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Retailers Hoping To Draw In Shoppers With Post-Holiday Sales

People carry shopping bags along Broadway  in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

People carry shopping bags along Broadway in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Some stores opened their doors early Thursday to mark the start of post-holiday shopping and experts are predicting day after Christmas sales will be better than first thought.

Many stores are now trying to get rid of already marked down-merchandise. Experts say items already marked down 70 percent before the holiday may now be slashed another 30 to 50 percent.

“Definitely me time today. I need to relax because I’ve been working really hard to spend for other people, so today is me time to spend a little money on me,” shopper Larissa Legere told CBS 2’s Don Champion.

If you’re among those who don’t want to leave home, you may also be in luck. Many online retailers are rolling out big sales, including Amazon.com, which has sales of up to 70 percent off on some items.

Shoppers weren’t the only ones out in full force. People making returns also hit the stores Thursday and the Better Business Bureau expects one-third of consumers to return something.

Dashon Jones was at Jersey City’s Newport Center Mall returning shoes that he bought his girlfriend for Christmas because they were the wrong size, CBS 2’s Sonia Moghe reported.

“I was mad because now we gotta find something else. I’m not too good with shopping,” Jones’ girlfriend told Moghe.

Others like Erica Moreno were also making returns, but found themselves drawn in by the sales.

“Now I kind of wish that I waited to buy some gifts,” she said. “Could have saved a lot of money.”

If you’re returning or exchanging an item, here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure you read the fine print on gift receipts.
  • Check for re-stocking fees.
  • Remember to have your ID. Some stores require it to make a return.
  • Keep in mind some items can only be returned if unopened, like video games and movies.

As the returns start to roll in, the busy season for many warehouse workers who deal with electronics kicks into overdrive, Moghe reported.

Liquidity Services says returned items such as TVs, computers, and bicycles need to be processed and tested before they can be put back on store shelves to be resold.  The company told Moghe it works with 70 percent of the nation’s biggest retailers, but wouldn’t say which ones.

“In many cases they can’t put a product back on the shelves because it has data on it or they don’t know exactly what’s wrong with it,” said Bob Caskey of Liquidity Services.

Liquidity Services says it can take 30 days for a product to move through its process and have a second chance at finding a home, Moghe reported.

The busy season for Liquidity Services runs from now through March.

The post-holiday sales come as both UPS and Fed Ex work to deliver packages that they weren’t able to deliver in time for the holiday.

Both blamed the delivery problems on bad weather, a shorter shopping season this year and an increase in online shopping.

Neither company said how many packages were delayed but noted it was a small share of overall holiday shipments.

While the bulk of consumers’ holiday spending remains at physical stores, shopping online is increasingly popular and outstripping spending growth in stores at the mall.

On its website, UPS said, “(We) understand the importance of your holiday shipments. However, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network.”

The company said customers can track their individual packages by clicking here.

Amazon has been notifying some customers affected by the UPS delays that it will refund any shipping charges and is giving them a $20 credit toward a future purchase.

Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said the company processed orders and got them to its shippers “on time for holiday delivery” and is now “reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers.”

Some Fed Ex customers are able to pick up packages Christmas Day at their local Fed Ex Express centers.

“We’re sorry that there could be delays and we’re contacting affected customers who have shipments available for pickup,” said Scott Fiedler, a spokesman for Fed Ex Corp.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Fed Ex handled 275 million shipments, according to Fiedler. Those that were not delivered in time, he said, “would be very few.”

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