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Things to keep in mind when you're displaying prices

When you display or advertise prices for your products or services, make sure the prices are clear and accurate. It's important you understand pricing regulations when setting prices for your goods or services.

Here are some tips to make sure you're not misleading customers with your pricing:

Include the total price

If you display or advertise prices, always include the total price.

The total price:

  • must include all charges, taxes, duties, levies or fees (such as Goods & Services Tax (GST) or airport tax)
  • doesn't need to include optional charges, such as delivery fees.

If you display or advertise a price that is only part of the total price (for example, a price which doesn't include additional charges such as delivery or booking fees), the total price (as a single figure) must be as noticeable as the 'part price'.

For example, say your company sets the price of a concert ticket at $100. If you also charge a booking fee of $5, you must include the total price of $105 in your price display.

You could advertise it as:

  • $105 (including $5 booking fee)
  • $100 ticket + $5 booking fee = $105

Find out more about component pricing on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website.

Compare prices accurately

If you compare prices in your advertising to attract customers with possible savings, make sure you aren't misleading them.

For example, if you're having a sale, you might compare the sale price of your product or service to:

  • the previous higher price
  • a competitor's price
  • the recommended retail price (RRP).

You may be misleading your customers if:

  • your product or service was not sold at the previous higher price for a 'reasonable period' before your sale
  • you compare your price to the price of a competitor who is in a different area or country
  • the product or service on sale has never been sold at the RRP.

What's considered a 'reasonable period' will vary in each case. But if you can't show sales at the previous higher price, then it's likely you're misleading your customers.

Avoid breaching the law

When you make statements about prices, including in your advertisements and when talking to your customers, take the time to get it right.

It's illegal to make false or misleading statements about the price of products or services.

Even if you thought the statement was correct at the time, you may still be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2016. 

This content was first published on www.business.gov.au

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