Wedding Gift List / Registry

Confetti has just closed its five retail shops and is no longer selling online. Under the Consumer Credit Act you can claim through your credit card company on purchases over £100 (debit cards are not protected).

Buy your wedding insurance as soon as you have booked your venue and ask whether or not they cover the failure of a wedding gift list / registry. They cover all other supplier failure because you are booking and paying for them, but it will be your guests out of pocket and not you so it's a grey area. Last year Marks & Spencer said that they would cover the failure of by asking guests to claim on the couple's insurance policy. How very nice of them.

This is not the first and it certainly won't be the last internet wedding service to fail:

The Gift Registry
went into administration in October 2004 after suffering losses of more than £300,000, leaving more than 350 couples without their gifts and many wedding guests out of pocket. In September 2005 Wedding List Direct went into administration. The White House collapsed in November 2005 owing £120,000 in presents. Five newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky was a victim of this one. And in August 2008 collapsed with debts of £7m (that seems a ridiculously high figure but it's true) and left thousands of couples without gifts. It was discovered that Wrapit were issuing 'refunds' on their card processing units to pay suppliers & salaries as well as taking at least £872k from wedding guests when they were already insolvent. The two directors were banned from directorships for 8 and 7 years. One of the directors then went on to help set up much to the disgust of Wrapit's customers.

The reason that these gift registries attract people is that they offer products from many different shops - charging a few pounds more per item. And then when the company doesn't have first class systems in place things can start to go wrong. Generally gift companies don't make money in the first couple of years (Wrapit never made a profit and had been trading for 7 years) and you may find that your guests' money is going towards start-up costs, salaries, or other operating costs. If the bank stop providing finance there is no money left to actually buy the gifts that have been ordered and paid for.

Credit insurance (bought by companies insuring against the failure of a debtor) puts a high premium on the 'gift' sector for a reason. And because people sign up for their gift list so far in advance companies can take guests' money and not source the items for weeks or months in advance. If things start to go wrong they can keep quiet for a long time. Any money left in the business at the date of insolvency goes first to the banks and insolvency practitioners. Couples and their guests are unlikely to see a penny back.

It's not uncommon to hear of couples losing out on £5,000 to £10,000 worth of gifts if their wedding list / registry provider goes under so my advice is to choose a well-established supplier like John Lewis (est. 1864) who offer a great selection at really good prices. Their motto 'never knowingly undersold' means that if you find the same item cheaper elsewhere they will refund the difference. Whenever I speak to people who have never visited the store and then they go they are blown away by how amazing the selection is and how lovely the staff are. I used to joke as a teenager that the only reason to get married was for a gift list at John Lewis... Do you think that's why I am still single? lol

Happy shopping!

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