Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts today warned mid north coast residents about traders selling home video projectors and other electrical goods out of the back of vans.
Mr Roberts said Fair Trading had been contacted by Coffs Harbour police, who directed two individuals in a Queensland-registered van loaded with video projectors to move from the Park Beach Plaza in Coffs Harbour yesterday.
“I urge people to use the utmost caution in considering a purchase of electronic goods out of the back of a van, because it is likely to be sub-standard, if not worthless,” he said.
“Residents are warned these traders may turn up anywhere on the north coast.
“Fair Trading is investigating and appreciates any tip offs from the public.
“If approached with offers of cheap goods for sale, people should walk away but also please report it to the nearest Fair Trading centre by calling 13 32 20.”
Mr Roberts said such sales tactics were all too common and usually involved white vans.
“Fair Trading recently prosecuted a company that was selling stereo equipment that did not work at all in some cases,” he said.
“The company was fined more than $23,000 and had to surrender all seized equipment.
“White van traders, as they are universally known, often use a sales pitch suggesting they need to move the stock before returning to the warehouse and are prepared to offer ‘real bargains’.”
“They prey on people’s desire for a bargain, but that is not what people get when they buy this stuff.”
Mr Roberts said the goods are generally packaged using fake brand names and false statements, including that the equipment has received various, non-existent industry awards.
“The old adage applies: if something seems too good to be true, it usually is,” he said.
“I implore people to help Fair Trading in their pursuit of scammers.”
“We want to catch crooks who rip off people and the public and the media are a great help to us in this endeavour.”
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