November 28, 2006 4:00 AM PST

Cyber Monday, you're no Black Friday

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Some online stores, including Bestbuy.com, Staples.com and Circuitcity.com were running promotions and cutting prices on Monday.

Among traditional retailers, early reports indicate that big ticket items are selling well. After predicting that the crush of Black Friday shoppers would line up early for good deals on flat-panel televisions, notebook computers and digital cameras, analyst Stephen Baker of The NPD Group showed up to observe the busiest shopping day of the year firsthand.

"The crowds were definitely looking for flat-panel, notebook and desktop deals," he said Monday. "Those things, every store I was in, was sold out of the big screens and desktops as soon as they opened."

He said he found it a little surprising that customers bypassed smaller-size LCD TVs despite attractive pricing.

"Stuff in smaller boxes tends to be harder to see," he said. "From what I could hear and see, everybody seemed to be purchasing pretty much everything. There's a progression--big, more expensive stuff tends to sell out immediately, and there's a progression down to the smaller things. People are focused on saving the most amount of money they can, and the big ticket items tend to get the most amount of interest."

Though the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 are some of the most sought-after electronics this season, most customers seemed aware that their chances of scoring a next-generation game console were nonexistent. "That's not the kind of thing you wait outside for on Black Friday," Baker said. "It's not about hot products, it's stuff that's going to have the low prices."

Reuters reported that from November 17 to November 24, 14,675 PS3s changed hands on eBay for an average price of $1,186.63. The Wii has sold 26,708 times from November 19 to November 24 on the auction site. The average price for the Wii was $412.

What's unclear, however, is if more Wiis and PS3s sold on eBay on Cyber Monday than on any other day of the year. Probably not.

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12 comments

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Cyber Monday - No Deals!!!
The only way Cyber Monday will be anything close to Black Friday is if retailers actually post good deals on-line. All of the "deals" I saw were lame.
Posted by Dragunfyr (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's always been a Gimmick!
Who's the fool here? Cyber-Monday has ALWAYS been a Gimmick!
Why else would it have a catchy little name for it? (it's not really
that catchy, but what do you expect from geeks?)
If people had any sense at all, they would have seen the steady
price hikes going on since about September so that retailers could
"slash prices" for the Black Friday sales, which put "sale prices"
right back at about the regular retail price. WOW! Maybe we should
line up like cattle/sheep EVERY day?
Posted by rhett121 (73 comments )
Reply Link Flag
a PR stunt actually
This came up last year and was found to be a PR stunt by an advertising agency trying to boost its customers on-line sales if I remember correctly.
Posted by schubb (202 comments )
Link Flag
Sheer Sensibilities
How about this for an idea: a lot of people get paid on or near the end of the month, or on the first. Perhaps payday will bring a surge. I get paid tomorrow, and thus will start a 3-day binge of me throwing my hard-earned cash at Amazon and other stores during lunch breaks.
Posted by djcaseley (85 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A true perspective
As the Business Director of a growing retail/etail/wholesale company, I can honestly say that while there isn't a "Black Monday" for online retailers, it has become the "official" start of the online peak season.

The majority of online businesses are not multi-million dollar companies, which you see mentioned in nearly all of these "news" posts. Many are simply websites of larger brick and mortar retailers, and online retailing isn't a focus.

From our perspective, November itself - usually around the end of the first week of the month, normally signals our holiday peak. As mentioned from amazon representatives, our peak last year focused around December 10 - 12th. In fact, this period was so large last year, those 3 days alone represented about 15% of our entire gross retail sales for the year, which is very impressive.

The largest challenge for most online retailers is in the areas of customer service, and shipping deadlines. As mentioned, we are truly up against a more constrictive deadline for shipping products to online cusotmers. The other challenge is customer service - which is the single most important area year round, and especially at the holidays.

People who purchase online are (understandably) concerned about gift delivery, and also the fact that they are dealing with a "real" company. Those smaller retailers who offer fair pricing, and the best service, are successful. Bottom line is that communication is king - more so than pricing, which is usually only a few dollars more or less. Companies who maintain proper facilities to communicate with customers have more expenses involved - ergo pricing that is usually slightly higher.

So - while there isn't a clear cut "Black Monday" yet, it may well become so in the near future as more people shop online to avoid the lines!
Posted by bellclocks.com (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cyber Monday is no more, for a reason
This article fails to note that when people first began talking of cyber Monday (the term may have been coined last season, but it's been discussed for years), the regularly cited reasoning behind it was that people return to work and shop with high-speed internet connections. Now that high-speed internet is available in the majority of homes, this cause no longer exists, or at least not to the degree that it once did.

It never had anything to do with special sales, at least in my memory.

The true internet shopping peak is indeed around December 10-12 because that is usually the time that sites start giving cut-offs for standard shipping at zero or significantly lower cost than the premium shipping required beyond those days.
Posted by llabok (1 comment )
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Cyber Monday
I checked online early Monday and throughout the day and saw no deals out there compared to Black Friday .... if you want shoppers to pay attention then give 'em something to shop for..

K. Hansen
Posted by Raskail (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cyber Monday
I checked online early Monday and throughout the day and saw no deals out there compared to Black Friday .... if you want shoppers to pay attention then give 'em something to shop for..

K. Hansen
Posted by Raskail (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The deals aren't really deals anyways - just ..
It's just all the cheap import stuff marked down drastically. It's never any of the good stuff.

I had the same sale on Wednesday 11/22 as there was on Friday 11/23.

TVs might be an exception- but no smart person is going to buy a cheap WAlmart TV discounted $200.
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Reply Link Flag
New data on Cyber Monday
Please check out <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/061127/20061127005838.html?.v=1" target="_newWindow">http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/061127/20061127005838.html?.v=1</a>.

According to the Akamai Net Usage Index, which tracks visitors per minute to an aggregated group of more than 270 global e-commerce sites, Cyber Monday traffic was 14.6% higher than Black Friday.
Posted by mediacritic (3 comments )
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Cyber Mondays is nothing compare to Black Friday
Well lets see at best buys cyber monday offers and was the same usual stuff every day only "Free Shipping", my god !!! are they thinking we are stupids?

Beside a 300 Gig External DH on stamples on black friday was 100 dll but on best buy was 180 dll the same one.

Really, cyber monday is not big deal
Posted by Cheit (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This story is missing a major statistic
You mention that comScore reported $430 million in sales on 'Black Friday', but you don't mention what comScore reports in sales for 'Cyber Monday'.

According to internet.com, comScore reported that 'Black Friday' pulled in $434 million while 'Cyber Monday' pulled in $608 million. $608 &gt; $434.

Here's their version:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3646196" target="_newWindow">http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3646196</a>

Please clarify the matter to support your story.

On another note, 'Cyber Monday' could remove some of the darkness of 'Black Friday', i.e. busy traffic, people sitting on a line overnight to find out what they waited for is sold out, etc.
Posted by Gem Czar (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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