Retailers preparing and taking precautions for holiday returns

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Now that the presents are unwrapped, retailers are getting ready for the flood of returns heading their way.

ABC News reports the National Retail Federations predicts one in 10 gifts will be returned during the holiday season.

That translates into more than 100 billion in goods heading back to the stores this week.

Some shoppers who headed right to retailers themselves were surprised by what they are seeing.

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"Honestly, every year that I've gone to return things it's been a little crazier than this. So, when I turned the corner I was really surprised," said Aimee Hager from East Falls.

Because of the pandemic, many retailers - including Target - are offering returns through UPS or FedEx.

"Maybe a lot of people are just going to return things online, because they bought things online," Hager added.

Stores like Best Buy are extending their holiday return policies for most products and allowing customers to use curbside service.

Tech giant Apple is doing things like extending return windows for some products through the New Year for items purchased through the holiday.

"I went online, ordered it and I came from the Lehigh Valley to pick it up," recalled shopper Rudy Vegliante.

The surge in online shopping does mean shipping companies, and the Postal Service, have their work cut out for them.

"We're not going to stores really. No, this is our store. Yeah, that's about it," said Penn Valley Paul and Rachel Kesselman outside the Ardmore UPS Store

Others timed their day to try avoid the occasional crowd.

"I stopped at the post office in Narberth on my way and there was a line in there," said Belmont Hills resident Tim Brown.

Brown using his holiday vacation to take of business, not losing that holiday cheer.

"What else do I have to do? Where am I going to go?" he said.

While there are more options for returns, some key things remain true like looking at the fine print on receipts and knowing your windows for returns.

Retail experts say with so many returns happening through shipping, there could also be delays in cash coming back into accounts.

As far as most returned items? The National Retail Federation listing clothing and accessories as this year's most gifted item.
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