Honestly, I can not think of anything worse than holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Raking the leaves in my parents‚Äô one acre sized yard last month or even doing this 2010‚Äôs taxes seem more appealing than getting stuck in Black Friday shopping crowds. Luckily, today‚Äôs modern and technologically advanced world now offers us an alluring alternative to shopping amongst the mobs of sale hungry lunatics on Black Friday; it is what has become known as Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday‚Äôs online sales events only date back 6 years. It may be a newer concept in lieu of traditional holiday shopping, but it is has begun to give Black Friday a run for its money. According to Coremetrics, an online marketing research company, sales from Cyber Monday 2010 were 19.4 % higher than 2009‚Äôs. Even more impressive than this is that Cyber Monday‚Äôs 2010 revenue surpassed Black Friday‚Äôs by 31.1 %. So, why should you forgo Black Friday? Read on to find out.
You don‚Äôt have to sit in traffic that has backed up to the next city or town. There will be no circling the parking lot for the 3rd and 4th time in search of a parking space. What about those lovely 20 people deep checkout lines? There are no lines in cyber space! All you have to do is sit back in your own comfy office chair and click away.
Cyber Monday Sales
Just like Black Friday, Cyber Monday‚Äôs main attractions are its sales. There are websites, such as cybermonday.com, that have not only compiled a significant list of major cyber retail businesses by category, but these sites feature lists of the leading online company promotions; you can do side by side sales comparisons. If this is not enticing enough, cybermonday.com will automatically show the prices of a single product from several online retailers at one time. Simply enter a search term, let‚Äôs say ‚ÄúMp3,‚Äù into the website‚Äôs search engine to get a list of Mp3 players available for purchase online. You will see the names of the cyber companies selling this specific item and a ‚Äúcompare prices‚Äù button to see the individual Mp3 player prices for each vendor. A large percentage of these online retailers are not only offering excellent Cyber Monday discounts on their goods but are also providing their customers with free shipping.
Shipping Time and Return Policy Concerns
Before clicking that checkout button and entering your payment information for a gift, be sure to read the company‚Äôs shipping and returns information. If you are not given the ability to track your purchase‚Äôs delivery online, say through UPS or FedEx, consider buying that item with another online business. If the return policy is convoluted, once again, look elsewhere for an online retailer that has straightforward exchange/refund terms. In my opinion, the ideal exchange/returns policies you should be looking for include these services free via mail, or better yet giving the customer the option of being able to walk into the retail store locally to return/exchange an item.
Shopping Online can be ‚ÄúGreen‚Äù
The environmentally friendly aspect of shopping online is that there is no need to drive anywhere. This means that you save money on gas and personally consume zero fuel. Another way to think of the online purchase delivery process is as a sort of holiday gift ‚Äúcar pooling.‚Äù Companies will be sending their products in large grouped shipments, not individually. This is, of course, only one perspective on this topic.
Do you have that impossible to shop for friend or family member? Are you hoping that browsing through the crowded store isles will enlighten you with gift ideas? Save yourself the time and frustration, check out gifts.com. This site has a search engine to browse products by your relation to the recipient, the occasion and the price range you desire. Are you still uncertain about what to get this hard to buy for person? There is a ‚ÄúPersonality Profiler‚Äù tool on gifts.com. Take a quick and fun quiz to pull up unique gifting options based on the quiz results.
Support Privately Owned Business
I am adding this very important amendment to this blog as this was brought to me attention by a reader who left me a comment in regards to online shopping only¬†benefiting¬†large corporations. Thank you! ¬†You can absolutely support local and not so local independently owned businesses by shopping online. ¬†Small business owners are savvy, and they have been using the internet to their advantage. ¬†Why shouldn’t they when so many social media sites are free? ¬†I make it a point to like all my favorite independently owned businesses in Portland, ME on my facebook. The unique and personalized gifts that can be purchased at these shops are integral to our communities and the economy. Many business owners are cleverly offering the option to purchase their gift cards online. Not only can I buy a gift card online from my Portland, ME beloved shops, but I can purchase a gift card for a good friend’s choice local store ¬†in, say, Richmond, VA.
I can tell you where I will not be Friday, November 25th of this year and that will be out shopping! The chaotic, aggressive crowds at shopping centers across the U.S. on Black Friday are ridiculous enough to give me a panic attack. I will be doing my shopping online in the comfort of my own home this year, thank you very much. While you are doing your online shopping this holiday season, secure your holiday travel plans at the same time by booking flights to Barcelona, Berlin or anywhere in between at 1 800 Fly Europe.com.