Britons reluctant to return unwanted Xmas giftsHow to take back unwanted Christmas presents

13 December 2006

A Christmas giftwrap

Millions of Britons will be lumbered with unwanted Christmas presents this year because they won't return them to the shops, new Which? research has found.

Our survey reveals that an estimated five-and-a-half million people didn't bother taking back unwanted presents last year.

One-in-five people received at least one gift that was unsuitable, unwanted or faulty and over half of those who were stuck with dud presents didn't return them.

Shopping guide

Peter McCarthy, Senior Lawyer at Which? Legal Service, says: ‘Retailers cash in on our ‘no-return’ attitude – but why should they? Many times you are well within your rights to return the present for something else or even get your money back.

‘Our online guide can help people be smart shoppers this Christmas and New Year returners. After all if you can take back the lavender bath set and novelty socks, then why not?’

Top shopping tips from Which? Legal Service include:

  • Shop around - buy from retailers which have a clear returns policy that allow you, or friends and family, to return presents
  • Keep the receipt – if you want to take something back and cannot prove how much you paid, then after Christmas you may only be offered the sale price for the item
  • Flash the credit card for presents over £100 as you have more rights, especially with faulty goods or if a business goes bust.