HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Before returning that not-so-perfect Christmas gift, you might want to check those return policies.

Retail stores are changing their return policies which may make it harder for shoppers to return purchases.

According to data from the National Retail Federation, shoppers sent back about $100 billion worth of merchandise in 2020. And last year, it more than doubled to $218 billion, creating a massive headache for retailers who see an average of $166 million in returns for every one billion dollars in sales.

“When you start to stack these costs,” financial expert Jonathan Poma said, “free shipping on the outbound order, free shipping on their return, maybe a customer acquisition cost of 50 bucks, and you’re out almost twice the cost of the return.”

Right now the average fee for a customer to send back their unwanted item ranges between $3 and $10.

Experts say the easiest way to avoid these fees is by bringing unwanted items back to the companies brick and mortar locations.