Cyber Monday: Let’s shop at work!
Actually, you shouldn't use your work computer to order gifts, but many people will.
Employers won’t like this combination: Lots of people plan to shop online at work for holiday gifts, and retailers are pushing Cyber Monday with more gusto than ever before.
That suggests that come Monday, as the online holiday shopping season kicks off, you've got to wonder who will be minding the store, so to speak.
According to PriceGrabber.com, more than half of the participants in a recent survey said they planned to shop online on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Of those, two-thirds expect to make purchases on Monday (80% will on Friday, and half will on both days).
- Bing: Cyber Monday sales
A National Retail Federation survey found that 56% of men, 51% of women, and 74% of those between 18 and 24 who have Internet access on the job plan to shop on their work computers this holiday season.
And, Jan Norman says at The Orange County Register, yet another survey showed that employees plan to spend an average of 14.4 hours shopping online at work over November and December, up from less than five hours a year ago.
Risky business? Perhaps. A new survey by CareerBuilder says 20% of employers have fired someone for using the Internet for non-work-related activities; 5% have terminated an employee specifically for shopping online.
Hint: Check on your company’s policy first and, if it’s allowed, do it during your lunch hour. Or, at some Web sites, Cyber Monday deals will come early this year or last for a week or more. According to TheStreet:
- At Amazon.com, Cyber Monday will begin on Sunday. The same will happen at jcp.com, the online home of J.C. Penney.
- Walmart.com will have an entire Cyber Week.
- EBay’s “12 Days of Deals” began on Black Friday.
To find lots of Cyber Monday deals, check out the National Retail Federation’s CyberMonday.com. Other sites like Cyber-Monday.org, CouponAlbum.com, AllDiscountCouponCodes.com and dealnews.com can help. A New York Times story explains how to use online portals like Microsoft's Bing to get cash back, free shipping or extra discounts. (Microsoft owns MSN Money.)
Also, look for Cyber Monday deals from some unusual sources as this made-up “holiday,” which first appeared in 2005, catches on.
For instance, hotels and resorts are offering deep discounts if you purchase on Cyber Monday, USA Today says. Need discount lift tickets for skiing? Liftopia.com will sell gift cards for more than 120 U.S. and Canadian resorts, starting Monday, Fox Business reports.
Will Cyber Monday sales be robust this year? We'll see. Some retailers expect online holiday sales to increase by as much as 15%, but some forecasts aren’t very good. A Nielsen survey done near the first of November said 42% of those who responded plan to spend less overall this holiday season than they did last year, and “63% of survey respondents said that they would do at least some holiday shopping online, down 10 points from two years ago.”
What are your plans? Will you increase your online shopping this year, and will you chance it at work? If so, what’s your strategy?
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Even those who don't like to shop are probably hitting the stores this month. Here's what to be on the lookout for and here's what to avoid.