Right to return and exchange

Non-defective goods bought from a store can be exchanged or returned as long as the vendor has an exchange and return policy that provides for this. The law does not obligate vendors to have an exchange and return policy; vendors are free to choose whether they give their customers this right or not. Purchases made by means of distance selling, such as telesales and mail order, usually carry a 14-day cooling-off period, during which time the goods can be returned without giving any special reason.

Purchases may only be returned or exchanged when:

  • the company has granted a right to return or exchange the goods. This is granted voluntarily by the company, so the company is free to set the terms and conditions (for example, that goods may be returned or exchanged within 8 or 30 days). The company may demand proof of purchase in relation to the right being used.
  • If the company does not provide such a (voluntary) right of return or exchange and the consumer is uncertain about the purchase, a “sale on approval” may be proposed. In a sale on approval, the vendor grants the buyer the right to return or exchange the goods by a certain date. If the vendor agrees to a sale on approval, the terms and conditions
  • the purchase was made through door-to-door sales or distance selling (by telephone, mail order, online store or TV shopping), in which the consumer is granted a 14-day cancellation right by law. There are limitations to cancellation in distance sales, so make sure you read all the terms and conditions carefully. For example, the cancellation right does not apply to products made to measure according to the customer’s wishes, or to sound or video recordings or computer software on which the seal is broken.

When buying presents, take into account that if you are uncertain of whether the present you are buying is right for its receiver, check in advance whether the product can be returned or exchanged.

Products sold at a discount are subject to the same regulations as normally priced products.