The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regulates how to display prices within your business. You must be clear, accurate and not mislead consumers.

2 ways to comply with Australian Consumer Law (ACL) include:

  • showing the total price
  • accurately displaying comparisons

Show the total price

If you display or advertise prices, always include the total price. The total price must include all charges, taxes, duties, levies or fees (such as goods and services tax or airport tax). It doesn’t need to include optional charges such as delivery fees.

If you display or advertise a price that is only part of the total price (for example, a price which doesn't include additional charges such as delivery or booking fees), the total price (as a single figure) must be as noticeable as the 'part price'.

For example, you set the price of a concert ticket at $100. If you also charge a booking fee of $5, you must show the total price of $105.

You could advertise it as:

  • $105 (including $5 booking fee)
  • $100 ticket + $5 booking fee = $105

If you have a restaurant and charge a surcharge on certain days, you don’t need to provide a separate menu or price list. But your menu must include the words 'a surcharge of [percentage] applies on [the specified day or days]'.

Accurately display comparisons

If you compare prices in your advertising to attract customers with possible savings, don’t mislead them.

For example, if you're having a sale, you might compare the sale price of your product or service to:

  • the previous higher price
  • a competitor's price
  • the recommended retail price (RRP)

You may be misleading your customers if:

  • your product or service was not sold at the previous higher price for a 'reasonable period' before your sale
  • you compare your price to the price of a competitor who is in a different area or country
  • the product or service on sale has never been sold at the RRP

What's considered a 'reasonable period' will vary in each case. But if you can't show sales at the previous higher price for a reasonable period, then it's likely you're misleading your customers.

Misleading advertising

When you make statements about pricing, including in your advertisements and when you talk to customers, take the time to get it right. It’s illegal to make false or misleading statements about the price of products or services.

Even if you thought the statement was correct at the time, you may still be in breach of Australian Consumer Law. Check the ACCC website for more information.