Buying a car


When buying a used car in Victoria, there a several ways that you can do this including:

  • —Buying from a licensed motor car trader
  • —Buying from a private seller
  • —Buying at auction

Buying from a licensed motor car trader

Advantages include:

  • —Offers you the most protection
  • —Cooling off period (3 business days)
  • —Warranty – three months/5,000 km if the car is not more than 10 years old and has travelled less than 160,000 kilometres
  • —Trader must provide clear title

Disadvantages might be:

  • —Can be more expensive
  • —Be wary of high trade-in offers – the price of the car you are buying may be increased to cover the difference

Buying privately

Advantage might be:

  • —Can be less expensive

Disadvantages are:

  • —There is no cooling-off period
  • —The car is not covered by a statutory warranty
  • —It is your responsibility to check that the car is not stolen, has money owing on it, or is on the written-off vehicles register.

Buying at auction

Advantages are:

  • —Auction house must prove clear title
  • —May get a really good purchase price

Disadvantages are:

  • —Unable to test drive
  • —Little or no time to check car’s background
  • —Rarely able to have inspection carried out
  • —No cooling off period
  • —No statutory warranty
  • —No roadworthy certificate

Buying a mobile phone

20120614T020754The following is a list of key factors to consider when choosing a mobile phone plan:

  • —whether you already have a phone or want a new phone included in your plan
  • —where you live
  • —the number of calls you will make per month
  • —data per month – is it included in your plan?
  • —the number of text messages you will send per month
  • —the time of day you will use your phone
  • —the duration of your calls
  • —whether your friends and family are with a particular phone company and there are ‘mates rates’ or free calls/messages between people with that company
  • —whether you can change your plan if you find it’s not economical for you
  • —do you want phone insurance included with your plan

the fine print – make sure you check all the conditions to avoid hidden c

Making a major purchase

computerThe following is a list of things to consider when making a major purchase:

  1. —Establish an initial idea of price – Google search
  2. —Set up a savings plan
  3. —Research the product – read reviews, compare features of similar products
  4. —Comparison shopping – online and in store
  5. —Evaluate which product best suits your purpose and your budget
  6. —Check out any warranties or other fine print
  7. —Make the big purchase

Shopping in the future

You’ve just arrived at the station and an LED screen shows your train is leaving in one minute. You tear down the escalator to the platform but just as you reach the bottom the train is pulling away from the station. There isn’t another one for 20 minutes.

Watch a YouTube video of a virtual storefront here

The few seats on the platform are taken so you can’t sit down and read. How do you kill the time? Try doing the grocery shopping maybe.

Last year, British-based global retailer Tesco made waves by setting up amazing virtual stores on the walls of underground transit stations in Korea. Commuters could do their shopping simply by scanning their smartphone over a two-dimensional barcode on the station’s wall.

Now the idea is being mimicked in the US. How long before virtual storefronts becomes a regular feature of the daily commute worldwide, including Australia?

Continue reading from The Age

Crackdown on shop refunds

SHOPPERS will no longer be left in the dark about refund policies as the ACCC launches an advertising blitz on the laws of returning goods.

The consumer education campaign aims to help those left out of pocket when retailers pick and choose what is eligible for a refund – whether it is a microwave oven or a pair of socks.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, only 10 per cent of Australians understand their rights when it comes to dodgy products and substandard services.

From tomorrow, the ACCC will advertise online, on multilingual radio stations and at bus stops to inform shoppers they are entitled to demand any product or service not up to scratch be repaired, replaced or refunded under the new consumer laws.

“Whether you are buying a watch or a washing machine, brand new or pre-loved, at full price or bagging a bargain, consumers can put their faith in the products they purchase, or expect the retailer or manufacturer to fix the problem,” commission chairman Rod Sims said.

“We now have a single national law, so that no matter where you shop in Australia, you have the same rights to a repair, replacement or refund for a faulty product or unsatisfactory service.”

But the wider awareness will mean the ACCC is hit with an onslaught of complaints.

The watchdog receives 200 complaints from grumpy consumers every week, with state fair-trading agencies also filtering their share.

“I expect to see a spike once the campaign is up and running,” Mr Sims said. “But we are ready for it.”

He expected the number to subside once companies realised the commission had empowered consumers to better understand and stand up for their rights.

Mr Sims vowed to crack down on rogue traders who continued to flout the laws, and haul them through the courts if necessary.

This article was reposted from the Herald Sun 

Advice for bargain hunters

In the first lesson for this year, I was discussing wise shopping with my Year 9 Commerce class. As part of this discussion, the class developed the following advice for bargain hunters. This framework has formed the basis of our lessons on managing personal finances.

This is their advice:

  1. Research product infomation carefully.
  2. Read the fine print, especially in contracts.
  3. Check a range of prices.
  4. Make sure the product suits the purpose for which it was intended.
  5. Make sure the purchase fits within your budget.

Aussie dollar scales fresh heights

The Australian dollar has scaled fresh heights against the pound and remains in near-record territory against the euro and the US dollar as the prospect of higher interest rates lures investors around the globe.

The dollar touched 67.675 UK pence in recent trading, the highest since 1985. It also passed though 77 euro cents for the first time this year, and remains within range of its previous record against the european currency of 77.35 euro cents reached at the end of 2010.

The Aussie dollar’s latest surge was sparked by a surprise jump in the June quarter inflation figures released yesterday, which shifted the likelihood that the Reserve Bank’s next move would be to cut interest rates. Odds now favour a rate rise, although most commentators doubt the central bank would lift borrowing costs at a time of worries about the debt woes in US and a slew of European countries.

The Australian dollar rocketed one US cent yesterday to reach $US1.1081 in late local trading, the highest since the local currency floated in 1983. It eased to $US1.104 at the local close and was recently trading at $US1.1051. It was also worth just under 86 yen.

Read more from The Age: