Don’t get caught out in the frenzy of sales season
- Online sale season kicks off in November with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale events.
- Consumers are reminded to check delivery timeframes, read terms and conditions and understand your rights.
- Do your research, read reviews and shop around rather than impulse buying during sales.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning Queensland consumers to be alert for scams and know their consumer rights when bagging a bargain and buying gifts during the end of year shopping season.
Ahead of major retail events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day sales, shoppers should know they have automatic rights under Australian Consumer Law – no matter if they buy online or in store.
If you buy a product or a service in Australia and it is not what was advertised or isn’t delivered in a reasonable time, you may be eligible for a repair, replacement, or refund. These rights still apply even if an item is on sale.
While these important laws protect Queenslanders when a buy goes bad, there are handy tips people can remember to avoid a slip up on their shopping spree.
When shopping online:
- do your research and read reviews to be sure the website is reputable and safe to use
- read the terms and conditions before you click ‘pay’ so you understand the returns policy and how complaints are handled
- remember, while you’re not automatically entitled to a refund if you change your mind, some businesses will offer this to provide good customer service – if this option is important to you, check their refund policy.
- check Christmas delivery cut-off dates.
- find out if the item is being shipped from Australia or overseas.
- be aware that it may be more difficult to get a refund or replacement from an international business if something goes wrong.
More than $9 million was lost by Australians to online shopping scams in 2022 according to the National Anti-Scam Centre. Beware of online shopping scams during major sales events that lure excited customers with fake limited time only deals. Keep away from suspicious websites or text links and be careful of very cheap high-end products and ads on marketplaces.
For more information on your rights as a consumer and tips on how to shop smart visit https://www.qld.gov.au/law/fair-trading.
Quotes attributable to the Fair Trading Commissioner Victoria Thomson:
“If you’re going to be joining in on the sale frenzy in the lead up to Christmas, be sure you know what you’re buying and who you’re buying from.
“With cost of living pressures, the chance to grab some bargains may be a good option but do a little research first, especially if you’re buying online.
“Major sales events are a chance for scammers to prey on excited shoppers looking for a deal. So be careful.”