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15 November 2022

Strandbags fined $780,000 for misleading consumers

Make sure you’re getting a genuine deal this shopping season.

Strandbags has been fined $780,000 for misleading consumers with its special pricing online and in-store.

The company was found to have breached the Fair Trading Act, and the sentence was handed down in the Auckland District Court on Friday 11 November.

The retailer routinely advertised its products as if they were significantly discounted or being sold at special prices, which was not true, said Commerce Commission chair Anna Rawlings.

It’s a timely reminder for consumers that discounted prices this shopping season may not be ‘special’.

Here are five things you need to know about specials before hitting the Black Friday and Christmas sales:

  • Do your research before you buy. If you’re looking for a particular appliance, track prices online using or for a few weeks before you go to the shops. If it’s not on sale this week, odds are that’ll change.

  • A sale must be a genuine opportunity for consumers to buy a product at a discounted price. It should be for a short period, and the start and end dates should be clear.

  • You may come across was/now pricing, where the special price is compared with the manufacturer’s recommended retail price (RRP). If the retailer usually sells the product below RRP, it’s misleading to use the RRP in a price promotion.

  • The reason for the sale must be genuine. A retailer can’t have a ‘closing down’ sale if it has no intention of closing.

  • A retailer should clearly indicate any items excluded from the sale, and any stock limitations must also be made clear. For example, you might only be able to buy four rolls of that cost-price toilet paper.

Black Friday discount tag.

Black Friday

Which deals are really worth your money? With big sales being promoted this Black Friday, it can be easy to get caught up in the hype. Check out our tips, advice and product tests to help you get what you bargain for.

Find out more

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