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 item. 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 offer the voluntary right to exchange or return items and the consumer is uncertain about the purchase, they may propose a purchase on approval. In a sale on approval, the vendor grants the buyer the right to return or exchange the item by a certain date. If the vendor agrees to a sale on approval, the terms and conditions.
- in case of door-to-door or distance contract sales (telemarketing, mail-order sales, e-commerce or TV-shop), consumers have a 14-day statutory right to cancel. However, there are also restrictions on the right to cancel, so you should always read the contract terms carefully.