3 January 2017 - Janet Bird
Retailers are bracing themselves for 'take back Tuesday', when shoppers flock to return unwanted Christmas gifts.
January 3rd is expected to be the busiest day of the year for returns, with the Post Office predicting the number of parcels sent back will be 50 percent higher than normal.
After analysing data from its Tracked Return service, which is used by more than 1,000 online sellers, the Post Office also revealed - perhaps unsurprisingly - that women's clothes are the most likely Christmas gift to be sent back.
But be warned - consumer champion Which? points out that high street shops do not actually have to accept returns unless an item is faulty, not as described or is unfit for purpose. Most, of course, do choose to provide a 'goodwill' returns policy, especially at Christmas, but there is no legal obligation for them to do so.
Interestingly, if your gift was bought online, you do have a 14 day cancellation period during which the item can be returned for a full refund. The trader also has to refund the basic delivery cost.
To return unwanted goods, you will need a receipt to provide proof of purchase. If you don't want to keep something bought online for you by someone else, you may need to ask the person who bought it for you to return it, as there are special online regulations that apply to internet purchases.
And some items you will just not be able to return - such as perishables and made to order products.