Buyers beware when bagging an online bargain this sales season

Published Tuesday, 22 November, 2022 at 02:30 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Consumers are prepping for major upcoming Christmas and new year sales events – but Queenslanders should stay informed about their rights and know who they are dealing with when shopping online.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman, said many shoppers are looking forward to the big sales events coming up during the peak shopping season but that it’s crucial that consumers do their research when shopping online.

“With the increasing pressure from rising cost of living, it’s never been more important to make smart shopping choices”,  the Attorney said.

“Major sale events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday have shoppers chasing a bargain but sometimes those rushing to grab a bargain can be caught out by impulse purchases.

“For online sales, consumers should read reviews from other shoppers and take a careful look into the products and services on offer prior to purchasing to ensure that they are really getting a bargain.

“Don’t forget to check if a business will offer a remedy under their returns policy for change of mind purchases, because businesses don’t automatically have to give a refund if you simply no longer want the item, or you selected the wrong size or colour.”

The Attorney said consumers are changing the way they shop, with a lot more shifting to buying online or through businesses on social media, including traders based overseas.

“Check you are dealing with an Australian business when shopping online by looking for an Australian business number (ABN), physical address and contact details listed on their website,” she said.

“If you buy from an online business based overseas, it could be more difficult to resolve issues if something goes wrong.

“There can also be further unforeseen delays in delivery with products coming from overseas.

“As online shopping becomes more accessible, especially amongst young consumers, there is also an increased risk of falling victim to fake websites and scams.

“That’s why it’s so important that consumers understand their consumer rights and responsibilities from a young age.

“Recently, we awarded students for their entries in this year’s Buy Smart Competition, that helped educate the community on consumer rights, how to recognise and avoid scams, and how to be smart with money.”

The Attorney-General wanted to remind Queenslanders that their consumer rights still apply if shopping online so if the product is faulty, or it doesn’t match the description given, they are entitled to a refund, replacement or repair.

“Your consumer rights apply regardless of whether an item was on sale or full price,”  she said.

Keep an eye on OFT’s social media for more shopping tips this festive season. For more information on consumer rights and tips for shopping online visit the OFT’s website.  


Media contact: Phoenix Campbell 0439 949 719