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Retailers Clean Up As Shoppers Flock To Tri-State Area Stores For Post-Christmas Returns

Huge Discounts Pop Up All Over; $46 Billion In Returns Expected Monday Alone
FILE - People make purchases inside Macy's department store. (Photo credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

FILE – People make purchases inside Macy’s department store. (Photo credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The day after Christmas is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

And Monday was no different. Shoppers were out in force searching for deals and to return or exchange that not-so-perfect gift, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reports.

Queens Centre Mall was buzzing with business on Monday night. Mohammed Rahman and his family came out hungry for deep discounts and found out the hard way. They weren’t alone.

There were traffic jams on the escalators — on what’s been dubbed Mega Monday.

Retail experts consider the day after Christmas the third busiest shopping day of the year, trailing Black Friday and Dec. 23.

“I was just looking for my father. He was looking for some sneakers and we just went into Finish Line. And there was a bunch of sales, and we came out with three different bags,” said Calvin Roque of Williamsburg.

Stores were luring in customers with deals — from 30 percent to as much as 80 percent off the regular price. It was expected to be the third busiest shopping day of the year. Walmart opened at 5 a.m. with deals in nearly every department. At Kohl’s, fine jewelry was 50 percent off. At Macy’s, men and women’s clothes were 50-75 percent off.

WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell At The Newport Centre Mall In Jersey City

But for some shoppers the cuts weren’t enough.

“No, not impressed with any sales,” said John Cann of Rockaway.

“I thought it would be better. It’s okay so far,” another shopper said.

And Monday was also the season for many happy returns. By the end of the day stores are expected to ring up $46 billion in returns and exchanges. That’s about 10 percent of all holiday sales.

Sylvia Liituma said she struck out on her sister’s gifts this year.

“Size were too small and the other she didn’t like,” Liituma said.

Consumer experts say bargain buyer beware, because when you buy a clearance item returning them may not be an option.

“Don’t assume that return policy applies to sale items, because sale items … they may have a completely different policy. It may be a final sale, and don’t expect cash back,” said CBS financial contributor Carmen Wong.

And if you didn’t find what you were looking for Monday, retail experts said expect to ring in the New Year with even lower prices.

Consumer experts predicted up to 60 percent more shoppers would visit stores Monday than on this same day last year, when many people in our area were digging out after the massive snow storm.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg At The Walmart In Secaucus

The National Retail Federation said that nearly 40 percent of shoppers will make a return this holiday season. As a result, the holiday shopping season madness is expected to continue. Shoppers are urged to bring their gift receipts if they have them.

“You’re going to get back either a merchandise credit, or you’re going to be reimbursed the lowest amount the item sold for, not necessarily what you paid for it,” Todd Marks of Consumer Reports explained, emphasizing what you can expect to happen if you don’t have a receipt.

Remember, if you have a gift card you don’t want, you can sell it! Visit giftcardexchangeday.com.

$41 billion worth of gift cards have gone unclaimed since 2005.

Not everybody is planning on returning something. Some folks like Sharlene Gomez of the Upper East Side are content with their Christmas gifts.

“I pretty much keep everything,” Gomez said. “I’m appreciative for everything I receive.”

Are you making any returns or shopping today? Tell us about it in our comments section below.