Mid Ulster: Here’s what to do with unwanted gifts

What will you do with your unwanted gifts?
What will you do with your unwanted gifts?

Christmas is a time of giving and receiving but there might be times when we wish we hadn’t received the novelty socks or pungent soaps now resigned to the back of a cupboard somewhere!

So what could you do about gifts that aren’t suitable, you already have or simply don’t want?

The Consumer Council is providing some timely advice on returning them.

Philippa McKeown-Brown, Head of Consumer Skills said: “None of us want to seem ungrateful but it’s a sure bet we’re stuck with one or two Christmas presents we won’t use. If you feel brave enough to speak to the person that gave you gift, bear in mind...

· The store may only offer an exchange or credit note. By law, they don’t need to do anything at all if there’s nothing wrong with the item other than that you don’t want it but many stores will offer gestures of goodwill.

· If the item was bought by debit or credit card the store will need to pay any refund back onto that card, they won’t be able to give you the cash equivalent.

· You will probably be asked for proof of purchase. The best way to do this is to have the receipt, or a gift receipt. However, if the item was bought by card then a bank statement will also act as proof.

· If you’re at all unsure about a present you’ve been given, don’t throw away the packaging or remove labels because it may look as if you’ve used the item.

· Not all goods can be returned for example CDs, DVDs and games which have had the seal broken or goods that have been personalised e.g. engraved with your name or perishable items like a food hamper.

The Consumer Council has produced useful Receipt Wallets to keep gift and sales receipts safe and we have handy information guides including ‘Your Guide to Shopping Safely Online’, ‘Safer Ways to Pay’ and ‘Returning Gifts Factsheet’.