What to do with that Xmas Present you didn’t want!

Christmas is a time for giving, which is why many people end up with at least one present they don’t want, need or like – so what are your options?

The first tip is for the giver to attach a gift receipt with the present, this will give details of the purchase but not the price, it makes life much easier when seeking an exchange or refund and also transfers the buyer’s rights to you if the goods are faulty.

Nonetheless, if the item is something you like, but is simply the wrong size for example, most shops will allow an exchange for the correct size. Many retailers also operate a ‘goodwill’ returns policy offering exchange, refund or a voucher for unwanted items through to mid-January.

Buying gifts on-line is a slightly different matter and is more flexible. If your gift was purchased on-line, over the phone or by mail-order then the present buyer has additional rights under consumer law. Basically, you have a 14 days cooling off period after your order has been received to notify the seller that you intend to return the item and get a full refund, this then triggers a further 14 days in which to return the item.

Another option is to sell the item on eBay, local facebook selling groups or gumtree, but always check the credibility of potential buyers.

Perhaps the easiest way of dealing with the ‘unwanted gift’ dilemma is to store the presents away in your cupboard or loft and use them for gifts to other people when the need arises. One word of caution, make sure you don’t end up giving a gift back to someone who gave it to you!

Another tip for buyers is to use a credit card for purchases. This means you are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which gives additional protection on purchases between £100 and £30,000. On debit cards, you may be covered by a voluntary scheme called ‘chargeback’ which includes protection on purchases under £100.

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Cllr Clarence Barrett


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