Best way to return unwanted Christmas gifts – what you need to know to get money back

In order to return a gift, a proof of purchase is required to get a replacement or a cash refund from the retailer. According to Which?, the best way to do this is by handing over the item in question’s gift receipt. However, if a receipt was not given along with the present, you will need to ask for it from the gift giver who bought it for you.

If an item is bought in-store and is not faulty, there will be no grounds for the item to be returned or refunded.

When returning a gift with the receipt, you may be asked who gave it to you and when they bought it.

As well as having the receipt, it is crucial to have this information on hand so the retailer knows you are telling the truth.

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To avoid the awkwardness that often arises from returning Christmas presents, many households are opting to give cash and gift cards instead.

A recent survey by AJ Bell found that over half of Britons are planning to gift their loved ones money this Christmas.

Laura Suter, the firm’s Head of Personal Finance, noted that many older people are deciding to give money instead of purchasing gifts.

Ms Suter explained: “Cash is still king for people giving money this Christmas, with it being the most popular monetary gift this festive season.

“However, people’s likelihood of gifting cash varies dramatically by age and it’s the older generations keeping cash alive.

“Grandparents slipping their grandkids a fiver in their Christmas card are helping to maintain the trend of giving cash.

“(Some) 68 percent of those aged 55 to 64 and 62 percent of those 65 and above are planning to hand over cash rather than a present this year.

“But stuffing some cash in an envelope isn’t just the refrain of older people, as 72 percent of those 44 to 54 plan to give physical cash too. In comparison, just a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds would give cash and only a third of 25 to 34-year-olds.”

The finance expert acknowledged the popularity of gift cards, which allow people to buy their own presents, however

“Gift cards are still a popular option, with two-fifths of people planning to hand over a voucher rather than a present this year.

“Sending a gift card grew in popularity during the pandemic, as people couldn’t meet to exchange gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and gift cards for digital games or spending on digital downloads is becoming more common for children.

“While this is a great option for the person who has everything or the hard-to-buy-for, as around £100m gift cards or vouchers went unused during lockdown it might not be the wisest choice.”

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