BEFORE YOU BUY
Start shopping as early as possible to take advantage of pre-Christmas sales and the widest choice
Decide how much you are going to spend on everyone and write lists of everything you need to buy. Keep to your lists and try to avoid impulse buys.
HOW TO BUY
Internet shopping is becoming very popular and you have extra rights when shopping from home. There are also pitfalls. Buy from well known traders and get their actual addresses and telephone numbers. Pay for items over £100 by credit card – this gives you extra protection but make sure you are buying from a secure site when you give your credit card details. Never send your credit card details by e-mail.
Beware of scams especially of sites that say “this is not a scam” - reputable traders don’t need to say this.
WHEN YOU BUY
Check the shop’s policy on unsuitable goods. Different shops have different policies. This is legal. You do not have an automatic right to a refund on unsuitable goods. Some shops will offer a refund on unsuitable goods while others will just offer credit notes or exchanges. Some may not offer anything. It is up to the shop what its customer policy is. Check on time periods for returning unsuitable goods. This can also vary from shop to shop.
KEEP ALL RECEIPTS
You will need the receipts if the presents are unsuitable and the shop is prepared to offer an exchange. It is always useful to have receipts if you have bought something that is faulty. If you pay by credit card check your receipts against your statements.
Take care when buying toys. Always check for the CE safety mark and make sure the toy is suitable for the child’s age.
Use cash for small purchases and check your change. Use your credit card for items over £100 for extra protection.
AFTER YOU BUY
Test any toys you buy to make sure they work, and that all the accessories are there. Check if they need any batteries and buy these so that the toy can be played with on Christmas Day.
If something you have bought is faulty return it as quickly as possible. Delays in returning faulty goods can affect your rights.
TOP 10 TIPS ON RETURNING GOODS AFTER CHRISTMAS
• Go back to the shop as soon as possible, but NOT on the day they start their sale!
• Do not remove labels if you think goods might be unsuitable and may have to be returned
• Keep unsuitable goods safe and secure and preferably not in a smoky atmosphere
• Bring the receipt – most shops ask for this when unsuitable goods are being returned
• Check the shops policy. If the shop says its policy is to offer exchanges or credit notes on unsuitable goods – THIS IS REASONABLE
• Know your rights. If you have bought faulty goods you can ask for a refund or a repair or a replacement. Exactly what you are entitled to depends on the particular circumstances of your complaint
• Remember shops do NOT have to give refunds on unsuitable goods unless this was agreed before the goods were bought
• Being told you can bring goods back does NOT necessarily mean the shop will give a refund. It may just be offering an exchange or credit
• Different shops have policies on unsuitable goods. This is legal. In law shops do not have to make any offer at all when someone is returning unsuitable goods.
• KEEP CALM – DO NOT LOSE YOUR TEMPER! Do not be rude about the item, especially if the person who bought it is with you. Be polite and friendly and expect the assistant to want to help you – they usually do! Smile! It can work wonders