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      Shoppers back at the stores for post-Christmas returns

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The National Retail Federation estimates the value of holiday returns will be up by more than one billion dollars this year.

      Joe Dancy of Columbia was back at Sears Monday, just two days after giving his wife a sewing machine.

      It didn't have any features my wife wanted, Dancy says.

      He adds that he was a little nervous about buying the sewing machine not knowing if it was the right one for his wife, which is why he made sure to keep the receipt.

      We do require a receipt for all customers coming in to make a return, says assistant Manager Alex Moore of Sears. If for some reason a customer doesn't have a receipt, we have methods of being able to pull up the transaction.

      A Consumer Reports poll shows nearly half of shoppers don TMt check the retailer TMs return policy before making a purchase, and even more shoppers said they typically don TMt give a gift receipt with their presents.

      Return polices can differ as much from store to store as they can for products.

      For example, you could be charged a restocking fee on electronics, because once a package is opened it can no longer be sold as new.

      The best way to avoid having to pay a return fee is don't open a gift, if you don't think you will use it.

      Luckily for Dancy, returning his wife's sewing machine was easier than picking it out.