Criteria and prizes for the Buy Smart Competition

Buy Smart Competition

How your entry will be judged

We receive many Buy Smart entries every year, and our judges constantly tell us that the job of finding the winners is getting harder and harder.

We will award the following prizes this year:

  • first, second and third place in each of the 3 categories
  • up to 10 highly commended awards, spread across all categories
  • the Commissioner’s School Champion prize for a school, group or club that does great work supporting the Buy Smart Competition and its goals.

We also reward great entries that just miss out with a certificate of distinction.

The 3 categories are:

  • Years 4 to 6
  • Years 7 to 9
  • Years 10 to 12.

To decide who gets a prize, we use the following judging criteria.

Identification and response

  • Has the entry identified an Office of Fair Trading consumer issue?
  • Does the entry give the audience relevant background information to understand why the identified topic is a consumer issue?
  • Does the entry offer tips or solutions on how to overcome the identified consumer issue?


  • Is the entry effective in delivering its message?
  • Is the topic relevant to the target audience?
  • Are the language, format and design easily understood?

Creativity and presentation

  • Does the entry represent the issue in a creative and memorable way?
  • Is it well presented, including correct spelling and grammar?

Download the student entry kit for handy tips on developing your entry and details on how to enter.

What you can win

By entering the Buy Smart Competition, you could win up to $500 for yourself and $2,000 for your school, group or club.

Check out the full list of prizes in the table below.

Award type

Prize for entrant/group

Prize for school/club

1st place (in each category)



2nd place (in each category)



3rd place (in each category)



Highly commended (Max. 10 awarded across whole competition)


School Champion


If you enter as part of a group, we will divide your prize money equally between all members. A group can have a maximum of 4 members.

What will you do with your money if you win a prize?

We love to hear how past winners have spent their Buy Smart Competition prize money.

Here are some examples of how winning schools and students have spent their share of prizes:

  • Year 9 winner Chloe put her winnings towards a new mobile phone.
  • Year 5 winner Grace put her winnings in the bank, as she said the competition taught her to save her money.
  • A regional high school bought a new set of cameras to use in its senior IT classes and to start a photography club.
  • A Brisbane state primary school bought a 3D printer as a resource for its students to use.