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Beginners Guide to Shopping and Customers Right of Return

By Edited May 16, 2015 1 8

Customers Right of Return for Refund

Customer service should be a priority for any business as bad new travels twice as fast as good news. Therefore no matter whether you shop online, buy through Television promotions or buy locally you need to know your customers right of return. Before you buy or sign for anything make sure you read the fine print then if the item you have bought is for some reason faulty or not as advertised you will know if you can claim a refund.

When buying anything at all the retailer is not allowed to pressure or mislead you in any way about their products. The product should also comply with the correct safety standards by the manufacturer. 

Therefore if the product does not meet these conditions you have the right to return the item for a refund. If you change your mind and do not like the colour then you cannot expect the company to give a refund.  Always, always keep your receipts

Shopping online

Before bidding on eBay you need to read all the information. Postal and delivery charges, insurance, and if they accept refunds. Ask questions if you have any other queries. A common mistake is some sellers describe the item as coming from Australia, United Kingdom when in fact the item is shipped from China. We have seen items marked made it Australia then find it is posted in China or another country.

Before confirming the sale make sure you understand exactly where and what you are buying. Paying with Pay Pal is the safest way and will reduce the chance of being scammed.

Returning Online purchases

If you bought online then returning the article will mean you have to pay the return post. I recently bought some underclothes online from a TV promotion. The advert stated that if not completely satisfied you could return it within 30 days for a full refund.

I emailed them and they replied saying if I kept them they would give me a certain percentage of the amount. Or if I returned them once I had a return Number the refund would be decided on the condition of the article and it would be at their discretion.

If you find yourself in this position:


  • Make sure you take good photos of the article before posting and tell them you have photos.
  • Make sure you register the item.
  • Then once you have posted the items, email them quoting the Registration number.

I received a full refund less the postage costs to me and return postage. Yes you are still out of pocket but it was good to receive the $89.00 back in my bank account for something I could not wear.


 Tips for Shopping locally


  • The same rule applies as for online shopping.
  • Try clothing on to make sure they fit before you buy.
  • Always keep your receipts.
  • Know and read the rules on returning items before you buy from any business.
  • If buying with a credit card most companies will return credit to that credit card not pay cash in hand.


 Buying electronic Goods

There are so many different electronic items available on the market today. The salesperson may encourage you to take out extra warranty insurance on the item you purchase. Most come with one or two years warranty, therefore in most cases you will want to update your item before that time expires so if you are buying a cheap phone, laptop, or camera do not be conned into paying 2 or 3 years extra warranty insurance on the product.

If you believe that your electronic product has not been repaired right go back and talk it over with them. If you still are not satisfied then contact your local Fair Trading Centre to lodge a complaint.

Supermarket Shopping

When visiting any supermarket make sure you are paying the correct price for the items you purchase.

Mark Downs

These can be a great way to save on your weekly shopping. The best time to find meat mark down is later in the afternoon. Having said that, do not rely on paying the marked down price at the supermarket.

Always check your receipts before leaving the store. I know you are very busy but it will take you about thirty seconds to give that receipt a quick scan and it could save you a few dollars.

Quite often tinned food is marked down although when the girl scans the item you are charged full price. This can happen because no one covered the bar code so it goes through as full price.

The same can happen with specials, if the registers have not been updated. Or it can be human error.

Woolworths have a good policy. If you are charged incorrect the item is free.

Personal Experience:

I bought 1 can of home brew beer $11 I was charged $22 it was scanned twice.

A chicken on special for $10 was charged $11.50 – I paid nothing.

In one month I received $32 back from overcharging. Sadly their tills have been correct since.

So it does pay to check your dockets. Let's face it no one is perfect so keep your receipts at all times.



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Warranty is it worth the paper its written on?

Always be aware of the warranty when buying any products.  Small electronic articles can often cost you more than the article is worth.

We all tend to buy cameras, laptops, computers from a particular supplier.  Then when you reach the counter to pay for it they hit you with the question- what kind of warranty do you want.

We bought a touch screen computer and did not realise it at the time but it had a company warranty of two years, but for some reason we took out an extended waranty for another year.  I think from memory that cost us over fifty dollars.

I often ask myself why?  In most cases we  update our electronics after or before two years.  So we waste that money spent on the extended warranty, and in many cases they do not repair as they suggest with the warranty. 

Think before you pay out on extended warranties- especially if the item is not expensive.

Quite often you could buy a new article when on special at one of the electtronic sales.




Mar 4, 2012 7:48am
You have written a very extensive article on the rights of the consumer across all platforms Eileen. As an ex customer service advisor I found this article to be spot on.
Mar 4, 2012 8:41pm
Ddraig, Thanks so much for that, it is great to have reassurance on these things, and should let others know they can do this. I have only learned these things from experience and being ripped off. Some people think they have not got a leg to stand on but you have if you do it right.
Mar 24, 2012 3:13pm
Great article with very precise advice to the consumer!
Mar 25, 2012 12:44am
Thanks askformore, so many people accept faulty goods because they don't understand their right in returning them.
Mar 30, 2012 6:10pm
These are excellent tips - especially the explanation of the scanning error. Keeping receipts is not enough at some stores. Recently I bought clothing and was told the tags had to attached as they were at the store in order to get a refund.
Apr 1, 2012 2:57am
Thanks diva, yes it they can find a way out of giving a refund they will in some stores others are more helpful
Apr 22, 2012 9:33am
Excellent article Eileen. Thanks for sharing. I have been caught with scanning errors but because we live 7 kms from the store, I generally don't go back with them. So I check more carefully now as they go through the checkout.
Apr 28, 2012 11:36pm
Judy yes it makes it hard living further away. I normally check my docket as I walk out the store. You can't pick up everything but somethings just jump out at you. thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
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