Buying a hamper
How do hampers stack up?
companies encourage you to sign up to buy a package of goods that
you pay for over time and receive on a set date.
These companies now sell much more than food hampers. They also
sell a range of items like electrical equipment, furniture, gift
cards and sporting goods.
Find out the pros and cons of buying from hamper companies.
You choose a package of goods that you pay for through
instalments. You receive your goods at a later date, after
you have made all of the payments. A lot of these
arrangements are actually lay-bys.
Hamper packages can seem convenient and the process to sign up
is easy but make sure you know what is involved and when the
payments need to be made. Also watch out for salespeople who pressure
Are they value for money?
You might be surprised to know that the goods in the hamper can
be much cheaper if you buy them from your local retail outlet or
To check this, add up all of the payments for the hamper you
want to buy. You might also be charged a delivery fee, so add that
in too, and compare the total cost to the cost of buying the goods
If you decide to cancel the hamper you can be charged a fee -
sometimes up to 50% of what you have already paid.
If you are buying your hamper under a lay-by agreement you have
the right to cancel the agreement at any time before the goods are
delivered to you. If you cancel your lay-by the seller must
refund you all of your payment, minus a reasonable termination
Case study: Jo buys a hamper
turning 70 in December next year and she wants to have a big party.
Her sister said she should get a hamper so she won't have to do the
shopping herself. Jo looked at some hampers and decided to
get one that would cost her $11.92 a week for 24 weeks or a total
of $286. This sounded like a good price that she could afford per
As a special treat, Jo took her granddaughter to the movies and
spent the money she had intended to leave in her account for the
weekly hamper payment. When the hamper company tried to take the
money out of Jo's account, her account was empty.
The hamper company charged Jo $3.50 for missing the payment, and
increased the amount she had to pay each month to make sure she had
paid for the whole hamper before her birthday.
This meant Jo's weekly payment was now $12.40. Jo's bank also
charged her a default fee for the failed payment. The fee was $15
for every day Jo's account was overdrawn. Jo's account was
overdrawn for four days costing her $60.
When the hamper arrived just before Jo's birthday she decided
she didn't like some of the products in the hamper. Because she had
defaulted on one payment Jo ended up paying almost $350 plus
Jo added up the cost of buying these items at the local
supermarket and realised she could have got them for $215 and could
have chosen exactly what she wanted.
Even if Jo had made all of her payments on time, the hamper
still would have cost her $71 more than buying the same goods from
Here is what the hamper cost Jo:
|What Jo paid for
||How much it cost
|Original cost of hamper
||$11.92 x 24 weeks = $286
|Missed payment fees
|Final cost of the hamper
||$349.50 plus delivery fees
|Cost of the same items in the supermarket
Will you get your hamper on
Be sure to check with the hamper company that you will get your
hamper on the day it is promised in the contract you sign with
Some people have told their local fair trading agency that the
hamper they bought, arrived late or did not arrive at all.
If you have questions about your consumer rights when
buying a hamper, your state or territory consumer affairs agency or
Competition and Consumer Commission may be able to
Buying a hamper for Christmas or Easter
might sound like an easy and convenient way to get the goods you
need in one go, but make sure you are aware of the extra cost of
the items and what it will cost you if you decide to cancel your
Last updated: 03 Jun 2016