Posted on 07. Jun, 2010 in News

As the mid-year sales begin across Victoria, Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson today reminded Victorian shoppers looking for bargains about their refund rights.

Mr Robinson said many consumers and retailers were uncertain about refund laws, particularly on sale items.

“The Brumby Labor Government is standing up for Victorian consumers and making sure they aren’t left out of pocket by enforcing fair and clear laws on refunds,” he said.

“Some retailers may display signs or otherwise indicate there are no refunds on sale items, because they mistakenly believe sale items are different or of less quality than full-priced goods.

“But when it comes to refunds, sale items are treated in the same way as full price items.”

Mr Robinson said Victorian shoppers were entitled to refunds if:

  • an item is faulty and the buyer did not know about the fault at the time of purchase;
  • the item is not fit for purpose; or
  • the item does not match a description or sample the buyer was given.

While a business may offer to repair, exchange or provide a credit note instead of a refund, the buyer has the right to demand a refund if the product does not meet the conditions of purchase.

Mr Robinson also advised shoppers to think carefully before making any purchases in the mid-year sales and to keep their receipts as proof of purchase.

“Enjoy the sales but remember that shops don’t have to refund your money if you have simply changed your mind or found the same item cheaper elsewhere,” Mr Robinson said.

“Also, hang on to receipts as stores do not have to provide a refund if you cannot provide proof of purchase.”

This financial year the state’s consumer watchdog Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) has received more than 7,500 calls about refunds. 

CAV’s compliance team regularly inspects shops across the state to ensure their refund policies comply with consumer protection laws.

Businesses found in breach of the refund provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1999 risk prosecution and maximum fines of more than $6,000 for an individual and more than $13,000 for a corporation.

For more information about refund rights, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81 or visit

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