CONSUMER: What are your rights for returning an unwanted Christmas gift?

If the Christmas shopping binge has run true to form then people will have bought 60 million unwanted presents at a staggering cost of £360 million. That adds up to a lot of perfume, hankies, socks, and deodorants.

Tuesday, 1st January 2019, 2:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:22 am
Christmas presents

So what are your rights if you want to return the unwanted ill-suited gift?

You might be surprised to know that retailers don't have to agree to returns unless they're faulty. If you buy items that are broken, damaged, defective, or don't come up to scratch you have a number of obligatory statutory rights. These rules don't apply if the product just isn't to your liking.

In an effort to keep you coming through their doors many high street retailers offer '˜goodwill' returns policies, especially at this time of year.

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Normally the store will either give you a refund, exchange, or a credit note on presentation of a standard or gift receipt. But beware the store will have its own rules and timescale for returning items you don't want.

There are more alternative rules if the items were bought online. Regulations introduced in 2013 give you up to 14 days to return an item for a refund.  But distance selling rules are riddled with exceptions. You can't return DVD's, music, or computer software if you've broken the packaging or product seal.

You also can't send back perishable goods like food or flowers, the item has been made to order, or otherwise personalised.