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National Returns Day keeps local retailers busy

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Dec 26, 2017 at 11:27 PM

Most of us like to imagine the Christmas gifts we buy for others are useful and appreciated.

But not all those gifts are well-received.

The day after Christmas, known as National Returns Day, is a particularly busy day for retailers and shipping companies across the nation, and for the weeks after Christmas, UPS reported more than 1 million packages returned to retailers on Dec. 26, 2016, with more than 5.8 million return packages being shipped throughout the following week.

The National Retail Federation says that, on average, nearly three out of four shoppers check return policies before making a purchase, whether it is at a local retailer or online. Twenty-seven percent of these Christmas shoppers include receipts just in case.

For some folks in Johnson City, the most common items returned are unwanted clothing, much of which doesn’t fit.

“The shoes I returned were the wrong size,” Tyler Zell said as he walked out of Target Tuesday. “Other than that, I got some good gifts this year.”

But some gifts are simply a bad choice.

“No returns this year, but the worst gift (I received) was getting a McDonald’s gift card for a Christmas gift from a family member, and I worked there,” Julie Canter wrote on Johnson City Press’ Facebook page.

Unwanted gifts keep many of the region’s retail workers busy in the weeks following Christmas. On Tuesday, workers at Best Buy, located on Peoples Street, said the store had a busy morning dealing with long lines of customers looking to return gifts.

“Just about everybody who came in today was returning something,” Joe Folks, a worker at Best Buy, said. “It’s like this every year. It’s crazy — it’s just returns after returns. It’s just constant.”

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