Denmark’s Christmas present exchange begins, but stores can refuse unwanted gifts

Denmark’s Christmas present exchange begins, but stores can refuse unwanted gifts
Photo: Stine Tidsvilde/Polfoto/Ritzau
Although it can feel like a national sport in Denmark to exchange presents in the days after Christmas, shops in the country are not actually obliged to accept the return of items.

Trading rules do not oblige retailers in Denmark to accept the return of items purchased as gifts.

Physical shops are not bound to either give refunds or exchange items for other goods.

However, the vast majority of shops go along with the practice of returning gifts – an extremely common phenomenon amongst Danes.

“Exchange services are part of competition parameters like other types of service,” head consultant and legal expert Bo Dalsgaard of the Danish Chamber of Commerce told Ritzau.

“If you do not offer to exchange Christmas presents, the customer may go and do their shopping elsewhere if they are unsure about how the gift will be received,” Dalsgaard said.

Most shops in Denmark require a receipt or proof of purchase to be presented in order to exchange items.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce estimates that 350 million kroner (47 million euros) worth of Christmas presents – four percent of the total Christmas shopping in Denmark – will be exchanged in the country this year.

Online stores must abide by different rules to their high street counterparts, with EU standards providing for a 14-day period following delivery in which items can be returned for refund.

Some online stores that also have physical shops may offer in-store return of items, depending on the retailer's own terms and conditions.

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