Give the unwanted present a better future
Another Christmas has been and gone. Strange as it may have been for many of us, one thing is for sure: some of us received presents we didn’t really want!
So, what are your rights when it comes to returning unwanted Christmas presents? It has become a little more complicated due to Covid. (What hasn’t?)
10 top tips on your rights and what to do with unwanted presents:
1) A store does not have to take back an unwanted present. It will depend on the store’s policy as to whether they will accept an item for a refund or a voucher as a goodwill gesture. Many, particularly the large stores, will do this and extend their returns policy timeframe.
2) The contract is always between the purchaser and the retailer. Therefore you will need a gift receipt (which transfers the rights from the purchaser to the gift recipient) or the original receipt.
3) Some larger stores may take an item for a refund without a receipt but remember they don’t have to do this and will offer you the price that the item is currently selling at, so hope it’s not in the sale!
4) If the item is faulty, not as described or hasn’t lasted a reasonable length of time, then it is a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and you are entitled to a full refund (within 30 days of purchase) or replacement or repair but you will need the proof of purchase.
5) If the item was bought online and you have a gift receipt, you have 14 days from the point of receiving the item to notify the online retailer about returning the item and a further 14 days to return the item. It will depend on the trader’s terms and conditions as to whether you have to pay postage.
6) If the item was bought in store and would normally accept a return but it is closed due to Covid tier restrictions, it is worth emailing the store to notify them and ask what their policy is. You will then have a written record and a reply to inform you of their policy. Many will extend their policies as they try and keep custom.
7) You could try to return the item that was bought in store via the post but you must arrange this with the retailer and get written confirmation and details of how to do this as many retailers, even (unbelievably!) the larger stores are not set up to do this.
8) A retailer is very likely to give you a refund for an unwanted present on a gift card. Make sure you spend this quickly. In the current climate if a shop sadly goes into administration cards are unlikely to be accepted. Many will last only a year or two too and you may well forget that you have it. Spend it or lose it.
9) If you can’t return an unwanted gift you can do a number of things: Upcycle, donate to charity, give toiletries and food gifts to a food bank, contact your council social services department to ask to whether unwanted homeware and toys could be donated to a family or toy library, keep for fundraisers and even look at renting! Many people now hire out anything from power tools to baby clothes! More information can be found at What to do with the ghost of Christmas Present?
10) If you intend to regift make sure you make a note of who gave you what, as it is quite common for people to regift something back to the person who gave it to them! Don’t donate to your school fete a present that could easily be noticed by your friend and check for any personal messages on calendars books etc. before donating!
Make this the year the year you have those discussions about reducing the amount you spend on gifts! Raise the conversation later in the year, talk about wastage, giving to charity instead (many people do this instead of sending cards now, so this is just an extension) or just giving to children!
Coronavirus COVID-19 rights, refunds, reschedules for more help and consumer advice on purchases throughout the pandemic.
Here’s to a better 2021 with less wastage and more support for the charities which so desperately need us.
For a present you won’t want to return! GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! Full of information, advice, stories, consumer rights and template letters!