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Retail rush: Cashing in on post-Christmas deals

December 26, 2011 12:46:56 AM PST
Christmas may be over, but the holiday shopping frenzy has not ended. Many people headed to stores Monday to return presents, cash in gift cards and take advantage of big sales.

Retail experts say an estimated $46 billion worth of gifts will be returned or exchanged on Monday. Experts predict it will be the third busiest shopping day of the year.

Jeff Ross of Pasadena went to the Glendale Galleria to do a simple exchange, but he couldn't resist the sale signs.

"I'm going to look in Macy's, there may be some pants in my future," he said.

There are several great deals for shoppers who venture out because stores are trying to make room for next season's items. Consumer savings expert Leanna Gregor said Macy's is offering 15 percent off sale and clearance items.

Macy's is also offering a "W.O.W. Pass," which offers $10 off a $25 purchase. If you didn't receive the coupon in the mail, you can still print it out on the company website.

JC Penney offered 30 - 60 percent off clothing, furniture and home decor, while Target had 65 percent off thousands of items, 30 percent off toys and 50 percent off women's and children's clothes.

H&M gave out $300 scratchers for the first 100 customers. Alex Araujo of Burbank was one of dozens who lined up overnight hoping to get the scratcher.

"We've been here since about midnight," Araujo said.

Target offered a $75 gift card with a purchase of a PS3 or Xbox 360 bundle.

To optimize your time at the mall, Gregor advises bringing a list of things that you need to purchase and return.

"This way, when you get in, you're not bombarded by all the sales, and you don't end up overspending," she said.

Gregor also advises setting a budget and sticking to it.

"Check your bank account statements and try to leave your credit cards and home. Any savings that you get today will be eliminated if you have to pay the interest next year," she said.

Several retailers opened early for shoppers, including JC Penney, Kohl's and Walmart.

Bargain hunters were already preparing for next Christmas at Stats in Pasadena. Ever year, Stats puts the entire store on sale the day after Christmas.

From Santa suits to wreaths, everything in the store that was Christmas related was 50 percent off.

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