Boxing day and January sales tips and adviceHow to find the best deals and know your rights

25 December 2013

Close up of brightly coloured shopping bags clutched by a woman's hand

Many January sales start on Boxing Day so if you've got Christmas money and gift vouchers to spend, here's how to find the best deals and shop in the sales with confidence.

And while you are out trying to bag a bargain, make sure you don’t fall victim to misleading sales or faulty products.

Boxing Day and January sales

Get ahead of the crowds and find out where the best deals are before you leave your home with our round-up of the .

If you're after some cheap technology, find out when is the best time to buy in our round-up of . 

Meanwhile, keen cooks should scour our guide to .

And if you have a young family, you could save some money by visiting our round-up of .

But remember, don't just go for the cheapest item on offer as it might end up costing you more in the long-run.

Returning faulty sale goods

Under the Sale of Goods Act you have the right to claim a refund, replacement or repair but only if sale goods or Christmas presents are faulty.

But be quick, as you'll usually only have a limited time - such as three or four weeks - in which to get your money back.

If time has run out for a refund, or if you prefer, you can ask for a free repair or replacement within the first six months after the date of purchase. In the first six months from when the customer purchases the item, the onus is on the seller to prove the item was of satisfactory quality at the point of sale.

You can check our dedicated consumer rights guide to find out where you stand if you want to return a faulty Christmas present.

Returning unwanted gifts

If you've been bought something you don't like as a present, you don't have a legal right to return something just because you don't want it.

Also, shops aren't legally required to offer a refund, exchange or credit note as part of their returns policy, although many do, unless the item is faulty, not as described or is unfit for purpose.

Some retailers will only exchange or give you a credit note, while others will give you a refund. But all shops usually require a few key things such as a receipt or gift receipt, the card that paid for the item, and the original packaging.

If it was bought online, you may need to ask the person who bought it for you to return it as there are special online regulations that apply to online purchases. You can read more in our guide to returning an item bought online.

Meanwhile, there are also some returns exceptions worth knowing about. Many retailers refuse returns of DVDs, music and computer software, perishable items and made or order items.

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