Returning unwanted gifts

29th December 2011 - Fine Cut

The public is being advised how to handle their unwanted Christmas presents, The Portsmouth News writes.

Although much thought and money goes in to selecting the perfect Christmas present, it's inevitable that in one or two cases, the buyer will have got it wrong, presenting a gift that doesn't meet the receiver's expectations. Consequently, many people may consider visiting the high street or logging onto the internet to return an unwanted item.

Unknown to many, shops do not have to accept returns unless they are faulty. Fortunately, many retailers operate a "goodwill" policy, should particular criteria be satisfied.

One such piece of advice is to keep all of the products labels and packaging intact, proving that the product has not been used. This will also enable to store to re-sell it.

Another tip is to try to obtain the receipt, as the returns policy rules are usually printed on the back. They may also stipulate a time period which could be anything from 28 to 90 days, to which the consumer should adhere.

Bear in mind that some stores may not offer a cash refund, rather a credit note or exchange instead.

If shopping online, The Independent writes, consumers are protected under the Distance Selling Regulations, allowing a cooling off period.

The most important point is for consumers to know their rights under the Sales of Goods Act. Any item that is not as it has been described should entitled you to a refund. Personalised and perishable items could, however, be exempt.

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