Push to make life easier for shoppers
NEED two litres of white paint? It is cheaper to buy a four-litre can than two onelitre tins, but many shoppers wouldn’t know.
Got a job to do at home that requires 40 rivets? Buying one pack of 100 will set you back less than two packs of 25.
These anomalies emerge from analysis by the man who got unit prices onto supermarket shelves.
He says it’s time to expand the comparison system — and that doing so could save consumers tens of millions of dollars a year.
“To me the figures clearly show that it would be beneficial for shoppers to know the unit price for many products sold in hardware stores,” Ian Jarratt, an executive member of the Consumers Federation of Australia (CFA), told The Saturday Telegraph.
Mr Jarratt (pictured) and other advocates are making the case for an expansion of the system to an official review of unit pricing currently under way.
The Telegraph can reveal a national survey of shoppers by consumer group Choice to support its argument shows 86 per cent of Australians believe unit prices should be extended to stores not covered by the code. “Unit pricing is an incredibly important tool for shoppers to compare products and save money,” Choice spokeswoman Katinka Day said.
Mr Jarratt, Choice and Labor told The Telegraph that they were concerned the review’s consultation period of a month was too short.
After we raised these concerns with Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert, he decided to increase the consultation period to three months, ending February 28.
The extension will “allow more time for public input on the unit pricing code to ensure that it continues to achieve the objective of supporting Australian households to save time and money,” Mr Robert said.
When The Telegraph told Mr Jarratt of the decision, he said: “What a success. It’s great we’ve got this extension.”
He said it would give him and others a better chance to make the case for widening and improving the system.
Opposition consumer affairs spokeswoman Madeleine King said the review needed to consider how unit pricing “can further help Australians get a better deal at the checkout — including whether it’s viable to extend the scheme to other retail outlets”.
Consumers can participate in the review at tinyurl.com/unitpricing.