When displaying or advertising the prices of products or services you're selling, there are laws that you need to comply with that ensure the prices you show are clear and accurate, and not misleading to your customers.
A single price is the minimum total cost, and should include any taxes, levy, duty, fee, or other additional charges. It doesn't need to include:
- optional charges or extras
- delivery charges, unless for example, the minimum delivery charge is mandatory. You can then choose whether to include it in the total price or as a separate component.
If you want to promote a price that's only part of the total price, the total price must also be displayed at least as prominently as the part price.
You can only have multiple prices for the same product or service, if the prices vary because of different regions or currency, or a price is entirely hidden by another price. If multiple prices appear, you must withdraw the product or service, and fix the display or advertisement. Customers are entitled to buy the product/service for the lowest price displayed if the error has not been fixed.
Misleading prices may include:
- a comparison between 'wholesale' and 'sale' prices, when the wholesale price is greater than what the business actually paid for the products
- a 'before/was' price that is not the price the items were sold for in a reasonable period immediately before the sale
- a price comparison with a competitor’s price for identical goods, but the stated price was taken from a different market or geographical location
- a 'saving' or 'discount' comparison to the recommended retail price (RRP), when the goods have never been sold at the RRP, or the RRP doesn't reflect the current market price
- promoting a 'sale' or a 'special price' to create a sense of urgency, when in fact it is not a temporary sale price
- representing an advertised price as the total price, when in fact it isn't.
You may choose to add a fee or charge on prices such as a public holiday or credit card payment surcharge. If you do, the price you display must include any surcharge. If you're running a restaurant, café or bistro, the menu must state that a surcharge applies and on which days.
To find out more about setting and displaying prices, visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website.