Change text size:   Increase font size   Reduce font size  |   Print page:   Print this page
  |   Contact us   

Unsolicited goods 

Unsolicited goods are also known as unordered goods

Householders don't request these products - they turn up out of the blue. Many people get upset with this sales tactic. Although this sales method is not illegal, they believe traders who attempt to sell unsolicited goods are taking a liberty.

As a general rule, consumers do not have to pay for goods they did not order. However, consumers must ensure that the goods are kept safe and they are not used. Steps should be taken to have the goods collected, particularly if the consumer knows that the goods were not actually intended for them.

Unwanted, unwelcome

Many NSW consumers have received a laminated set of recipe cards through the post together with an invoice requesting money. While we may enjoy eating Beef Wellington, not everyone wants to pay $29.95 to find out how to make the dish.

Under NSW consumer protection laws there are two things people can do if they receive unwanted, unordered goods.

  1. They can advise the seller in writing of their name and address, that the goods are unsolicited and unwanted and where they can be collected. If the seller fails to collect them within one month, the goods then become the property of the householder. Householders should keep a copy of the letter. If the letter is sent by registered mail, proof can be obtained of the date when the sender of the goods received the letter, or
  2. They can choose to do nothing. If the seller does not collect the product after three months, ownership reverts to the householder.

In both cases, during the intervening period consumers have a responsibility not to use the goods and to keep them safe and secure.

This form of sales promotion is not as popular as it once was, however it still occurs and you should know exactly where you stand when it does happen.

Products to watch for: Books, periodicals, other publications, audio and video cassettes.

If things go wrong

If you have been a victim of a scam or if you know of any scam, please report it. The Report a scam or cybercrime page can assist you to identify the agency to report it to.