£223m worth of Christmas gifts will be returned this year

23 Dec, 2014

According to the latest research, £223m worth of unwanted Christmas gifts are set to be returned this year .

As a result comparison site Gocompare.com is urging people to check retailer’s returns policies before heading to the shops, as 45% of Brits who have tried to return gifts in the past said they had been unsuccessful.

The survey revealed that just under one in ten (9%) of Brits returned presents last year, worth on average £50.

Over the years, 29% of shoppers say they have attempted to return a Christmas present.  While the main reasons for returning presents was to exchange them for a better fit or colour (45%) or simply because the recipient didn’t like what they had been given (40%), 12% said that they had returned a gift because they wanted the cash.

When questioned about their experience in returning an unwanted gift:

  • 45% said that they have been unsuccessful;
  • 44% said that they have always been successful when returning presents;
  • A quarter said that they were told by the retailer that they couldn’t get a refund or exchange without a receipt;
  • 12% said that the retailer had told them they were beyond the time limit for returns;
  • 11% said that the shop had refused the return claiming that the item had been used or was damaged;
  • One in ten had been told that the retailer didn’t accept returns.

In addition, 38% of those surveyed said they have kept an unwanted Christmas present because they didn’t want to upset the person who gave it to them, while 17% did so because they didn’t think they could get a refund or exchange without a receipt.

Only 16% of those surveyed said that they were always honest with the giver about returning gifts, 14% said that they tend to avoid the subject of unwanted presents while 9% admitted to lying to the giver about returning a gift.

A Gocompare spokesman said: “As a goodwill gesture, many high-street stores operate a ‘returns policy’ which allow you to exchange, or receive a refund, credit note or gift voucher for unwanted presents.  These policies typically require items to be in unused, perfect condition and sealed in their original packaging and exclude perishable items such as food and drink and specially commissioned or personalised gifts.