The Consumer Lawyer

Returning Christmas gifts

By Dean Dunham – 12 December 2021

This will become a hot topic post Christmas and will be the theme of many readers questions in my post bag. So with this in mind here are the main things you need to know:

Purchases in-store

You have no ‘legal’ right to a refund or exchange just because the recipient of your gift did not like it. However, during the festive period many retailers temporarily change their refund policies and allow for such returns, so its important to check what the position is before you make your purchase. If the gift turns out to be faulty the law does assist, as it says you will be entitled to; a refund (if your still within 30 days of delivery) or if after 30 days a refund, repair or exchange.

Purchases online

If you buy goods online the legal position is totally different, as the Consumer Contracts Regulations say you (or the recipient of your gift) can change your mind and ask for a refund at any time up to 14 days from the date of delivery. Bare the date in mind, as the 14 day period may have expired by Christmas. This same rule applies if you buy a gift from an exhibition, pop up shop or on your stop (which by the way, I do not recommend). So again, it is worth asking the retailer if they have a special returns policy for Christmas.

Finally remember, if you want to return goods that are not faulty, the packaging and the gift itself must be in pristine condition and must be unused.

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