If your household is anything like mine, you will receive well-meaning but unwanted Christmas presents.
That usb fish aquarium or that remote control cushion may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but what are you going to do with it? Do you have to keep the present or can you return it and buy something that you would actually like?
Whether you can return an unwanted Christmas gift is governed by Australian Consumer Law.
The right to return faulty items
Under those laws you are able to return items which either don’t do what they are supposed to, or are faulty.
If the fish in your usb fish aquarium won’t swim, or if the remote control cushion won’t turn your tv on, then you are able to return them under Australian Consumer Law.
You are also able to return items if they do not match the advertised description. If your piece of furniture does not match the sizes advertised, you are able to return it.
Items should last a reasonable amount of time
You are able to return any item which does not work for a reasonable amount of time after purchase. You can’t return a toaster that stops working after ten years but you can if it stops working after two weeks. A reasonable amount of time will also vary depending on the item. A fridge for example will be expected to last a lot longer than a fidget spinner.
What can you do if you simply do not like the item?
This is where it becomes more difficult. A store is not obliged to accept the return of an item simply because you don’t like it. Some stores will, particularly if you still have the receipt. It is also a good idea to keep the original packaging. Ultimately, if you don’t like the item, a store can refuse to accept a return or an exchange. The best alternative is to try and re-sell it on eBay or Gumtree.