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Can shops force you to have items delivered?

Can a physical store stop you from picking up an ordered item? (Images: Getty)

You visit a physical store but the item you want is not in stock.

Most shops would then offer to order it in for you. But Yahoo Finance has received feedback that some customers are asked to pay a delivery fee to have it shipped to their home.

No option of picking it up at the store for free is given.

Anecdotally this happens most often in furniture stores, where the retailer does not want the package taking up space nor provide the labour to hand over item to the customer.

Unfortunately those customers have no recourse, except to shop elsewhere.

"There are no provisions under the Australian Consumer Law that require a trader with a physical shop front to offer a cost-free pick up method, where the goods are a special order or custom made," a Fair Trading NSW spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

But of course it's a different story if the ordered item is not supplied within a reasonable time.

"Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not accept payment for products or services if they know, or should have known, they would not be able to supply the products or services within the timeframe indicated – or if no timeframe was provided, within a reasonable time," the ACCC website states.

So beware when you order in a product in a store – you could be stung for delivery even though you made the effort to physically visit.

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