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Gift Voucher Changes

Did you know gift vouchers must now be valid for 3 years!!

Understanding the new laws around gift vouchers.

NSW and SA implemented changes to Gift Voucher legislation last year.  Now, as of November 01, 2019, all Australian States and Territories are following suit and all across Australia, the 3year expiry date will be implemented.

What does this mean for your massage business?

In general:

For gift cards sold on or after 1 November 2019.

  • a minimum three year expiry period for gift cards is required;
  • gift cards must display expiry dates; and
  • most post purchase fees on gift cards are banned.
  • The period begins when the gift card is sold to the consumer.
  • Businesses can choose to apply the expiry date longer than three years.

When this change was first implemented in NSW, there were some teething problems and a lot of discussion in Facebook groups. What we have learnt from the NSW roll out:

Promotional gift vouchers are exempt.  That means that if you offer a “significant” discount on your normal prices, you are able to put any expiry date on the voucher.  Unfortunately, no one at consumer affairs is able to define “significant” so it is open to interpretations.

Example one:

You normally charge $100 for a 1 hour relaxation massage.

Prior to Christmas, you market a Christmas promo, “spoil that special someone with a massage this festive season.  Buy a voucher for a 1 hour massage for just $90”.

You can choose the expiry date that is reasonable and make sure you explain to the purchaser that it is a limited time offer.

Example two:

Buy a $100 voucher for that special someone to put towards a massage session of their choice.

You must have the 3 year expiry date as there is no discount.

Example 3:

A donation of a voucher to the local kinder raffle.

This is considered a promotional voucher and you can choose the expiry date.

Package deals:

A package of “Buy 5 massages up front and save $$$$”.

This would classify as a promotion BUT you must be very clear about the terms and conditions (eg are the vouchers transferrable to someone else, any refund offered on unused vouchers.)

If the voucher is being used for remedial treatments, be aware, some Health Funds will not pay a rebate on gift vouchers.

As these changes roll out across Australia, you will need to keep an eye out for state specific legislation with your states consumer protection agency.

More detailed information on the changes can be found at:

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