Rush of returns and exchanges follows Christmas Day

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Not the size or the right color? This day after Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for exchanges, returns, and sales.

Nearly 40 percent of Americans are expected to return at least one holiday gift, according to the National Retail Federation. Stores are prepared for the inevitable as the day after Christmas brings in tons of people looking to trade in gifts to find something that's just right.

"They kind of just assume what I want, and I'm kind of picky, so I'll take stuff back and find what I want," said shopper Casey Clawson.

Christmas has come and gone, but people like Clawson are back in the stores just as much as before the holidays, if not more.

"My girlfriend bought me a present, it didn't fit right so I came here to exchange it out for store credit and get something else," Clawson added.

Kris Koenig, the owner of Frankly Basic Boutique, says right after the holidays he sees a rush of customers returning and exchanging gifts.

"People come in with gifts that maybe weren't the right size or weren't the right color, something like that," said Koenig, "The person who is bringing the item in is probably not the one who purchased the item."

"This whole week, until the first, that's what were anticipating, we're anticipating a lot of people who need good customer service," said Sasha Santillan, a manager at Bunker in Westport.

She says right now is usually the store's busiest time.

"Other than this year, because during the World Series, it was insane. But traditionally, yeah," Santillan said.

Besides returns and exchanges, customers know post-holidays is a prime time to shop.

"This year I am looking for a new years dress, so that was kind of my shopping list is to go find a dress after the sales started," said Jackie Emory, who says she's seen sales everywhere, and knows it will be crowded.

"I kind of like being out when more people are out shopping," Emory added.

Koenig puts on an after Christmas sale every year.

"It's buy one get one half off, it's the entire store," Koenig said.

Before Christmas everyone was out shopping for others, now they're all shopping for themselves.

"Got the gift certificate or got a little extra cash for Christmas, so you're looking to get something for yourself," added Koenig.

Speaking of gift cards, did you get one from a store you never go to? Walmart is testing a new program allowing you to exchange cards from more than 200 other stores for a Walmart card, but that card will be worth a little less than the original gift card.

Some shops recommend waiting a few days so they get a chance to restock. Police are also warning customers to not carry a huge pile of items you're trying to return, it's a perfect target for thieves.