How to buy building materials in Australia
Posted June 14, 2018 04:20:00 The number of Australian businesses looking to buy or lease building materials from overseas is on the rise, with a growing number of online sellers seeking to compete with overseas sellers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has flagged the proliferation of online selling platforms in the construction industry, with some businesses looking for a way to compete directly against their overseas counterparts.
The ACCC’s National Consumer Protection Directorate has also identified a range of online vendors offering building materials for sale in Australia.
In a submission to the Federal Government, the Directorate said a number of the online sellers have “overwhelmingly” used Australian trademarked trademarks and are selling building materials that they do not have in Australia, but that can be used by overseas competitors.
“There is a significant difference between a legitimate building material seller and a rogue one,” the submission said.
“The major online sellers who appear to be using Australian trademarks in the most egregious manner appear to have no relationship to Australian businesses.”ACCC chief executive commissioner Greg O’Brien said while online selling of building materials was not illegal, it was not good practice.
“It’s a way for businesses to raise capital to invest in their businesses and provide services to their customers.”
If the sellers are using trademarked marks, they are breaking the law and should be prosecuted,” he said.ACCC’s submissions came as it sought the assistance of a number overseas building materials vendors, who were looking to compete against Australian building materials sellers.
It is understood one of the overseas sellers was a company called “Builders Supply” and a number were building materials suppliers.
The building materials industry is one of Australia’s largest, with around one in every four buildings constructed in Australia being a new building, with another one in five being a refurbished or refurbished-for-sale structure.ACC staff are also aware of a growing phenomenon involving online sellers, with one building materials supplier looking to sell building materials through a third-party platform.”
This business appears to be more interested in selling to third parties and the seller has no affiliation to the building material or the builder,” the ACCC submission said, adding that the third-parties “do not own any of the trademark rights or any of their trademarks.
“The ACCCC said it was investigating “whether the third party has a legitimate business or not”.”
In this instance, the company does not have a licence to sell to the Australian building material market,” the regulator said.
The submission noted that building materials companies had recently started “marketing” through the platform BuilderShare, which was registered under the domain name “BuildYourBuilding”.”
The company appears to have established its presence through this platform and has been active in promoting its services and selling building material to other builders,” the ASIC submission said of the company.
The ASIC submission noted builders often “trade in building materials without any relationship with the builder, instead simply selling the building materials to other building materials retailers and online sellers”.ACCC officials are also concerned about the practice of using “bundling” or “bulk” building materials products, where online sellers sell one product at a time, instead of selling a whole product.”
In the current environment, it is clear that building material suppliers are not providing legitimate goods and services to Australian builders,” a spokesperson for the ACCCC told ABC News.”
They may have a legitimate connection to the builder or a connection to a third party, but it is not clear whether these connections are beneficial to the consumer.”ACC spokeswoman Caroline O’Leary said the regulator was also looking at whether there were any issues with “bundle” building material, a practice whereby builders would buy one product, then sell it to others.”
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The ACCCA has been working with industry, building trade bodies and others to determine whether these bundling practices are appropriate and the ACCAC will continue to work with industry and the building trade body to ensure this does not occur in the future.”
Topics:consumer-protection,industry,finance-and-finance,online-commerce,advertising,consumers,government-and–politics,law-crime-and,federal-government,au,australiaMore stories from Victoria