Christmas Guide – Returning Broken/Unwanted Gifts – To Get A Refund. 

Your rights and the rules on refunds and broken gifts. 

Thanks to different rules, confusion surrounds what can be returned. There is no guarantee you can return a present – even if you have a receipt. Each retailer has its own policy, which should be displayed in shop or on receipts.  

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When buying and receiving gifts this festive season it is worth understanding your rights before ripping open the wrapping paper.

Thanks to different rules governing internet and in-store purchases.  Shops also apply their own policies, confusion surrounds what can be returned, when and how.

Christmas Guide – Returning Broken/Unwanted Gifts – To Get A Refund.

UNWANTED GIFT

Although many shops allow Christmas presents to be returned for a refund or exchange. There is no guarantee – even if you have a receipt.

Each retailer has its own returns policy, which should be displayed clearly in the shop or on receipts. Most retailers have a 28-day policy for the return of goods for a refund but inevitably some will not accept returns.

But a few extend goodwill at Christmas.

For example, Marks & Spencer usually allows returns of unwanted items for 35 days after purchase.

M&S offer for Christmas shoppers means anything bought in store or online from September 12. Can be returned for a refund until January 15.

Debenhams will allow customers until January 31 to return purchases made from October 20 onwards. 

Although receipts are usually required, you can also present a ‘gift receipt’. This is an alternative to the standard receipt that does not include price paid.

Stores occasionally accept gifts returned even without a receipt. For example, John Lewis will offer a gift card equal to the price that was paid. Debenhams will exchange purchases without a receipt if the gift is identified as sold by the store.

When items are bought online, shoppers often have greater rights than in a high street store. This is because they have not seen or held their purchases in their hands. 

Internet purchases are covered by Consumer Contracts Regulations that give customers the right to a refund to returns up to 14 days. This is after an item has been received – even if nothing is wrong with it.

Present problems: Although many shops allow Christmas presents to be returned for a refund or exchange. There is no guarantee – even if you have a receipt

Christmas Guide – Returning Broken/Unwanted Gifts – To Get A Refund.

BROKEN PRESENT

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, goods must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose. They must also be as described – otherwise you can demand a refund.

This not only includes items that are broken or do not work after being taken out of the box. Also if they fail after just a few days of use.

For example, clothes that shrink after following the washing instructions or a toy that breaks during normal play.

You have 30 days to reject goods and demand a full refund. Even after this period you have the right to ask for a repair or replacement for the first six months.

If the shop decides to offer a repair and this still fails you are then entitled to a full refund. Unfortunately, these rights only apply to the person who bought the product – not the recipient.

So if a Christmas present is not up to scratch then you must hand it back to the giver to sort it all out.

Gifts purchased with a credit card for more than £100, under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 have extra rights. You can hold the card company equally liable with the shops for any faults, or if the items do not arrive.

Putting unwanted gifts up for sale online is a straightforward process but it is important to provide photos and be honest and detailed with any descriptions.

Christmas Guide – Returning Broken/Unwanted Gifts – To Get A Refund.

CHARITY SHOP

AN unloved Christmas gift can bring some seasonal goodwill to others if it is donated to a charity shop – where all proceeds go to a worthy cause.

There are more than 10,000 charity stores in Britain manned by volunteers who rely on generous donors. This helps them survive – in total these shops rake in more than £290 million a year.

Rather than dumping a black bin liner full of goodies on the doorstep of a high street shop in the dead of night. It is best to contact them beforehand.

Most charities have websites where you can find details of local outlets and opening hours when you can visit. It might also be worth calling ahead.

If Santa has been generous the charity shop may even arrange to pick up large items.

Gifts that are still in their original packaging are particularly welcomed by charity shops. Clothes, accessories, homeware, music, toys and games the most sought after.

But when it comes to second-hand electrical items or anything broken, dirty or incomplete then the best place for these is often the rubbish tip.

Christmas Guide – Returning Broken/Unwanted Gifts – To Get A Refund.

SELL ON THE INTERNET

The world’s favourite online market place is eBay – with up to a billion items for sale at any one time.

Putting unwanted gifts up for sale online is a straightforward process but it is important to provide photos and be honest and detailed with any descriptions.

 

You can list up to 20 items for free each month – after which you pay 35p per additional listing.

EBay charges sellers 10 per cent of the sale price (including postage charges) as commission.

If you wish to set a ‘buy it now’ price then it will cost an additional 50p to list the item. Be wary of accepting payments for unwanted Christmas gifts through the online transaction service PayPal – as it demands 3.4 per cent of the final sale price for most goods and an extra 20p fee.

An alternative is the handicrafts marketplace website Etsy – the perfect place to offload unwanted hand-knitted jumpers.

Etsy charges 16p per listing. There is a 3.5 per cent transaction fee on the final sale price – which does not include postage charges. Etsy also has a Direct Checkout system for payments for which it levies a 4 per cent charge of the sale price plus a 20p payment processing fee.

The online classified adverts service Gumtree, which is owned by eBay, allows you to list unwanted gifts for free.

The service makes its money from charging businesses to advertise on its website or for promoting your items at the top of the page. The usual payment methods are PayPal or cash.

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