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Your 12 top Xmas shopping tips

Created on 19/12/2010 @ 16:45
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Newtown shoppers can now shop with confidence this festive season after mynewtown teamed up with Trading Standards to provide 12 top tips.
Whether the prospect of last minute Christmas shopping fills you with excitement or sheer dread, Powys County Council’s Trading Standards Service is urging consumers to follow the handy tips for a trouble-free Christmas shopping.
12 top Christmas shopping tips
1. Check the store's returns policies - Many stores will offer generous returns policies but these may differ so make sure you check whether refunds, exchanges or credit notes are available and how long you have to return goods. Remember, you don't automatically have the right to return unwanted presents.
2. Keep your receipts - If you wish to return your goods, or make a claim against the retailer, you will need proof of purchase. So try and keep all your receipts as well as bank and credit card statements.
3. Gift receipts - It can be worth asking if shops offer gift receipts. These are designed to enable the gift receipt to return the goods or make a claim against the retailer if something is wrong.
4. Remember your rights - Any goods that you buy, whether in the high street, online or in your own home, must fit the description given, be of satisfactory quality and suitable for purpose. If they're not, you can claim against the retailer and may be entitled to refunds, repairs or replacements.
5. Act promptly if something is wrong - It's worth checking your presents as soon as you get them home or as soon as they're delivered. If something is wrong, you will need to act promptly if you wish to reject the goods and claim a full refund.
6. Repairs or replacements - If goods are inherently defective (as opposed to being misused or suffering from normal wear and tear), you may be entitled to a free repair, like for like replacement or partial refund. If there's a fault in the first six months after purchase, the onus will be on the trader to prove that the fault was not present at the time of sale. After that, it's down to the consumer.
7. Guarantees - Many goods will come with a free one year warranty which should offer protection in addition to that provided by your statutory rights. Make sure you read the terms and conditions and follow the instructions to validate your warranty.
8. Extended warranties - Extended warranties enable you to repair or replace faulty appliances after the end of the manufacturer's free guarantee. They may also offer additional benefits such as theft or damage insurance but you need to think carefully about whether an extended warranty is a good deal. They may provide peace of mind but can be expensive compared to repair costs and you may already be protected by your consumer rights, your home insurance policy or through your bank or credit card.
9. Do your online shopping in time - Online retailers have up to 30 days to deliver goods unless otherwise agreed, so it's worth doing your online shopping early enough to make sure your goods arrive in time for Christmas. If you want your goods to arrive before Christmas, make sure this is guaranteed by the retailer.
10. Remember your extra online shopping protections - In addition to your normal statutory rights, you also have extra protections when shopping online. In most cases, you will have seven working days after delivery to change your mind for any reason and get a full refund, including the original delivery charges. You may be asked to cover the reasonable costs of return carriage but these must be made clear in the terms and conditions.
11. Using a credit card - Although you should be careful not to over extend yourself, buying items costing more than £100 and under £30,000 on a credit card can offer significant consumer protection, as the credit card provider becomes liable for any breach of contract, even if you buy from abroad.
12. Shopping in the January sales - Remember you have exactly the same rights on sale items as you do on full price goods. However, if a reduction is offered as a result of a fault that is pointed out to you, you won't be able to make a claim for this later.
For further information on consumer rights visit
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