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Returns and Warranty in Germany

Shopping bagsSo you went out and had a marvelous day shopping… but now that your home the sweater you really loved in the store… well your just not happy with how it fits on you now.

So what is to do??

Well here in Germany there is no law that the Store has to take goods back and return your money unless there is something wrong with the item. A lot of times stores are more than happy to take an item in return if it’s still tagged, boxed or unopened and you have the receipt. But they are not required to give you your money back, as long as they offer you store credit or an item in trade for an equal sum of money.

Also be sure to remember that most of the time stores will not take returns on sale items unless again it’s a case of warranty that has to be honored sale or not sale. Now you may be informed when you buy a floor model or exhibition item that the warranty is no longer granted. If you do decide to buy a floor model be sure to check on that and get it in writing that your item is still covered under the normal 2 year warranty.

Used items are supposed to come with a limited warranty of one year. Important information for you; especially if you buy something, like a used car from a dealership. This does not apply to buying from a private seller.

It’s a whole different story though if the item is faulty, defect or did not last the expected lifetime. Returns

For example, you washed your sweater the first time, using the recommended care and it falls apart, shrinks or loses its form, you can take it back for a refund.

We bought a power saw not too long ago used it twice and the motor blew, took it back for a full refund.

In Germany sellers and manufactures have to give you a 2 year warranty on their goods (there are exceptions, like food or other perishables). The warranty is usually split between seller and the manufacture, most commonly that the seller has to cover it the first 6 month and then after that it’s on the manufacturer. This only applies to defaults during production or other defects not wear and tear or damage inflicted by you.

Also be aware that if you shop online, the stores are required to take and honor any returns or cancelations of contracts within the first 2 weeks of the purchase. But that applies only for online purchases.