We are currently working on improving an online e-commerce website, and recently we bumped into the issue of adding an explanatory legend that had not previously been requested.

There's a product listing and each product comes with individual characteristics like shown in the picture:

alt text

We already use tooltips to show some aditional information about the product, so that's not the solution. We also know it is not a good practice to link explanations with asterisks.

What needs to be done is to add the legend 'Tax included', but it doesn't fit anywhere without affecting the current layout.

I can't really put it next to the price (although it would seem like I can) because this site also sells for SouthAmerican countries and their prices go up to 7 digits, which gives me almost no room for it (appears too tightened).

Any ideas?

4 Answers 4


I suggest a small icon to the right of your price. There is plenty of room and it won't look too squished - even with 7+ digits. You could have one for +Tax, but I don't think it's needed since there are only two options and you probably want to put the no tax in evidence over the taxable. alt text

If still this is too much for your layout, another really simple option is to change the color of the price and to explain the difference somewhere else on the page, ideally on top of the search results so the eye will browse over it right away.


I've noticed that words are often more effective than icons and legends.

How about you just write next to the sum (incl. tax) or (+ tax) when relevant?

  • I forgot to mention we have prices that go up to 7 digits, since this site works for south america and their prices appear that way because of the value of their coin. I can't really put it there.
    – Pam Rdz
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 20:08

Right beneath the price in parentheses and a slightly smaller font (tax included) or (plus tax).


Is tax included with all items? If so, place the message at the end and beginning of the shopping process (a special message on the home page and on the shopping cart).

Also, I'd be concerned that a user may wonder what the price of the item is without tax (abandon the site by googling). So again, it may be better to message it after the decision to move forward(purchase) has been made.

  • That is an interesting insight. The user profiles we have don't suggest that kind of behavior because they normally just check the price and buy, since they are in a tight schedule due to the special deals they get for buying before a specified deadline. Still, we hadn't really considered this.
    – Pam Rdz
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 3:07

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