Dishonest sale advertisements

Have you been fooled by sales adds that give prices “from” $X? I have been following a particular product (a needle organizer for embroiderers using multiple needles loaded with different coloured threads) in the Fox Collection catalogue, which I would like, but I feel is too expensive. Imagine my delight when I saw the sale catalogue ad promising needle organizers from $6.95! When I followed the link it transpired that the needle organizer is (still) $29.95 but replacement cards for the organizer can be bought for $6.95.To my mind this is like advertising shirts “from $5.00” and then finding that a pack of spare buttons costs $5.00 and the shirts are $40.00.
I felt manipulated and a little humiliated as I remembered schoolyard taunts of “made you look, you dirty chook”. When I complained to The Fox Collection about their deceptive advertising practice, by email, I was phoned by a member of their sales department a couple of days later. She did not seem to see any problem with this advertisement and I was told that this practice is unlikely to change but I could have the needle organizer for $10 less. I declined and have unsubscribed from their emails.


Hi @bobnco,

I tend to agree that it’s a confusing way to display the price and it may be against the ACCC guidelines. The needle organiser and the ‘refill’ are two different products, but the catalogue view below only shows the $6.95 price. Once you click through the ‘range’ is shown, but it does feel like a ‘bait pricing’ tactic.

You could report this to the ACCC, otherwise thanks for sharing your experience here as a heads up for other consumers. I’ll also pass the tip off on to CHOICE staff.


I have a similar issue with real estate advertising. My wife and I were looking for a house to purchase which had parking for 3 vehicles. by parking - I am referring to covered parking.

note my dismay when I entered 3 cars as the number we were seeking into and found that most of the ads advertising 3 or more cars under car parking were referring to 2 car parks (in garage and/or carport) and the rest in the driveway. On that basis - the house we currently live in with its two driveway has parking for 7 vehicles (excluding additional vehicles we may wish to park on our lawn or even on the verge. this, despite the fact we only have covered parking for 2 cars.

some truth in advertising would be so nice. Too much to ask for?


I always ignore signs saying “up to 50% off”. I think everyone knows what that usually means :slight_smile: