Cyber Monday: Look for smaller brands to shine
Nov 25, 2012 (Daily Press (Newport News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Cyber Monday: Look for smaller brands to shine
Cyber Monday perhaps receives less buzz in its seventh year than earlier in the decade when finding deals online was a novel idea.
The term was coined in 2005 by shop.org -- a division of the National Retail Federation -- after the group noted that people were flocking to the Internet to shop, often at work.
Now, nearly 60 percent of adults with Internet access will shop on Cyber Monday, according to the retail federation. Most of those shoppers will make holiday purchases online on other days, including "Free Shipping Day" -- the last day to receive free shipping in time for Christmas -- on Dec. 17.
Each year, shop.org's sister website cybermonday.com hosts a "Deal of the Hour" promotion. Individual retailers also will run specials on their own websites. Most often, retailers communicate their sales promotions through social media tools and email newsletters.
"Cyber Monday is not some mythical unicorn of a shopping event," write the editors of dealnews.com. "It's a very real day for above-average bargains. However, Cyber Monday is not quite as strong as Black Friday either, and, ultimately, Thanksgiving reigns supreme with nearly 50 percent of all deals we researched being worthy of the Editors' Choice label."
According to Shop.org's eHoliday Survey, half of online retailers will offer promotions on Thanksgiving Day and 78 percent will have special promotions on Cyber Monday. More than 90 percent of online merchants will offer special promotions at some point during the Thanksgiving weekend.
"As a direct result of increased demand, online retailers will offer hard-to-pass-up deals to shoppers all season long -- before, on and after Cyber Monday," says Vicki Cantrell, shop.org's executive director. "In addition to many free shipping promotions, there will be plenty of extra ways to save on Cyber Monday, including percentages off entire sites and online-only sales."
Cyber Monday tends to be a time when mid-sized or smaller businesses can shine, as most of the attention on Black Friday goes to giants like Walmart and Target.
La Tienda, a Toano-based Spanish food company traditionally sees double the traffic on its website on Cyber Monday, for example. In past years, the retailer has offered free shipping.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's retail website, williamsburgmarketplace.com, has offered its best deals of the year on Cyber Monday, as well.
Nudo Italia, a website that allows you to "adopt" an Italian olive tree and receive olive oil from your tree, will discount prices by 40 percent Monday.
The website MarthaStewartCrafts.com is offering 25 percent off your entire purchase.
Staples, which will begin its "Cyber Monday" promotions on Sunday, will discount the Canon PowersShot digital camera by 44 percent on its website, dropping the price to $99.99.
Aluminyze, a photo website that prints digital images on aluminum, will offer 35 percent off any photo and free shipping on Cyber Monday.
In addition, dealnews.com editors say shoppers should look for the best deals in the apparel and accessories and home and garden categories.
Shoppers can sweeten offers by looking for coupon codes on sites such as retailmenot.com, or shopping through a rebate portal, such as ebates.com, to earn cash back on purchases.
Other sites to check if you're hoping to score a deal: Amazon.com's Gold Box section, Newegg.com and Walmart.com's daily deals section. Websites like dealnews.com, crazytowndeals.com, techbargains.com and fatwallet.com sift through sales around the Internet to post the best deals.
This year, keep an eye on daily deal websites like Groupon and LivingSocial, which have extended their offerings to include goods and not just services.
The best way to determine whether a sale is really a bargain is to use a price comparison engine. There are several including Pricegrabber.com and Google's product search tool. The Google listing includes retailers that are not legitimate, but it is the most complete listing available. There are no engines, however, that include flash sales or special daily deals.
Paitsel can be reached at 757-247-4737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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