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Our services 

Free community talks
Helping consumers
Helping business
Relocated services

Free community talks 

Are you looking for an expert speaker to present at your next community event, seminar, conference, workshop or information session? Our experienced staff can speak at your next event about the services outlined on this page. Our talks help educate consumers and traders about their rights and responsibilities. Each presentation is tailored to meet the needs of your community or industry group.

For more information, go the Free community talks section on the Supporting local communities page or email FairTradingSeminars@finance.nsw.gov.au.

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Helping consumers 

Buying goods and services 

The Australian Consumer Law sets out your rights and responsibilities in all sorts of purchasing situations. For example, it covers refunds, consumer guarantees, unsafe and defective products when you make a purchase using a lay-by or an unsolicited consumer agreement with a door-to-door seller or telemarketer.

We can provide free information to help you if you have a problem. But remember, traders and retailers have rights too, so ensure that you make the right choice and are fully informed.

Online shopping

Do you know your rights when shopping online? For practical tips about online shopping covering topics such as dealing with overseas traders, refunds and returns, resolving online disputes and more visit our Online shopping page.

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Resolving a complaint 

If you believe you have a legitimate complaint, the first step is to make every effort to sort out the problem directly with the trader or service provider. Be clear, firm and polite and state what the problem is and how you would like it fixed. Keep all relevant documents, such as receipts, warranties and quotes.

If you don’t reach a satisfactory outcome, you can contact us on 13 32 20, visit your nearest Fair Trading Centre or lodge a complaint online.

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Dispute resolution 

We provide free information about your rights and options to resolve disputes with traders. In some cases our staff can contact the trader and attempt to negotiate a settlement.

If we are unable to successfully negotiate your matter, you can consider taking your dispute to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

The Tribunal provides independent, low cost and accessible dispute resolution in consumer or tenancy disputes. There is a fee to lodge an application. Application forms and the fee schedule can be obtained from the Tribunal’s website at www.ncat.nsw.gov.au or by calling the Tribunal on 1300 006 228.

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Credit problems 

We fund community-based financial counselling services across the State. These services provide assistance to people in financial hardship. To find the service closest to you, call the Credit and Debt Hotline on 1800 808 488. For more information visit the Alternatives to high cost credit page.

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Buying a car  

Buying and maintaining a car can be very costly. Knowing what to look for could mean the difference between an enjoyable motoring experience and an expensive mistake. Visit the Motor vehicles page for more information.

Warranties and repairs 

If you buy a new or used car from a motor dealer and have problems with warranty issues, call us for assistance on 13 32 20. We can give you information about your options for solving the problem. We can also help if you have problems with the cost or quality of repairs to your motor vehicle.

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Home building and renovating 

Thinking of building a new home or renovating? Only use a builder or tradesperson who is currently licensed with NSW Fair Trading. You can do a licence check online by visiting the Online services page or by calling 13 32 20.

Our website and building publications also contain lots of practical information, covering such things as the importance of written contracts, home warranty insurance and resolving building disputes for consumers, builders and tradespeople.

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Renting a home 

We provide information to tenants, landlords and real estate agents about their rights and responsibilities. This covers all residential premises, including residential parks. We also fund a number of community organisations to provide advice and advocacy to tenants across NSW.

Any money given to a landlord or their agent as a bond must be lodged with NSW Fair Trading.

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Buying or selling your home 

We have information to help you buy or sell a home either at auction or by private sale. If you are using a real estate agent or conveyancer, you can check if they are properly licensed on our website or by calling 13 32 20. We also have information about buying ‘off the plan’ from a developer.

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Strata living 

We provide information on all aspects of living in a strata or community scheme, including management and administration, and solving disputes.

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Retirement villages 

If you have any questions about your rights and responsibilities as a resident or operator, or if you are thinking about moving into a retirement village, visit the Retirement villages page or contact the Fair Trading Specialist Support Unit for help and advice on 9895 0297 or toll free on 1800 625 963.

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Helping business 

Starting a business 

Your business may require some government licences and permits before it can start. To find out what licences you need, visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website at ablis.business.gov.au or call Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

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Keep up-to-date 

Whatever your business, it is important to keep up-to-date with the laws affecting your industry. As well as covering all the latest reforms, our website provides a wide range of information to help you run your business, including how to provide quality service, how to deal with complaints, and how to protect yourself against scams that target businesses.

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Guides for business 

A number of guides are available for businesses to explain requirements under the Australian Consumer Law.

These are:

  • Avoiding unfair business practices
  • Consumer guarantees
  • Product safety
  • Sales practices
  • Unfair contract terms law.

Copies can be ordered from www.shop.nsw.gov.au

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Associations and co-operatives 

Give legal standing to your non-profit organisation by incorporating it as an association. This provides members with important legal protection.

A co-operative is a legal entity that is owned and controlled by its members for their mutual benefit. Our Registry Services can provide free information and assistance, as well as free association incorporation packages and co-operative information kits.

You can find out more from any Fair Trading Centre, by calling Registry Services on 1800 502 042 or by visiting the Co-operatives and associations page.

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Safe products 

Whether you are a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer or importer, you need to comply with national product safety laws. In NSW, both NSW Fair Trading and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) play a role in their regulation.

Additionally, in NSW many electrical and gas appliances need to be approved before they are sold.

For information on product safety laws visit the Product safety section on our website or www.productsafety.gov.au 

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Relocated services 

Some of our services have moved to other providers:

  • REVS - visit the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) website at www.ppsr.gov.au or call 1300 007 777
  • Business names - visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website at www.asic.gov.au or call 1300 300 630.
  • Retail tenancy kit and information - visit the Office of the Small Business Commissioner website at www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 795 534 (toll free) or 8222 4800.

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