Dean Dunham – 26 December 2021

If you have decided you want to return an unwanted gift to a retailer and the retailer has said it will accept the return; or if you need to return faulty goods, it is important to understand what the consumer laws say in relation to physically returning the item to the retailer.

Faulty goods

When goods are faulty the retailer has a legal obligation to collect the goods from you, arrange for a third party, at its cost, to collect from you or to reimburse you for the cost of sending the goods back.

Unwanted goods

When you return goods (including unwanted gifts) because you simply do not want them, you have responsibility for returning the item at your cost.

Risk in the goods

If the goods are sent back via a courier/delivery service organised and paid for by the retailer, your responsibility for their safekeeping will cease as soon as you hand over the goods. So if the goods go missing or are damaged in transit, it will not be your responsibility.

However, if you arrange for a courier/delivery company to transport the goods, you will remain responsible for them up to the point of delivery.

Top tips

Firstly, take picture of the goods in the box (open so you can see inside) and then sealed. This is not conclusive evidence of the state of the goods and the fact the goods were actually in the box when you sent them back, but it will at least be persuasive evidence.

Secondly, if you arrange the courier/delivery company make sure you take out insurance with the company, to cover you if the goods go missing or are damaged.