Whether you are renting a holiday home or renting out your home to others, travelling by car or by plane, booking a holiday or looking for backpacker accommodation - you have a right to consumer protection.

Visit the local visitor information office

Visit the local visitor information office when you travel somewhere new. The staff in these offices can provide you with information on accommodation, tours, attractions and shopping.

Shop around for the best deals

Australians love to shop, so ask locals for the best buys in the area.  If you’re on a tour, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to buy from the first shop you walk into. You’ll probably have a chance to visit other shops in your free time or later on the tour. The important thing to remember is that all shops must follow Australian fair trading laws which give you the right to choose what you want and be treated fairly.

Take the time to compare prices

Some businesses who deal with tourists either give or receive money for introducing new customers. These costs are often passed onto you  through higher prices. You should not pay more than the advertised price. If you are not happy with the advertised price, try somewhere else. Remember, the choice is yours.

You may be entitled to a refund

You are entitled to your money back if you buy something that does not meet the consumer guarantees set in the Australian Consumer Law. You can also ask to have the item replaced or repaired. This is a basic Australian consumer right. A business doesn’t have to give a refund if you simply change your mind about something you bought, unless the store policy includes refunds, replacements or credit notes. If you have a problem, try to settle it with the trader first.  It’s also wise to check the shop's policies on returning, repairing or replacing goods once they have left Australia.

Make certain that the exchange rate is accurate

When you’re paying for goods in a foreign currency, make sure that the exchange rate is accurate.  Exchange rates can be checked at banks and in daily newspapers.

Authenticity of Indigenous arts and crafts

The work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists is unique in the world. For this reason, Indigenous arts and crafts are popular purchases with visitors to Australia.

How can you be sure that items you are buying have been made by an Indigenous artist or craftsperson?

Buy from galleries and stores that can authenticate the source

Buy indigenous arts and crafts from galleries and stores that can authenticate the source of their works or merchandise. There are many of these outlets and they’ll be happy to provide details about the origin of their products and the artists who made them.

Look for labels or stamps

Look for labels or stamps that explain the origin of the works or merchandise. These will often give information about the artist, who has made the work and their home community, and will sometimes mention the name of the Indigenous art and craft centre where the work was made. There is no single national label of authenticity, so buyers should beware any seller who tells them otherwise. (A label of authenticity used to exist but is no longer valid).

Many cultural and commercial organisations can help

There are many cultural and commercial organisations who want to help you buy genuine Indigenous arts and crafts. These include Indigenous art centres and gallery associations. Visit an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre or Community.

In the event of a dispute

If you have a dispute with a trader, contact the owner or manager. If you cannot settle the problem, contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20, or lodge an enquiry or complaint on our website.

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