5 tips to handle post-holiday gift returns

Before you start your post-Christmas returns, here are the top things to know.

— -- If Santa didn’t quite deliver on your wish list this year, you’re not alone.

Americans return nearly $90 billion worth of gifts over the holiday season, according to Optoro, a technology software company that helps retailers efficiently manage returned and excess inventory. That’s almost a quarter of all returns for the year.

1. Beware, not all return policies are created equal.

Make sure you check the company’s return policy including its deadline for returns.

“Some retailers do 15 days, some don’t allow you to return at all, some retailers will give you 30 or 45 days,” Tobin Moore, co-founder and CEO of Optoro told ABC News. “You want to look at the condition of the returns that you send back. Some people say if the box is open you can’t take it back, other people say you can take it back no matter what, and other people say it’s got to be defective in order to return it. Lastly, I think you want to check to see if there’s free shipping.”

2. You may be eligible for returns with free shipping.

Over a third of retailers offer free shipping on returns, the National Retail Federation reports, so there’s a good chance you can skip that trip to the mall altogether.

3. If you have to return in the store, avoid doing it on Dec. 26.

"Close to 40 percent of people doing their post-holiday returns do it on the 26th or the 27th," Moore said. "I wouldn’t do it the day after Christmas, I would wait a week and probably return it the first or second week of January, when you also see some major discounts as well."

Also make sure to have those gift receipts handy.

4. Consider re-gifting.

About 50 percent American are open to the idea of re-gifting, with coworkers topping the list of likely recipients. Gift cards are among the most popular re-gifting items, NRF reports. Some retailers will even swap out a new card without Christmas decorations if you’re looking to re-gift post holidays, or you can sell it.

“You actually can get up to 90 percent of the cash back when you sell it, in many cases,” Moore told ABC News.

Apps like Cardpool, Raise, and Gift Card Granny let you to post and sell gift cards with the click of a button.

5. Keep an eye out for sales.

Even though you’re done decking the halls, retailers are just starting the post-Christmas sales. It’s the most wonderful time of the year for major discounts on all holiday merchandise. You can also expect major markdowns on bedding, electronics, and for those making a fitness resolution, exercise equipment.