When Uncle Morty gives you yet another tie for Christmas this year, he knows perfectly well what you’re going to do with it: Return it and buy something you really want.

But what actually happens to all those unwanted ties—and the shoes, purses, and HDTVs that didn’t fit, didn’t look right or didn’t work as promised?

Most retailers report that returns represent 4 to 10 percent of sales—soaring as high as 30 percent for some online sellers. During the holiday season, those returns can amount to a whopping $60 billion in goods coming back.

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