Researching your Buy Smart topic

Your project for the Buy Smart Competition will need to identify and explore an issue relating to shopping and money.

Remember these hints to make sure your project will really impress the judges.

Developing your entry

Our student entry kit can help you turn your idea into an excellent Buy Smart entry.

You will also need to put your effective research skills to good use.

Hint 1

Use Australian sources to research your issue. Websites from overseas may not accurately reflect consumer laws in Australia.

Hint 2

Entries should focus on giving advice for being an informed consumer.

For example, you might want to do an entry about Schoolies Week. Your advice could focus on buying online or advertising ‘tricks’ rather than, for instance, laws about supplying alcohol.

Hint 3

The links on this page are just a starting point!

Popular topic ideas

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Shopping around

When you go shopping—especially for something expensive—would you buy the first thing you see?

Make sure to research your options before you buy something. Search the internet, look in catalogues, visit different stores, talk to store attendants and discuss your purchase with family and friends.

Our tips for being an informed shopper.

Budgeting and saving

Clever consumers know how to get the most out of their money. This includes knowing how to save it and how to make spending priorities.

A budget is a great tool for keeping track of our income and expenses, and to plan for them into the future.

Think about ways to tell the difference between a need and a want. For example, how important is a product or a service going to be to your health, comfort or life goals?

Our tips for budgeting and saving.

MoneySmart tips for budgeting.

Shopping online

Buying stuff online can be a cheap and convenient option for you and the business. However, buying online can be risky.

Clever shoppers can reduce these risks by following some simple tips. For instance, only make payments on a secure website and always research the product, the business and the terms of sale before you confirm your purchase.

Our tips for shopping online.

Australian Cyber Security Centre tips for selling and shopping.

Avoiding scams

There’s no such thing as a foolproof ‘get rich quick’ scheme. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

There are many types of scams out there that your project can explore.

Keep yourself safe online and in the real world by always thinking carefully about offers, opportunities or demands.

Be especially careful about things that come unexpectedly and/or require an urgent response.

Our tips for scam protection.

Scamwatch tips for protecting yourself.

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Buying your first car

Buying your first car is an exciting but expensive time. You’ll have a lot to think about, particularly if buying a used car.

Make sure to take your time and think about what you really need, and about the best and safest options to avoid ending up with an expensive dud.

Our tips for buying a new or used car.

MoneySmart tips for buying your first car.

Dealing with returns and refunds

Refunds aren’t always an automatic right. Businesses don’t have to give you a refund if you change your mind, buy the wrong size or buy the wrong colour.

However, the law sets certain rights called consumer guarantees. A business must give you a refund, replacement or other remedy if their product or service fails to meet one of these guarantees.

Our tips about refunds and returns.

Buying and using a mobile device

While a lot of kids and teens already own and use their own mobile phones and/or tablet devices, many will have been signed for by their parents. There are important things to think about to avoid getting into trouble, especially when signing a contract.

Mobile phone plans can be confusing, some apps aren’t what they seem and getting your bill can bring an unexpected shock.

Our tips about mobile devices.

ACCC advice about internet and phones.

MoneySmart tips about mobile deals and plans.

Managing credit, debt and finance options

Credit and finance options can give you flexibility when buying products and services. Remember they are a kind of debt and always come with rules and requirements.

The best way to avoid trouble is to read all the terms and conditions, including details of fees and interest payments.

Our tips for credit and finance.

MoneySmart tips about credit and debt.

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