People say it’s the thought that counts. However, even with all the best effort, sometimes a gift won’t be right. It may be because you got a jumper that’s the wrong size, something that isn’t suitable for your children (Sorry Aunt Bertha, she’s 14 years old now) or it just simply isn’t something you want. Fortunately, there are a few options available to you.


Before returning a gift, consider whether or not you need to. There may be friends or family that could benefit from it or that it would be more appropriate for. Equally a donation to a charity shop would mean the item going to someone that would want it, as well as raising money for a good cause in the process. Of course, when it comes to regifting make sure you don’t give it back to the original giver by mistake!

Get the receipt

First of all, while it may be a difficult conversation, if you can get the original receipt of the gift. This will make it easier when returning the item to the shop as the shop are likely to ask for it. Ideally if you know you don’t want something it is best to keep it unopened as it is more likely that you will be able to exchange it or get money back.

By contrast, if you are the one that paid for the unwanted gift and you paid by card, make sure you bring it with you so that you can get the money back.

Check the shop’s policy

Different shops will have different rules when it comes to returning items. Knowing the rules before you go to take something back will allow you to know what you are talking about. The danger is you can go in, demand a return and the store will point toward their rules. There are some items such as jewellery that may not be returnable, especially if they have already been worn, for the simple reason that returning them would not be hygienic.

On a basic level, you have 14 days cancellation period where you cancel gifts that you purchased. When it comes to returns, if it is not faulty there is no legal obligation to you. However, a lot of shops have specific policies and this is what they have an obligation to stick to. There is also a level of discretion whereby companies may accept a return outside the return period as a “gesture of goodwill”.

Not sure?

If you feel that a shop has not complied with its policies or respected your basic rights then we can help. There may be a dispute about whether or not they have complied with their own rules, or not respected a grace period that has been offered by the company themeselves. Contact Larcomes today and we will be happy to discuss your legal situation in more detail, to help decide if there is a case and whether or not you want to pursue it.