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Dustpan and brush and used deodorant ‘among worst Christmas gifts’

A dustpan and brush, out-of-date chocolate and wine and used deodorant are among some of the worst Christmas gifts people say they have received, a survey has found.

In January 2022, Which? surveyed nearly 1,800 Christmas gift recipients and found that a quarter (24%) had received an unwanted or unsuitable gift at Christmas 2021.

Vodka given to a pregnant woman and dairy products that the recipient was allergic to were also among the most unsuitable festive gifts that people said they had received.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of people had given unwanted gifts away while one in six (15%) had exchanged it with the retailer.

Less popular ways of getting rid of unsuitable gifts included selling it on a marketplace (7%), throwing it away (5%) and giving it back to the person who gifted it (2%).

Which? also found women were more likely than men to give away their presents. Nearly three in 10 (29%) women decided to find a new home for their disappointing presents compared with nearly a fifth (18%) of men.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed said that none of the Christmas presents they received included a gift receipt – meaning they would not be able to exchange any unwanted items for something more suitable.

Lisa Webb, Which? consumer law expert, said: “Often only the buyer can request a refund or exchange. But if the item was marked as a gift when ordered, the retailer’s returns policy may enable a recipient to return or exchange it.”

Many retailers extend their return policy during the festive period, but customers should carefully consider whether to accept vouchers, as they could become worthless if the retailer goes bust, Which? said.

As well as selling or exchanging gifts, people could also consider donating unwanted items to charity.

Which? has further tips on what to do with unwanted gifts at which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/i-want-to-return-my-goods-what-are-my-rights.