What to know before shipping holiday items back for returns, exchanges

With record sales being racked up online this holiday season, e-commerce retailers are bracing for a record number of returns and exchanges.

A UPS store in north Phoenix is bracing for and is ready to deal with an avalanche of returns to be shipped back to online sellers.

A piece of advice? Come in with your packages ready to ship.

"Have their labels ready on their phones, or their QR codes to whatever company they're going to return the package," said Jorge Ramos with the UPS Store.

Holiday shopping is projected at a 40% increase to $235 billion this year with $75 billion in returns.

The downside is that it may take longer to receive refunds and even longer for exchanges.

Rusty Kennedy of United States Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE) says some merchants may have to hire extra staff and find extra space for the returns.

What should consumers do? Be patient and if you can, wait to ship things back if the seller has a return timeline that works out for you.

A  last word of advice is to do your research before heading out to ship items back. Online giants like Amazon are allowing you to drop of returns at some Whole Foods, Kohls and UPS stores.