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Can retailers promote "Pre-GST Sale"?

March 04, 2015 CK Wong Category : , , , , , ,

Goods and Service Tax Malaysia

It is March already and this is a big month for retailers before stepping into the "unknown" month of April, when Goods and Services Tax (GST) starts.

Most retailers including e-tailers are either planning or running promotions, it's like the "last call" to customers before the expected price hike.

We have noticed that a few retailers are using "Pre-GST Sale" as the promotions tagline, like this one below:

Pre-GST sale by a retailer

Is there anything wrong with using "Pre-GST Sale" tagline?

Yes, traders are prohibited from using "Pre-GST Sale" tagline to promote sales of goods, according to Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek. (source)

The minister was reasoning that this could confuse consumers as if prices of goods will be rise with the GST. (Wouldn't it be good if this wasn't true?)

Therefore, you wouldn't see much "Pre-GST Sale" around due to the "you-are-not-supposed-to-mislead-your-customers" restrictions above.

We did stumble upon that one of the leading e-commerce sites in Malaysia is using "Pre-GST Sale" tagline:

Pre-GST sale by a top e-commerce site in Malaysia

We immediately contacted the site above otherwise they could be potentially be charged under the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 for misleading consumers.

They have reacted almost immediately by revising the tagline as below:

Pre-GST sale revised to Pre Price Rise sale

Cool isn't it, "Pre Price Rise Sale"?

Is this a workaround to the restriction by Ministry of Domestic Trade And Consumer Affairs? Are you confused now?


What say you?