With a steady stream of warnings of shortages this festive season, we want to know – have you started your Christmas shopping yet?
A chorus of retailers have been urging shoppers to crack on with Christmas shopping for a good month or so now.
There are 52 days to go until Christmas Day and seven shopping weekends left. In theory, there’s plenty of time left to buy your Christmas food, treats and presents.
A near-normal Christmas?
This year might be a little different to your usual Christmas – we’re not in lockdown (we hope), so it should be a near-normal Christmas in comparison to last year. However, we are contending with the many warnings of shortages in the shops.
Some parents may be fearing the risk of not being able to get their hands on this year’s most coveted toys, hoping they won’t have to resort to a Schwarzenegger-esque re-enactment of Jingle All the Way…
Many thanks x 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
— Kim Murphy (@KimMurp25272181) October 21, 2021
Last week, we conducted a poll on Twitter asking people if they’ve bought any Christmas presents yet. Of the 662 votes, 41% said no, 33% said they had, 16% hadn’t started but were considering it and 10% told us they don’t buy presents.
We’re warning shoppers thinking of buying presents now to double check the returns policies before you buy.
We recently took a look at the returns policies of some of the UK’s leading toy retailers – now they’ve released all their Christmas promotions and marketing spiel, we wanted to know if they’d extended their returns period to something reasonable for their customers feeling the pressure to buy presents now.
A couple had already extended their policies and most have done so now, although they were a little late (in my opinion) considering many have long been advertising Christmas promotions, listed the ‘most wanted’ toys this Christmas and panicking shoppers with warnings of shortages.
Interestingly, Hamleys offers a generous policy of 60 days for a return and 90 for exchange all year round. However, that’s not so helpful if you’re buying more than two months out from the big day.
Returns problems and your rights
While you’re likely to find most returns policies have now been extended, it’s worthwhile double checking.
In a survey of Christmas shoppers carried out in January this year, we found that one in seven had to return a present and just under half (48%) had a problem with a return.
Returns policies do not affect your statutory rights. The Consumer Rights Act gives you the legal right to either get a refund for goods that are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described, or get it repaired – depending on how long you’ve owned it.
So I’d like to hear from you – have you started Christmas shopping? Have you started earlier than you usually do? Do you feel pressured to buy early? Do you have any tips for Christmas shopping?