£225 Million of Unwanted Gifts Will Travel Back To the Shelf Today

The 14 day ‘cool-off cancellation period’ is nearly up so it’s National Returns Day; time to get rid of those ill-fitting jumpers and garish earrings from your Nan.

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Don’t panic if you haven’t quite decided if you wanted to keep that dog shaped biscuit tin yet though, many retailers are extending their returns window just because it’s Christmas. M&S are accepting returns on items bought before 14th September until 16 January, and BHS will return items purchased from 1st of October to up to 31st of January, for example. And Amazon.co.uk says it has extended its 30 day returns period so any items bought up until 31 December can be returned until 31 January.

John Lewis, New Look, House of Fraser, Monsoon, Asos, Waterstones and Currys all have 3 month return policies as standard on all online purchases. Just make sure to read the returns policies respectively and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Christmas; a time for family, friends, overindulgence and wine, but also a time for ridiculous presents and utter confusion as you unwrap that snow spade. In the period following Christmas, particularly around January 6th, research reveals that returns on items jump by 81%, compared to normal levels for the rest of the year. Clothing is the most returned (14.5% of purchases) with jewellery following in a close second at 11.8%.

Returns peak this time of year as the time for when you are allowed to return an item bought online, known as a ‘cool-off cancelation period’, normally runs out about now. We have, however, seen an increase in people returning items after Christmas year-on-year. Is this due to us being a nation of terrible present purchasers? Or is it because we are becoming more comfortable with returning items given to us?

The evidence speaks for itself: 65% of customers are expected to return an item bought online this year. This is up from 51% just three years ago. This is only possible because of the differing of consumer rights with items purchased online in comparison to over the counter. High street stores don’t even have to accept a returned item unless it is faulty if you buy it in-store.

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