Some shoppers were returning sweaters that didn't quite fit while others had gift cards burning a hole in their pocket. The day after Christmas is starting to rival Black Friday when it comes to crowds and long lines at the malls.
"It's good exercise but it's really nutty out here with all these people," said Nicole Blair as she took a break from shopping at Destiny USA in Syracuse.
Many shoppers didn't have a thing to return but they just wanted to take advantage of the post-Christmas deals. Analysts say shoppers can expect even bigger markdowns this year than in recent years.
"This is better than Black Friday because you're spending other people's money," said said Destiny USA shopper Shannon Files.
Nicole Martin said it has become a tradition for her to take her daughter shopping on the day after Christmas - even if they don't need to make any returns.
"Every year, we get lunch, no school, it's kind of a day out for us," said Martin.
If you need to return or exchange a gift, don't wait too long. Many stores have narrowed the window for returns, even with a receipt. Some stores only give fifteen days to return unopened electronics.
Not all post holiday shopping is about returns and big sales on the hottest fashions. Some families had to brave the crowds to pick up some essentials.
"My grandson got a Playstation 3 for Christmas but only one controller. So we had to come back and get another controller," said Kim Troutman as she left Best Buy at Destiny USA.