog posts by the Office of Consumer Affairs on topics related to shopping and returns.

Consumer education and resources, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs
Consumers have rights. Whether you are purchasing a used car, remodeling your kitchen, or returning a sweater, you are entitled to certain benefits, information, and protections.

Print sources

Consumer law, 3rd ed. (Mass. Practice Series vol. 35 - 36A), 2010 with supplement. 

  • Advertising – chapter 2
  • Miscellaneous products or services – chapter 30
  • Retail Practice – Chapter 3
  • Warranties – Chapter 6



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: May 24, 2018