Make Mother’s Day memorable for all the right reasons

This announcement is for: 
  • Know your consumer rights before shopping for Mother’s Day gifts
  • Don’t be fooled by ‘was/now’ advertising, make sure discounts are genuine
  • Most gift cards have a minimum three year expiry date

Consumer Protection is reminding shoppers of their rights to help them find the best gift for Mother’s Day.

Executive Director for Consumer Protection Trish Blake is encouraging online or in-store shoppers to research their options before deciding to buy.

“Consumer research may involve exploring the internet, looking in catalogues, visiting different stores, talking to store attendants, checking reviews, and discussing your purchase with family and friends.” Ms Blake said.

“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.

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

Some traders use 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.

“While this is a legitimate way for traders 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 only been offered for sale at the higher price for a very short period of time,” Ms Blake said.

“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 know where they are buying from as well as delivery timeframes.

“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.

“If the gift is faulty, breaks down, doesn’t do what it is supposed to do or is just not what you ordered, you have rights and the trader must help rectify the issue. However, if you want to return the gift because mum doesn’t like it or you’ve changed your mind, then you aren’t automatically entitled to a refund and you will need to rely on the trader’s returns and refunds policy.”

General tips to keep in mind when shopping for Mother’s Day include:

  • always read the terms and conditions, especially regarding delivery timeframes and whether any cut off times apply for peak periods;
  • check the trader’s refund or returns policy and remember a change of mind does not entitle you to a refund under the law, so choose wisely;
  • keep documents such as your receipt and order confirmation;
  • shop around and compare items before committing to a purchase; and
  • ask friends and family for recommendations or do a quick online search for reviews before making a purchase, especially if you have never shopped with the trader previously.

If consumers have issues with goods or services purchased from a business, Consumer Protection encourages them to approach the trader in the first instance to try and resolve the matter.

If this is unsuccessful, a complaint can be lodged via the Consumer Protection website. Enquiries can be made by email or phone 1300 30 40 54.


Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 /  

Consumer Protection
Media release
26 Apr 2022

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