JAA issues warning to online jewellery retailers

All JAA retailers selling jewellery and gemstones on the internet should list GST-inclusive prices, according to JAA CEO Ian Hadassin.
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All JAA retailers selling jewellery and gemstones on the internet should list GST-inclusive prices, according to JAA CEO Ian Hadassin.
 
In a recent statement to JAA members, Hadassin said that the Trade Practices Amendment (Clarity in Pricing) Act 2008 inserted a new section 53C into the Trade Practices Act which requires quoted or advertised prices to be “all inclusive”.
 
“In other words, the GST component must be included in the price quoted,” he said.
 
“Since 25 May 2009, quoting GST exclusive prices is now illegal unless the GST inclusive price is also quoted just as prominently. 
 
“Failing to include quantifiable charges in an advertised or quoted price carries a fine of up to $1.1 million per offence.”
 
In the statement said there were some cases where the GST inclusive prices did not need to be shown:
 
“One of the exceptions to the obligation to quote prices on an “all inclusive” basis applies to quotes made exclusively to bodies corporate,” he said.
 
“The obligation to quote all inclusive prices will not apply where the relevant representation is made exclusively to corporations.
 
“For example, for every customer that is a company, it is legal to provide them with a quote on a GST exclusive basis, though you must still, of course, make it clear that this is the basis upon which you are quoting.
 
“However this exception will generally not be available for advertising or price information placed on web sites as these are publications to the public at large, which will include individuals as well as corporations.  Therefore if your offer to your customers appears on public page of your website (rather than on the ‘customers only’ page), you cannot rely on the exception to the rule and you must indicate GST inclusive prices.
 
“This exception also cannot be relied on as applying to all business dealings, because many businesses do not operate under a corporate structure – for example, partnerships or sole traders.  The exception only applies where the offer is made exclusively to corporations.  If the offer is made to individuals, partnerships or sole traders (ie. business names), you must indicate GST inclusive prices.”
 
Haddisson concluded that members selling jewellery and loose stones to the public via websites that do not show GST inclusive prices, are in breach of section 53C Trade Practices Act and are liable for the prescribed fine.
 
“In view of the above, we recommend that all JAA member websites that offer product for sale clearly state GST inclusive prices,” he said.
 
For more information contact Ian Hadassin at ceo@jaa.com.au

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