Martin Lewis issues warning over buying Christmas presents early and online

Martin Lewis has warned that buying Christmas presents well in advance of the big day could pose a significant problem.

The Money Saving Expert appeared on This Morning yesterday, where he was asked by caller Ashton about shoppers’ rights of returning and exchanging online orders slightly earlier this year.

“Ultimately, my answer is buyer beware.

“If you’re buying something early and you think you might want to return it or exchange it, if the shop doesn’t allow that and you’re going to give it to them at Christmas, then you do not have a legal right to return them.”

Usually, stores offer 28 days right to return so anything purchased before the 28-day threshold up to Christmas may not be able to be returned.

Martin explained you need to purchase a “gift receipt”.

“So if you give someone a gift they cant return it unless they have a gift receipt that gives them that right,” he said.

"If you were doing an online return the process means the gift would have to go back to the person who bought it, so I think the gift receipt element is a bit for a red herring."

The rules on who can return the products get trickier when bought online.

The financial whizz continued: "The real issue here is how long you have to return gifts online.

"In store you have no right to return unless the shop allows it or the product is faulty.

"Goods bought online, unless they are perishable or personalised, you have an absolute right to return and you have 14 days with which to notify them of your intent to return and then a further 14 days to send it back, so maximum is 28 days.

"A lot of people think the maximum is 28 days, that's not the case, if you tell them you're returning it after three days you have 14 days to return it.

"If you bought it online you actually have more rights."

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