JOPLIN, MO.--- Christmas shopping might be over, but stores are far from empty. A study by retailmenot.com shows 42% of people return at least some gifts after Christmas.
"We're expecting a lot of the gift items back," said Chris Legg, Lowe's Assistant Manager.
The long lines of people exchanging items can be a headache for some shoppers.
"It's just long lines and everybody trying to be in a hurry to get stuff returned and sometimes you have the tickets, and sometimes you don't. So you know it's just a hassle," said Clara Wassom, Post Holiday Shopper.
There are ways to make the process a little more painless.
"It's best to save the receipt. That's the easiest way to do a return," said Legg.
If you don't have the receipt, most places will allow an exchange, but you won't be getting any cash back for the item.
"If there's not a receipt, the purchase has to go back to a merchandise card, and that's just an in-house store credit that is used. Uou can purchase anything in the store with it," said Legg.
Some people without a receipt get creative with their exchanges.
"You can return an item, have it put on a gift card or put on a merchandise card, and give that to another person," said Legg.
Others just give gift cards from the start to help their recipients avoid the hectic, post Christmas crowd.
"We gave out a lot of gift cards this year, so that makes a difference," said Wassom.
Experts suggest getting to the store when fewer customers are there, they say the best times are late in the evening or early in the morning. They add, it's important to know the store's return policy before heading to the store.
Copyright 2013 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.