Shoppers return unwanted Christmas gifts

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Hundreds of thousands of shoppers across the country lined up at stores on Tuesday, the day after Christmas, to return some unwanted Christmas gifts, whether it was a chip-and-dip plate from their mother-in-law to an itchy sweater from grandma.

Shibrina Johnson, 19, returned gifts for her parents to buy gifts for herself and two sisters.

"Well, they didn't fit. My dad needed a bigger size," Johnson said. "The pants were a little short so we needed some more."

She said she's been returning gifts and shopping for new ones for almost a decade.

"We always return gifts after Christmas. It's kind of like a thing," Johnson said.

She is not alone, a 2017 national survey of holiday shoppers by the National Retail Federation shows almost two-thirds of people made at least one gift return last holiday season.

Consumer Reporters advised shoppers to make sure they do not open the packaging for gifts they do not want. If they do, some merchants impose a restocking fee which averages 15-percent of the item's original price.

Another tip is to keep gift receipts. Consumer Reporters said some merchants may turn them away.

"If a customer has a gift receipt for their purchase they can either exchange the item at the full price their paid," Kathleen Lauck JC Penney General Manager said.

Lauck also said they can get a gift card with the full priced value of the gift.

Some consumers were not there to return those unwanted presents. Some people used gift cards or took advantage of the post-holiday discounts to get themselves something nice, like Carmen Aleman.

"We usually go to the store to see what they have on sale and try to get ready for next year," Aleman said. ['We go see] what Christmas ornaments and stuff they have on sale.

"We did have those early bird customers this morning looking for that after Christmas special deal especially on our Christmas and holiday decorations," Lauck said.

Christmas is just under 365 days away.

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