NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a busy day at stores across the country Tuesday as shoppers return items, use their gift cards and take advantage of post-holiday deals.

The day after Christmas is typically the second-busiest shopping day of the year after the Saturday before Christmas.

This year, gift giving was at a high with shoppers breaking records spending $598 billion this holiday season, up $33 billion from last year.

But every gift can’t be perfect and shopping experts say it’s important you hit the store soon, especially if you don’t have a receipt.

“The receipt is really good but you’re relying on the recipient for that and obviously you can’t ask them for it, so if it’s not in the box, always go as quickly as possible so the store will be more likely to give you the full value before maybe they put that item on clearance,” said smart shopping expert Trae Bodge.

Nelson Martinez made an even exchange for his daughter’s too-big sneakers.

“Come here, get it done,” he told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris.

And while some shoppers will be looking for specific items, others just want bargains.

“I hope to get at least 40 percent off,” one shopper told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern.

“I’m hoping for half price, at least,” said another.

“Macy’s is giving-up 75 percent and JC Penny is doing between 65 and 75 percent, too,” another shopper told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

But Bodge said if you can wait until after the holiday, there are certain categories that will be very deeply discounted.

“Namely winter apparel, holiday decor,” Bodge said.

January shopping deals to look out for are centered around fitness apparel and workout equipment.