(WHTM) — As the holiday shopping season ramps up, buyers beware — some major retailers are adjusting their shipping return policies, making free returns a thing of the past.

Online shopping soared during the pandemic, but so did returns. The National Retail Federation reports that $218 billion worth of online purchases were returned in 2021, more than double the year before.

Retailers are paying more for returns since shipping and labor have both gotten more expensive, experts say.

Business Insider reports that many shoppers do what is called “bracketing.” They buy the same clothes in different sizes and colors and then return what they don’t want or what doesn’t fit.

H&M, for example, announced on a recent earnings call that it will test a fee to ship back returns in certain markets.

“When I saw that there was going to be a deduction from my refunds, it kind of make me reconsider if I would really be shopping online as often,” said shopper Maxwell Howald.

Among other retailers currently charging shipping fees to return by mail are Zara, which is charging $3.95 for any returns to a drop-off point; Abercrombie & Fitch, which is charging a $7 fee to return; J.Crew, which has a prepaid label coming in at $7.50; and JCPenney, charging a flat shipping rate of $8.

“I think eventually they’ll just end up paying for it because consumers want to shop, and they want to make sure that they are returning the items that they don’t want anymore,” Hitha Herzog, chief retail analyst with Doneger/Tobe, said.

Experts say there are still ways to avoid those costs. Most retailers allow shoppers to return online purchases for free at brick-and-mortar stores. Also, see if the store will do free shipping for exchanges rather than returning. And make those returns within the 30-day window you commonly see from retailers.

One more option: return bars. They’re in high-traffic places like shopping malls, and they let consumers drop off returns in person for free, then they send the items back to retailers in bunches.

Another concern about all of these returns is their environmental impact, as most returned merchandise ends up in landfills.