Swapping chaos in shops and traffic

swapping gift shoppingHopefully you have a swap notice with your Christmas gift, to make swapping of unwanted presents easier. Photo: NTB scanpix

Swapping chaos in both shops and traffic

Every year, Norwegians swap Christmas gifts for millions. It makes for chaos in both the stores and in traffic, and many traffic accidents are expected on «the big swapping day».


December is the biggest collision month of the year. The month is very busy and Norwegians are stressing to shop for food and Christmas gifts, and later swap them for something else. Every year, Norwegians trade in Christmas gifts for millions of NOKs.

Roger Ytre-Hauge is the professional leader for vehicles in Frende Forsikring. He says that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the quietest days on the injury front throughout December before they strike back with a vengeance when the shops open on Boxing Day.

«The big swapping day» came in the fourth spot on the list of days with the most vehicle accidents in December,  registered with Frende insurance last year. According to Ytre-Hauge, many accidents occur during the swapping chaos, when people are stressed out and in a hurry, and bump into walls, trash cans, curbs and other vehicles.

Calm down

– The Yuletide lasts for a long time, so there is no need to stress. Listen to a Christmas carol, calm down and think about driving prudently and safely. Then you avoid coming home with an insurance claim in your shopping bag after the mother of swapping days, he states.

Virke Professional Trade, however, believes that it is smart to be an early bird with regards to swapping, as sizes and models can quickly become sold out. They also recommend getting the item swapped as soon as possible before the sales begin in January. It still pays to be a good scout and bring a receipt or exchange note along.

– The chance of having the Christmas gift swapped for something else is increased if you are out early and the item is still packaged, Director of Professional Trade, Bror William Stende.

He thinks we should be even better at swapping Christmas gifts we don’t need or not going to use, so we end up with things we need only (instead of 3 copies of the latest Christmas album).

– It is good for the environment too boot, he smiles.

Check your exchange note

The Consumer Council‘s call before Christmas was to remember the exchange note on all gifts. According to Acting Head of Consumer Dialogue in Consumer Council Thomas Iversen, one must be aware that the exchange note may have a time limit.

If the gift does not have a swap tag, it is up to the store if you get to swap it for something else. There is no statutory right to have goods exchanged or to receive a credit slip.

If you are one of those who will be driving in order to swap your gifts in the coming days, the insurance company encourages to orientate yourself one time extra, peek around, calm down, not rely solely and completely on sensors and use the rear window and mirrors instead when backing out of a parking lot – better still, learn to reverse park!

If you also have swap note for your gift and are within the time limit you will probably have a good swapping experience without scratching the paint on your vehicle in the process.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today