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Record Holiday Gift Returns Create Shipping Wave

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With robust holiday retail sales comes the inevitability of a mountain of returns, and Tuesday is the biggest day for shipping firms to handle that tsunami of unwanted items. Some retailers are even easing their online gift return policies.

According to commScore, people spent $35.3 billion online for the holiday season as of Dec. 28, a 15 percent increase over the same time period last year.

Consumers spent about $44 billion at retailers just in the week ending Dec. 24, a 14.8 percent gain over the same week last year, according to ShopperTrak.

The National Retail Federation estimates holiday gift returns will total a record $46.3 billion in 2011, up 4 percent from the previous year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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