Consumer Council: “Remember gift receipts for Christmas presents”

Christmas giftChristmas gift. Photo:

The shops are often fair about exchanges, but the Consumer Council reminds us that there is no formal “Exchange Policy”. For gifts purchased online in Norway or the EU, the “right of exchange or return” applies within 14 days of purchase.

It is a busy time with hectic days in stores and online shops around the country.

Overall it is expected that around NOK 58 billion will be spent during the last month of the year, according to the forecast figures from Virke.

Over half of us are expected to go online to purchase Christmas gifts this year. However, only about 6 percent will buy most or all of their gifts online, according to a survey by Response Analysis done for SpareBank 1 in November.

It’s not always easy to find gifts for Norwegians who often have a lot of everything. It is therefore wise to ask for a gift receipt (byttelap) when purchasing Christmas gifts.

No Exchange Policy

And if you’ve received a gift that you want to exchange, it’s smart to do it as quickly as possible, preferably just after Christmas, before the new year, suggests the Consumer Council.

– There is also no formal exchange law in Norway, as many believe. Exchanging of gifts is voluntary and is based on a long standing tradition, but it’s still the business’ rules that apply, and they may vary from store to store, explains Consumer Service Director Ingeborg Flønes from the Consumer Council.

She suggests that it is a good idea to ask the shop if the gift can be exchanged and if so, to request a gift receipt.

– The idea is that the store should be able to sell the item again. The right to exchange applies basically commodity for commodity, so you can not claim the money back. To exchange as quickly as possible, is also wise, stresses Flønes.

Exchange during Christmas

She also suggests to make exchanges during the Christmas holidays, before the new year.

– Many Christmas gifts will be on sale in January, so it pays to make the exchange before the sales start.

– If the gift you received for Christmas is sold at half price in January, the value of the Christmas gift falls accordingly, since you only have the right to exchange the item, said Flønes.

If you are quick to make the exchange, you can avoid this. It is also possible to ask for store credit (tilgodelapp) which can be used in the store later.

Online Gifts

If Christmas gifts were bought online, it can be somewhat difficult to make an exchange.

– If a gift was purchased from an online store, you do not have the same exchange right after Christmas, because the same exchange tradition has not been established. On the other hand, you may have the 14 day return option.

If the gift is bought from a Norwegian or an EU / EEA associated online shop, there is a 14 day return policy from the date the item was received by the buyer.

– If there isn’t a gift receipt (byttelapp) with the gift, ask the person who bought the gift if it was purchased online or in a store. You may still have the right to exchange or return the item, saying Flønes.

She says that some online stores also offer an Exchange Policy at Christmas, but it must be stated in the terms on their website.

– She also reminds that if you use the right to return, you must provide written notice to the seller and pay for shipping of the returned item.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today