The Fixer: unwanted Christmas presents

Do I need a receipt to return unwanted Christmas gifts?

Returning unwanted Christmas gifts: your rights
Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

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Dear Fixer,

My elderly aunt always gives my children inappropriate presents. Last year, for example, she gave my 10-year-old daughter a set of beauty products that included an anti-ageing cream!

I don't want to hurt her feelings or ask her to give them money, but I would like to know whether I can return whatever she gives them without a receipt.

Is that possible or do you always need a receipt to get a refund?

M Foster, Derby

Dear Ms Foster,


It can be tricky to return unwanted Christmas presents if you do not have a receipt. It all depends on the retailer's returns policy.

As a gesture of goodwill, some high street stores do allow you to exchange unwanted items or claim a credit note or gift voucher without a receipt - even if they will not offer a refund. However, they are under no legal obligation to do so.

You can improve the chances of being able to exchange them by researching the retailer's returns policy online and ensuring they are kept in perfect condition and sealed in the original packaging where applicable.

Vitally, you also need to know where your aunt bought the gifts.

Perhaps you could ask her to get a gift receipt - on which you do not see the value - when she buys their presents, just in case they already have the item, for example?

Alternatively, you could always ask her to give them gift vouchers rather than an actual present this year...

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.