Christmas Shopping Top Tips

Our Christmas Gift to you!

This Christmas, make sure the only surprises you get are nice ones. As our Christmas gift to you we have compiled the following advice to help you get the best and avoid the worst of the annual Christmas shopping spree.

Online Shopping

It’s that time of year when many of us jump online and start buying Christmas gifts. It can be a good way of finding the best deals and getting present ideas but to avoid costly pitfalls see our ‘Guide to Shopping Safely Online’ for all the information you need to shop safely online.

Parcel Deliveries

Many of us will be sending cards and parcels through the post this Christmas, so it is important that you are aware of how to post your mail correctly to ensure your cards and parcels arrive on time. This guidance will also apply should you have to return any unwanted parcels safely. To avoid any mail or parcel mishaps see our ‘Sending Parcels and Mail’ leaflet for tips and more information.

Mail and Parcel Complaints

Whilst the majority of mail and parcels arrive hassle-free it is important that you know your postal service rights should things go wrong.  Common postal service complaints include: loss, delay, delivery errors, mis-delivery and ‘delivery advice’ card failure. We would encourage anyone with a postal enquiry or complaint to download our ‘Making a Postal Complaint’ guide or alternatively contact the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022.

Safer Ways to Pay

You may not realise it, but the method you choose to pay for something (i.e. by credit or debit card, cash or cheque) affects the level of protection you have if things go wrong. It’s therefore important to think about which payment method suits you best so that you are not left out of pocket if goods fail to arrive or are not what you expected. Our ‘Safer Ways to Pay’ guide provides all the information you need on the different payment methods available.

Gifts Cards and Vouchers

Many of us will have received gift cards and vouchers as Christmas presents but too often they go to waste because they’re lost, the date expires or sometimes the company goes into administration and can’t honour the gift card or voucher.  In order to make the most of your gift cards and vouchers see our ‘Gift Cards and Vouchers Factsheet’.

Returning Unwanted Gifts

None of us wants to seem ungrateful but it’s a sure bet we’ll be stuck with one or two Christmas presents this year that we won’t use and would be too embarrassed to give to someone else! We have produced the following guidance on returning those unwanted gifts, 'Returning Gifts Factsheet'.


No one wants to get caught out by a scam this Christmas. See our 'Know the signs ... stop the crime' leaflet for more information on the different types of scams, what to look out for and how to report a scam.

Last Posting Dates

Be sure to send all your letters and parcels on time. The last day for 2nd Class is Wednesday 20 December, and for 1st Class is Thursday 21 December. For international and special/recorded dates, click here.