Do retailers have to honor prices they accidentally advertise?

Each week we’ll break down, demystify and demystify your rights as a buyer in Australia. This week, we’re looking at whether retailers should honor prices they may have advertised in error.

We all know that life is getting more expensive than ever and how important it is to maximize every dollar you earn.

That’s why each week we’ll answer a question about what shoppers are – and aren’t – entitled to when dealing with retailers and manufacturers.

Sometimes a too-good-to-be-true price is displayed on a product – but does that mean the store has to honor it? (New)

I read your column and I have a question about prices. I was recently at a major retailer when I saw a golf bag that had the amazing price tag of just $6! The bag’s original price tag read $350, but a yellow sticker had been affixed to it with the new $6.

There was a sign nearby that also said $350 for these bags. I asked the store manager and there was a lot of talk, but in the end they reluctantly agreed to sell it to me for $6.

I was wondering: do retailers have to respect the prices they advertise? Even if it was a temporary error?

Basically, retailers must stick to the prices they advertise. But there may be some wiggle room.

There is no way for consumers like you and me to know if a price was set in “error”.

Companies have the option to withdraw the product if a serious error on the part of an employee has occurred. (Getty)

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), if a business displays multiple prices for the same product, it must remove the product and repair the display or advertisement.

“If you choose an item or service that has multiple different prices displayed or advertised, and the business cannot remove the product or service from sale and correct the error, you have the right to purchase it at the lowest,” recommends the watchdog.

So, in theory, companies have the ability to withdraw the product if a serious error on the part of an employee has occurred.

If they can’t, well, they have to sell it to you for what they advertised it for.

Retail shoppers at Bondi Junction Westfields. Story about Are Shoppers Returning to Retail After Stimulus Package. Coronavirus. April 26, 2020. Photo: Edwina Pickles/SMH (Edwina Pickles)

The ACCC says there are certain exceptions to this rule, such as “where the advertisement indicates that prices vary in different regions, where a price is entirely hidden by another price, a unit price is displayed, or a price is displayed in a foreign currency”. “.

I think you scored well with the golf bag, but often it’s on a case-by-case basis.

Do you have a consumer question you want answered? You can get in touch with journalist Stuart Marsh at [email protected].

The information provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website, you should consider the suitability of the information to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

About Cedric Lloyd

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