Ask Aine: I can't return shoes because I haven't got the box
I bought a pair of shoes in the sales for my two-year-old son but they were a size too small. I tried to return the shoes with the original receipt.
I had thrown out the box and the tissue paper that the shoes were in.
The sales lady refused to exchange the shoes for a bigger size because they were not in the original box and tissue paper even though it was obvious that the shoes were never worn and are in immaculate condition.
They cost €70, but I don't want a refund, just a swap for the right size. What are my rights? -- thanks, Sarah
Hi Sarah, whenever you buy goods from a retailer, you are protected by consumer legislation. The product you buy should be of an acceptable standard. For example, if you buy something and it turns out to be faulty, you are entitled to a repair, replacement, reduction in the price or refund.
However, in your case, you wanted to return the shoes because they were not the correct size, rather than faulty.
As this is a change-of-mind, you are not automatically entitled to an exchange.
If you've bought something in a shop and you simply change your mind about it, you do not have rights under consumer law and the shop does not have to offer you a refund or a replacement.
Most shops will offer to accept returns (with labels/packaging attached) and give you an exchange or refund within a certain amount of time after you bought. But this depends on shop policy and is a gesture of goodwill.
Some shops change their returns policy during a sale so ask whether you can bring a sale item back if it is not the right size.
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