Tips for Mother’s Day shopping

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Expired gift cards, faulty products and late deliveries are just a few examples of what can go wrong while shopping for a gift for Mother’s Day on Sunday 10 May 2015.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe has some advice on common issues that gift buyers often encounter.

“Gift cards for services like day spas or other personal services are increasingly popular Mother’s Day gifts, but it is important to remember they usually come with terms and conditions that limit how and when your Mum can spend them,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Your Mum should treat and protect gift cards as if they were cash, because if they are lost, they usually can’t be redeemed or replaced. Make sure you check the expiry date and any limits on value or number of transactions and pass this information on to your mother.

“The gift card should be used as soon as possible as there is a risk that they may not be honoured if the business is sold or goes into receivership.”

Another tip for savvy shoppers is to shop around for the best price before buying.

“The trick is not to fall for glossy price promotions. Do your homework, shop around and compare prices at multiple retailers. Search online, look in catalogues, talk to store attendants and discuss your purchase with friends and family,” the Commissioner said.

“Shoppers have protections under the Australian Consumer Law which guarantees that the products you buy are not faulty, safe, do what they claim they can do and are of acceptable quality. You can seek a remedy of a refund, replacement or repair if a business sells you goods or services that don’t meet these guarantees.

“Bear in mind that these laws only apply to Australian companies, so if buying online from overseas, you may not have these protections in place and it may be more difficult to get a resolution if something goes wrong.”

For gifts ordered online, read the terms and conditions and make sure you get a guarantee they will be delivered in time for Mother’s Day as it may already be too late, especially if the goods are coming from overseas.

“In the past we have had issues with late deliveries, particularly with flowers, so avoid disappointment by allowing for reasonable delivery times or getting a confirmed delivery date when ordering goods online or over the phone,” Mr Newcombe added.

For more information on shopping rights:

For shopping rights at your fingertips and helpful tools for consumers, download Consumer Protection’s iShopWA app: -available from the Apple Store and Google Play.

July 2020: Please note the iShopWA app is no longer supported. Consumer Protection recommends the ACCC Shopper app, which offers similar functionality and is available in both the App Store and Google Play. 


Media contact (Consumer Protection)

Consumer Protection
Media release
30 Apr 2015

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