When you can return products you have changed your mind about
If the store's returns policy allows it
Some stores have their own in-store policy to offer a refund, exchange or credit note for ‘change-of-mind’ purchases. Check the retailer’s returns policy or terms and conditions before you buy. Retailers can choose not to include items on special or on sale in their refund policy, eg 'no change of mind refunds on sale items'.
If you have an exchange card
If you buy a gift, you can ask for an exchange card to give with it. That way, if the recipient doesn’t like the gift, they can go back to the shop or online store and exchange it.
Exchange cards usually have an expiry date. This date is important to know because a shop or online store is not obliged to honour an exchange card after that date.
If you booked an appointment that hasn't happened yet
If you made a booking or appointment for something in advance, you may be able to cancel it and get a refund. Read the service provider’s contract or their terms and conditions to check what the rules are. Sometimes you will be charged a cancellation fee, especially if you cancel at short notice.
If you cancel a service, booking or appointment before it is due, you’re breaking a contract. If the service provider suffers a loss because you have cancelled, they are entitled to still charge you for at least some of the cost of the service.
If you bought 'on appro'
Cash approval, or buying products ‘on appro’, means you can take the products home without committing to buying them. Discuss the terms and conditions of buying 'on appro' with the store before taking any items home.
Usually you pay for the products, but you can return them in the same condition for a full refund within a specified amount of time. Not all stores offer this service, and you'll need to ask for it. If you damage the products while you have them 'on appro' the shop can make you pay for the damage, or insist that you buy the products.
If the sale is covered by a cooling off period
Some types of sales have special legal protections under the Fair Trading Act to allow you to change your mind after the sale. This is known as the 'cooling off period'. This includes:
- layby sales
- unsolicited products and services
- door to door sales.
Laybys and buy now, pay later
Telemarketing and door-to-door sales