Gemutlich owner Diana Love says the business is flexible if customers want to return a gift.
Gemutlich owner Diana Love says the business is flexible if customers want to return a gift. Rob Williams

Need to exchange a Christmas gift? These are your rights

UNWANTED Christmas gifts destined to be returned to the store need to meet consumer law, retailers warn.

While some retailers are happy to exchange or refund items for a change of mind, they are not always legally obliged to.

Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Stirling Hinchliffe said it was important Queenslanders knew what they are entitled to.

"According to Australian Consumer Law, shoppers are entitled to a refund or replacement if an item is faulty, damaged or dangerous," Mr Hinchliffe said.

"Take the receipt with you if you need to return, replace or exchange an item, this will help streamline the process."

Mr Hinchliffe said "no refunds on sale items" were illegal and consumers were entitled to a refund or replacement of a faulty, damaged or dangerous product, even if they purchased the product on sale.

"When hitting the shops, make sure you pay extra attention at the cash register to ensure the scanned price was the same as the price you saw on the shelf," Mr Hinchliffe said.

"In sales after Christmas, retailers often mark down prices or hold promotions - which is great for shoppers, as long as the discounted price isn't misleading and the original price hasn't been inflated."

Ipswich retailer Gemutlich owner Diana Love said the business was flexible if customers wanted to return a gift.

"Sometimes people say I think the person is going to like this gift but if they don't, can they swap it for something else and that's fine," Ms Love said.

"The item has to be as we sold it, with good packaging and not used.

"If the person is really upset, then I don't want anyone upset so we look at each case as it comes in."

Consumer tips:

If claiming a refund or replacement because the product was faulty, consumers don't need the original packaging.

Remember ratailers aren't legally obliged to exchange or refund items if for change of mind.

"No refunds on sale items" signs are illegal - if a product is faulty, damaged or dangerous consumers are entitled to a refund or a replacement.

Keep receipts. Take a photo of a receipt or store it with the 'Buy Smart' app, available from the Office of Fair Trading website.

If consumers suspect any misleading price signage, report it to the Office of Fair Trading.

For more information on consumer and business rights and responsibilities, visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading



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