Shop locally, help locals

Danny O’Brien, Gippsland South MLA

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

RECENT figures released by Consumer Affairs Victoria show complaints involving online shopping have risen 12 per cent to 8957 cases last year.

It’s another good reason to shop locally, where you can see and feel the product and can follow up directly if there are post-purchase problems.

I understand that everyone loves a bargain and the convenience (sometimes) of online shopping, but people should understand the risks when you buy online from an overseas company.

Retailers based within Australia are subject to Australian Consumer Law. Retailers based overseas may only need to comply with the consumer protection laws of their own country, meaning that $20 you thought you saved, actually costs you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

An example provided in the report showed consumers purchasing items advertised as genuine leather, that began peeling within weeks, or furniture that arrived different to that pictured and chipping.

When you shop local, your money stays local and you are not only protected by consumer rights, but you are helping local families.