26 September 2023

Mother’s Day shoppers urged to take care

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Consumer Protection is reminding shoppers of their rights while they search for the best gifts for Mother’s Day due next Sunday week, 8 May.

The Agency said it was encouraging online and in-store shoppers to research their options before deciding to buy.

Executive Director for Consumer Protection, Trish Blake said the research might involve exploring the internet, looking in catalogues, visiting different stores, talking to store attendants, checking reviews, and discussing the purchase with family and friends.

“Gift cards are very popular on Mother’s Day for those mums who say they don’t need anything, and consumers can take comfort from the fact that most gift cards must have a minimum three-year expiry period with the end date clearly displayed on the card,” Ms Blake said.

“When buying a more expensive item, it’s a good idea to take some time to check and compare pricing, especially for jewellery,” she said.

She said some traders used a marketing technique called Was/Now Pricing, stating that an item’s price has been reduced.

“This type of marketing can make people rush a purchase because they think it’s a bargain,” Ms Blake said.

“While this is a legitimate way for traders to advertise, it is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law if the trader quotes a ‘was’ price that has never been offered before, or if it had been offered for sale at the higher price only for a very short time.”

She urged consumers to always check a trader’s returns and refund policy if not 100 per cent sure about a gift.

“If buying online, consumers should make sure they knew where they were buying from as well as delivery time-frames.

“A little research before committing to purchasing can go a long way, and no one wants their mum to miss out on their Mother’s Day gift arriving,” Ms Blake said.

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