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How to say no to pushy salespeople

I just need to know about:

It’s OK to walk away

A pushy salesperson might try to convince you to buy something you don’t want or need.

They might try to approach you by:

  • walking up to you in a shop
  • knocking on your door
  • greeting you in the street
  • trying to talk to you in front of a government building
  • calling you on the phone.

High pressure sales tactics

Salespeople might say things to try to get you to buy an item on the spot. It is a good idea to learn about high pressure sales tactics so that you know when it is happening to you.

You have extra rights when you are approached at home, called on the phone or stopped on the street.

They might say things like:

  • your family will thank you
  • our product is the real deal
  • it’s a once in a lifetime time offer
  • it will save you money in the long run
  • this offer is only available today.

If you don’t want the item or you need time to think, it’s ok to say no.

Agreeing to a contract

Salespeople may try to get you to agree to a contract when you are buying something. A contract can be:

  • written on paper
  • a verbal agreement  over the phone or in person
  • confirmed by clicking ‘I agree’ on a web page.

If you are asked to sign something, it is usually a contract. A contract could be used to buy:

A salesperson might also ask you to sign a contract for an ongoing donation to a charity or not for profit organisation.

A contract has terms and conditions that you must follow, so it is important you understand what they mean.

Before you agree to a contract

Protect yourself by following these steps before you sign a contract.

  1. Ask for help from someone you trust if you don’t understand something.
  2. Take time to think about it.
  3. Look around for a better deal.
  4. Check if there is a ‘cooling off’ period so that you can cancel the agreement if you change your mind.
  5. Ask the salesperson to write down any promises they have made to you.
  6. Make sure the contract is not blank or one-sided.

If you are feeling uncomfortable or if you don’t know what to say, it’s OK to walk away.

Don’t take the risk!

Take some time before you sign.

Jonno had been saving up for a new television that cost $500. Jonno went to the shop to buy it, and started talking to a salesperson. The salesperson showed Jonno a more expensive television and said if he bought it today, he could give Jonno an ‘amazing deal’ on the price.

Jonno explained that he couldn’t afford the more expensive television. The salesperson told Jonno he could still buy it, and just pay back a small amount each week. Jonno was so excited, he nearly signed the contract right away but decided to walk away and ask a friend first.

His friend read the contract with him and Jonno found out he would have to pay the small amount every week for 3 years. This meant, he would end up paying over $1,500.

Jonno decided to say ‘no thanks’ and walk away to think about it. He bought the $500 television from another store.

This article has been republished from the Queensland Department of Fair Trading website under Creative Commons 4.0. 

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