Key terms for your Buy Smart project

Buy Smart Competition

This page lists the key terms you may come across as you research your project for the Buy Smart Competition.

These meanings are general and provided to help you with your Buy Smart project; they are not the legislative definitions.

A | B | C | D | E | F | I | N | P | R | S | T | W

  • Australian Consumer Law (ACL)

    The national consumer protection and fair trading law that governs the way businesses can operate and sets out their obligations to consumers. The ACL is enforced in Queensland law through the Fair Trading Act 1989.

  • Book up

    An informal short-term credit arrangement offered by stores and traders, allowing for a consumer to receive products now and to pay for them later. This type of arrangement is usually more popular in the rural and regional areas of Australia.

    See also: Finance Plan

  • Budget

    A document to help you plan your finances by recording details of your income, expenditure and saving goals.

    Also: the act of making this kind of plan.

  • Business

    A person or organisation that regularly offers products or services in exchange for money or other commercial gains.

  • Buy now pay later

    An online payment method that allows a consumer to pay for a purchase through interest-free instalments for a set period after receiving them. If the product is not paid off in the set period, then interest, fees and charges are payable.

  • Consumer

    A person who buys a product or service to use in their private life (rather than to sell through their business).

  • Consumer guarantees

    A group of rights contained in the Australian Consumer Law that apply whenever consumers buy a product or service in Australia. These rights protect your interests if you buy a product or service that does not do what it is meant to do.

  • Consumer rights

    A way of looking after consumer entitlements to be treated with fairness and honesty when they buy products or services. In Australia, this is made through legislation such as the Australian Consumer Law.

  • Contract (plan)

    An agreement, usually in writing, with details about a transaction (such as paying money to receive a service). It is important to read and understand them, especially if there is no opportunity to negotiate the terms and conditions.

  • Credit

    A system that lets people pay for products or services by borrowing money and paying it back over time, often with interest or fees. It can include a bank loan, using a credit card, or in-store finance options.

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  • Debt

    An amount of money owed by one party to another, such as money owed on a loan. Too much debt can cause serious financial trouble.

  • Expenditure (spending)

    An amount of money owed by one party to another (e.g. money owed on a loan). Too much debt can cause serious financial trouble.

  • Fault (failure)

    A type of problem that would cause a product or service to fail to meet a consumer guarantee.

  • Fee

    A single payment made for a service. This might include a payment associated with a system of credit and debt.

  • Finance plan (in-store finance)

    A system put in place for managing payments—such as by paying in regular instalments—after you have agreed to purchase on credit and have accepted the product or received the service.

    See also: Book up

  • Financial capability (financial literacy)

    A person’s ability to work with and understand money.

  • Income

    The money that a person earns or receives (e.g. from having a job or receiving pocket money). This money can be added up and recorded in your budget.

  • Interest

    An amount of money paid by one party to another, usually in regular instalments. For example, the extra amount that a consumer pays when repaying a loan or the amount a bank pays to a consumer on a savings account. This is usually shown as a percentage.

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  • Needs

    Products or services that contribute to a person’s survival.  Food, clothing and shelter are humans’ primary needs. Depending on a person’s circumstances, other things may be classified as ‘needs’. For example, things associated with education, like uniforms and school books for people aged between 5 and 18 are needs; or a phone for a person with a medical condition is a need.

  • Products (goods)

    A physical item (including something in a digital format) that somebody can buy. Examples might include groceries, clothes and even pets.

  • Refund

    Money repaid to a customer (in part or in full) after they return a product or are not satisfied with a service.

  • Remedy

    A solution that a business might provide to fix a customer’s problem. This may include a refund, repair, replacement or repeat service.

  • Returns policy

    A set of conditions that a business uses to decide when, why and how they will allow customers to return unwanted products. If a store has a returns policy, they must still follow the Australian Consumer Law.

  • Savings

    The amount of money a person has left over from their income once they have paid their expenses.

  • Scam

    A scheme designed to make money by dishonest methods, such as tricking people into handing over money, bank details or personal information.

  • Secure payment

    A way of paying money online that offers higher levels of protection against fraud as well as options for disputing a transaction. Some examples include credit cards and reputable third-party payment services (such as PayPal).

  • Secure webpage

    A type of webpage with extra levels of security encryption for people to handle money or other sensitive data (such as personal information). A secure webpage starts with ‘https://’ and/or features the symbol of a closed padlock.

    Note: some web browsers hide the 'http://' or 'https://' as a default option.

  • Service

    A task, activity or specialised advice that a person or a business offers for payment. Some examples might include plumbing, babysitting or tutoring sessions.

  • Shopping

    The act of obtaining products or services in exchange for money. This could be done in a store, online or in any other way.

  • Terms and conditions

    The details in a contract or agreement that each party must agree to and obey. Sometimes, like with a mobile phone plan, a consumer cannot negotiate and must accept them in full (often called ‘standard form’ contracts). It’s important to read and understand the details of terms and conditions before accepting them.

  • Wants

    Products or services that people buy to satisfy their interests or to entertain themselves. Some examples might include games, junk food or movie tickets.

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