For 101 million Americans, the holiday shopping season continues and many plan on shopping during the week after Christmas, according to a poll.

“What our survey shows is that the vast majority of Americans who will be shopping this week are predictably looking for post-holiday blowout sales,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. “And those who aren’t shopping this week are predictably all shopped-out and low on money and patience.”

Out of the Americans who still plan on shopping over the next few days, 82 percent said that the post-holiday sales were the reason, 47 percent said they want to spend their gift cards, and 31 percent want to return gifts. The poll was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

The poll also revealed why some Americans won’t be shopping in the coming week. About 46 percent of respondents are unable to deal with any more crowds, 44 percent are sick of shopping and 20 percent said that they simply could not afford to go shopping the week after Christmas.

In addition, about the poll found one in seven Americans returned a gift within the first two weeks after Christmas in 2010.

Americans on average estimate that they will spend one hour returning gift, and about 20 percent believe that they will spend more than two hours.

On Returning Gifts

Only 42 percent of gifts come with gift receipts, and only a little more than half of Americans take time to look at store’s return policies.

Consumer Reports has given post-holiday shoppers tips on how to make shopping more of a “hassle- free experience”:

1. Check before you open a package because there may be a restocking fee that often imposes that costs 15 percent of the value of the product.

2. Be sure to keep all gift receipts because many retailers will not accept returns without the original receipt.

3. Look at store return policies and procedures before you go because merchants usually have a time limit for returning purchased items.

4. Be sure to bring ID, because some companies require government issued identification with a receipt for returns.

5. Make sure to check all your options. Some retailers have walk-in store locations for returns on products purchased online, that way you can avoid repacking your gift, unnecessary trips to the post office, and shipping fees.

On Gift Cards

A past poll revealed that about 113 million Americans were given gift cards during the 2010 holiday season, and 62 percent plan on giving gift cards in 2011, however many recipients still had not used their gift cards from last year.

Here are some beneficial tips Consumer Reports give to gift card recipients:

1. Check the expiration dates on gift cards even though there are new rules that say that merchant of bank issued gift cards cannot expire within 5 years, but there are no such rules for discount vouchers or reloadable gift cards that are not labeled or marketed as gift cards.

2. Check for fees that apply with bank-issued cards or charity gift cards. You could be charged a monthly fee, a year after inactivity or a transaction fee to transfer funds.

3. If a retailer files bankruptcy, consumers will sometimes be unable to use their cards or would only accept cards if customers spent twice the cards’ value.

4. Don’t forget or lose your gift cards. The poll showed that a quarter of last year’s gift card recipients still have not used their cards at the start of this year’s holiday season.