6 On Your Side Answers: Tips on returning unwanted Christmas gifts

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – It’s probably happened to you before at Christmas. There is that gift that either doesn’t fit, just isn’t right or you simply hate. So what do you do?

Diane from Madisonville asks: “Do you have some tips on how to return unwanted gifts?”

Most retailers, especially at Christmas, choose to provide a goodwill return policy offering an exchange, refund or credit note for most returns. Often these policies are posted at the store.

If your gift was bought online, over the phone or by mail order you have additional rights to return it under the Consumer Contracts Regulation.

There are, however, some gifts you can’t return.  These include perishable items, such as food or drinks, DVD’s, music and computer software where the seal has been broken.

Depending on a retailer’s returns policy, you may need the receipt when you return a gift.

If you’re buying a gift for someone else, ask for a gift receipt so they can change it if they want to.

Another thing to remember is if you paid for an item with a debit or credit card, take it with you when you return the item.

This is especially important if you want a refund because it’s often credited to the card you paid with.

Also, if you still have it, bring the original packaging with the gift you want to return, even down to the cable ties. It’s important to remember on Christmas morning to keep that box package and not to rip to shreds, at least for a while until you are sure you want the gift.

If you want to return an online gift bought by a friend or family member, if you don’t have the receipt, you’ll have to ask for it, or ask the person who bought it for you to return it because there are special online regulations that apply to online purchases.

Some retailers impose time limits for returning products, but many extends their return policies around Christmas, so you might have more time than you think. You should ask first.

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