I recently purchased soft toys for my granddaughter from a local independent store. The fur is falling out of the three items purchased, and I worry that it is not safe for a toddler to play with. I have tried to return the items, but the shop owner says I can’t. Can you help?

When you purchase from a trader, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that they should be of satisfactory quality.

This means that there should be no faults or damage and the goods should be durable. The goods should also be the same as any sample or model that you were shown, match the seller’s description and be fit for any purpose that you made known to the trader.

For example, in your circumstance if the items were sold for a child of a specific age, the soft toys should be safe for them to play with.

Purchases made within 30 days

If it has been thirty days or less since you purchased the items, and you do not believe that they were of satisfactory quality at the time of purchase, then you could be entitled to return them to the trader for a full refund – referred to as your ‘short-term right to reject’.

You may have to prove that the goods were not of satisfactory quality at the time the sale was made.

You should be refunded within 14 days of the goods being returned to the trader, and this should be by the same method that you used to pay for the soft toys, for example if you paid by cash – the refund should be in cash.

Purchases made over 30 days ago

If it has been more than thirty days since you purchased the items, you can ask the trader to repair the goods or provide you with a like-for-like replacement and they should do this within a reasonable timescale without causing you any significant inconvenience.

If you ask the trader for a repair or replacement within the first 6 months of purchasing the goods, then it falls to the trader to prove they were not faulty when sold to you.

After this 6-month period it falls to you to prove otherwise.

You are only required to give the trader one opportunity to repair or replace the goods. If a repair by the trader fails or you discover that the replacement item is also faulty, then you can decide whether to give the trader another opportunity to repair or replace the goods, or whether to return them for a refund – referred to as your ‘final right to reject’.

How do I go about this?

If you have not already done so, then you should try to speak with the trader about your issue to see if you can come to an agreement.

You can then follow this up with a more formal letter of complaint. It is best to send this by signed-for mail, or via email with a read receipt, which will allow you to check that it has been received. It is important to give a trader a reasonable timescale to reply.

Can you help with letters I can send?

Advice Direct Scotland run, Scotland’s national consumer advice service in partnership with the Scottish Government. Our advisers can provide you with information on your consumer rights, and what to do when things go wrong.

Our specialist team can provide you with tailored letters that you can use to communicate with the trader. For more information, you can contact 0808 164 6000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm), or visit