Accepted methods of selling garden and landscape supplies, seller's responsibilities and penalties.

Accepted methods

There's three accepted methods of selling garden and landscape supplies:

  • by weight or measure, eg 20 kilograms of cement, 1 cubic metre of bark chip, 20 litres of peat
  • by number, eg 10 railway sleepers, 6 bags of compost
  • by description, eg a scoop, a trailer load, a truckload.

Metric system

When a product is sold by weight or measure, the sale must be made in units of the metric system, eg kilograms, tonnes, cubic metres, litres.

Net weight or measure?

When a product is sold by weight or measure, the sale must be made on the basis of NET weight or measure only. That is, only the product is charged for by weight or measure, and not the container or wrapping.

Goods sold or exposed for sale by weight or measure enclosed in a bag must have any statement of the net weight or measure clearly printed on the bag or on a label affixed to the bag.

Qualified statements of weight or measure

The statement must be in a form which can allow the weight or measure to be accurately verified.

eg, it is not acceptable to imply a measurement as part of a sale by description by saying, '1 scoop = approximately 0.3 cubic metres'.

Receipt of correct number of goods

Where goods are sold by number, the purchaser must receive that number.

Seller’s responsibilities

Where goods are sold or exposed for sale at the premises of the seller the goods must be not less than what is stated.

Where goods are delivered loose in bulk by weight or measure, the seller of the goods must send or deliver to the purchaser a delivery note or invoice stating the quantity delivered. The invoice or delivery note may also show 

  • date
  • name and address of seller
  • name and address of purchaser
  • description of goods delivered
  • cost. 

Penalties

For selling any goods enclosed in a package which contains less than the statement of the net quantity on the package an infringement offence notice (issued by Trading Standards), the fee for which is $500.

For using an incorrect weighing or measuring instrument an infringement offence notice (issued by Trading Standards), the fee for which is $500.

For failing to send or deliver to the purchaser a delivery note or invoice stating the quantity delivered, an infringement notice will be issued (by Trading Standards). The fee for which is $200.

Alternatively, a fine up to a maximum of $5,000 on conviction in the District Court.

For delivering or causing to be delivered a quantity less than purported or where the quantity does not correspond with the price charged, a fine up to a maximum of $5,000 as this type of offence is only prosecutable in a District Court.