Martin Lewis issues warning to shoppers who have bought their Christmas presents early

13 November 2020, 10:07 | Updated: 13 November 2020, 10:15

Martin Lewis has explained why early Christmas shoppers could lose money
Martin Lewis has explained why early Christmas shoppers could lose money. Picture: ITV/Getty Images

The Money Saving Expert told This Morning viewers to 'buy and beware' when Christmas shopping online.

With all non essential shops currently closed in England, Christmas shopping will be slightly different this year.

But now financial expert Martin Lewis has warned that doing your festive buying early could actually lose you money.

The Money Saving Expert appeared on ITV's This Morning, where he spoke to one caller about their rights for returning Christmas gifts bought online.

This Morning viewer Ashton was worried about buying his family presents online and what the return policies are, after noticing nowhere was offering gift receipts.

He asked: "With the current Covid lockdown restriction on retail it seems a lot of people are choosing to buy Christmas presents slightly early this year and online.

Martin Lewis appeared on This Morning
Martin Lewis appeared on This Morning. Picture: ITV

"As far as I'm aware you can't request a gift receipt online. What are our rights to return or exchanges for things that are unsuitable and have been purchased online?"

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Martin then warned that gift receipts are invalid online, because the product would have to go back to the person who bought it.

He explained: "Let's start with the basics. What is a gift receipt?

"Well, currently the rules are that only the person who purchased it has a right to return.

"So if you give someone a gift they can’t return it unless they have a gift receipt that gives them that right.

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"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."

Martin then said that while buyers actually have more rights online to return gifts, they only have a short period of time to do so.

That means if you buy a present now, and it ends up not being right, you would have missed out on the 28 days return policy.

"The real issue here is how long you have to return gifts online,” he said, continuing: "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."

The expert added that shoppers should be completely sure their gifts won't need to be returned before they start buying now.

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