(KION) -- As we kick off the new year, holiday gift returns are expected to be up dramatically compared to previous years because of the pandemic.
The CBRE Group, a commercial real estate and investment firm, predicts 70.5 billion dollars worth of holiday gifts will be returned this year.
With so many restrictions still in place because of Covid-19, more stores are offering returns by mail this year.
"They're extending their return windows so pay attention to Amazon, Apple, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, all of the big stores have extended their return window," says Sara Skirboll, a shopping and trends expert with RetailMeNot.
KION spoke with the United States Postal Service, which is still feeling the strain of the holiday package rush.
"We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our employees, and will continue to work around the clock to deliver all packages and mail entered into our system, including returns," says Meiko Patton in a statement to KION.
The postal service also recommends making sure there's only one address label on the package.
If you're heading to the store to make a return, experts recommend:
- Keeping the tags on
- Making sure you have an I.D. if you paid with a card
- Don't forget the receipt in order to get cash back instead of store credit.
With Covid-19 restrictions allowing for longer return time-windows, experts recommend not waiting too long and to be aware of any restocking fees.