ACT Australian Consumer Law Rights as a Retailer?

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8 October 2017

I am a retail worker in A.C.T. and often we have people bringing items to the counter which scan as more expensive than is on the price tags, however we can see that the tag is half stuck on and suspect people peel the correct tag off and stick a cheaper one on to get it at a cheaper price.

In an instance today there was an item where the supplier did a price increase so we went around and repriced the products by sticking a new tag over the top of the old one. A woman had peeled the correct price off and revealed the tag below in order the get it at a cheaper price. It was obvious to us that she had done this because the sticker was slightly torn and every other one of those items on the shelf was correctly priced. She was also very defensive when it scanned up at the more expensive price and was very quick to point out we were legally obliged to sell it at the cheaper price.

I have many customers telling me I'm legally obligated to sell it at the price on the sticker. But from what I can gather, if there is a one-off item that is incorrectly priced, because it is an error I am under no such obligation and it is up to the individual store policy to dictate whether we honour the incorrect price or not. Just wanting some clarification on what my rights are under Australian Consumer Law in these situations because at the moment it seems like there's nothing we can do about it since we can't prove the customer has swapped the tag, even though it's fairly obvious that's what's occurred.



LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
I have many customers telling me I'm legally obligated to sell it at the price on the sticker.

The customers are mistaken.

You can refuse to sell the item at an incorrect price. Your store policy can be to honour the sale but the store doesn't have to sell the item if it doesn't want to.

There are some rules around misleading pricing but based on your description they are unlikely to apply in your situation.

Tim W

LawTap Verified
28 April 2014


Well-Known Member
6 April 2016
Well, it's not technically an incorrect tag.... that tag was purposed for that product and your store chose to leave that tag on the product when placing the new tag over the top.