CHICAGO (CBS) — If you think the Christmas shopping season is over, you’d only be half right. Not only are plenty of shoppers heading out with the gift cards they got for the holidays, many others are making returns of unwanted or ill-fitting presents.
Stores and delivery services are ready for a huge wave of gift returns coming their way.
UPS says 75 percent of American consumers will end up returning some gifts this year. Whether you’re doing that through the mail, a private shipper, or in person, one thing is clear: Wednesday will be a very busy day when it comes to returns.
Many people stuck with unwanted or ill-fitting gifts will cram into shopping districts and department stores with their gift receipts in hand.
The harsh reality for retailers is upwards of 10 percent of the merchandise purchased this holiday season will be sent back in returns. That comes to well over $90 billion. It’s what brought Griffin out first thing Wednesday morning.
According to the National Retail Federation, 17 percent of American consumers plan to hit stores on the day after Christmas to return or exchange unwanted gifts.
Having a receipt makes returning a gift a pretty smooth process. When you don’t have a receipt, you might have to settle on an exchange.
While shopping the traditional way in a brick-and-mortar store allows consumers to feel and size up products, the huge growth in online shopping companies like Amazon can lead to a lot of gifts that don’t fit, or just don’t seem quite right.
That’s why Amazon is offering free returns on some gifts at its brick-and-mortar locations, and in some cases through the mail.
UPS said it expects to send packages back this month at a rate of around 1 million per day.
It’s not just returns that will bring people out to stores after Christmas. A lot of people will be up early on Wednesday to use the gift cards they got for Christmas, and to capitalize on after-Christmas sales.
Whether you were ready for it or not, they were taking down the Christmas decorations in Sephora. Despite the reindeer still grazing out front, inside they’ve already moved on to the post-Christmas sales.
Half of American consumers plan to do some shopping between now and the new year, according to the National Retail Federation.
“As soon as I can, I’m going to hit the stores,” shopper Lois Ann Gregory Wood said.
Carletta Griffin is among those tempted by markdowns of up to 75 percent, “because the deals are that great.”
Experts say 27 percent of consumers who received gift cards will be out Wednesday trying to spend them.