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Rules when door-to-door selling

You can sell your products or services directly to your customers by going door-to-door. If you do, they have extra rights because it is you who made contact (‘solicits’) with them, rather than when a customer comes to your shop or visits your website.

We call door-to-door sales and telemarketing sales 'unsolicited consumer agreements'.

An agreement is unsolicited when:

  • you or your agent approaches a consumer without their invitation. This is usually at their home but it can also happen in public places like the common area of a shopping centre.
  • the sale or agreement involves a cost of more than $100, or has an unknown price.

In a dispute, it is up to you to prove that the consumer solicited an agreement.

Door-to-door sellers must obey clear rules around:

  • contact hours
  • disclosure (what you need to say)
  • written agreements
  • cooling-off period
  • supplying goods or asking for payment.

Door-to-door sellers must not approach any residence displaying a do-not-knock notice. This could be a sticker or a sign at the entry point of the property or near the front door.

The rules

Contact hours

You or your salespeople must not contact consumers:

  • on a Sunday or public holiday
  • before 9 am or after 6 pm on a weekday
  • before 9 am or after 5 pm on a Saturday.

These hours apply to all door-to-door sales, even if the agreement is worth less than $100.

Disclosure (what you need to say)

You or your salesperson must:

  • explain upfront the purpose of your visit
  • produce your identification
  • tell the consumer that they can ask you to leave at any time
  • leave the premises if they ask you to do so
  • explain the customers cooling-off rights
  • give a written copy of the agreement
  • provide your contact details in the agreement.

Written agreements

If you enter into an agreement, you or your salesperson must give the customer a written copy of the agreement. This must:

Cooling-off period

The customer has 10 business days to change their mind on a contract. During this time they can cancel without penalty. This is called a cooling-off period.

If you break the rules set out on this page, the customer may be able to cancel the contract without penalty up to 6 months after entering into the agreement.

Supplying goods or asking for payment

During the cooling-off period, you must not:

  • supply goods, except for those valued under $500
  • supply any services, regardless of value
  • take any payment or deposit, even if you have supplied the goods.

If you supply the goods during the cooling-off period, the customer does not own the goods. If the customer cancels the agreement during the cooling-off period, they must:

  • keep the goods in good condition
  • make them reasonably available for the business to collect.

The goods become unsolicited goods. This means you must collect them from the consumer within 30 days. Otherwise the consumer can keep them free of charge.

Energy suppliers

Energy suppliers must follow a strict code of conduct for the electricity industry.

Information about the code is available through the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Queensland.

Emergency situations

The cooling-off period does not apply for emergency repairs. This is only for when the federal or state government have declared a state of emergency.

It can only be about fixing:

  • a hazard or potential hazard
  • a health and safety risk
  • a risk of serious damage to your property.

For example, a builder may offer to fix a roof after a cyclone. However, they still need a current Queensland or Commonwealth licence (such as a builder’s or contractor’s licence).

All other rules still apply.