Buying goods by weight or measure

You have a right to expect that any goods you purchase by weight or volume have been accurately weighed and measured, and that all pre-packed goods are labelled with their correct weight.

If you're concerned about an incorrect weight or measure of a product, phone the National Measurement Institute on 1800 020 076 or email

To ensure you get what you've paid for:

  • Check the quantity statements on the goods you buy.
  • Make sure you have a clear view of the scales. When buying goods by weight over the counter, the trader must place the scales so you can see the weight, price per kilogram, total price and the goods being weighed - otherwise, ask for a written statement of the measurement.
  • Ensure the shop scales display zero weight before your goods are weighed. If they don't, tell the trader.
  • Make sure that the scale is clear of other items and only the goods you are purchasing are being weighed when the price is being calculated.
  • Check the price per kilogram on the scales matches the advertised price.
  • Check the price on the scales is the price you're charged at the checkout.
  • Check your receipt to ensure the calculated price matches the advertised price.
  • Pay only for the product, not the packaging material - eg if you buy potato salad at the deli counter, you should only pay for the salad, not for the weight of the plastic container. In many stores, the electronic checkout scales are set to automatically deduct the weight of the packaging during the weighing process. In other stores, staff manually set the scale to deduct the weight of the packaging materials.
  • If you're not present when the goods are being measured, make sure you have a receipt that states the measurement used.
  • At the service station, after you've picked up the nozzle and before you start filling your fuel tank, make sure the display of the fuel dispenser is indicating all zeroes on the volume and total price indicators.

Contact CBS

Online: Contact CBS

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 7 December 2022

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