Shopping trends from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2010 and 2011 indicate that 2012 could be a big sales year despite the economic malaise. Here is a look at the numbers: Black Friday 2011 - By the Numbers • Black Friday is one of the single biggest shopping days every year. Whether shopping in the mall or online, shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday has become a post-Thanksgiving tradition for many families. • In 2011 Black Friday shoppers typically spent $100-$500, and 11% spent more than $500. • 2011 saw about 225M shoppers on Black Friday – up about 50% from five years ago. Spending averaged about $365 per person, which is up about 5.5%. The average shopper spent about $730 in total on holiday, meaning that Black Friday shopping accounteted for about half of all spending. • In the past few years, an increasing number of stores have been opened on Thanksgiving Day --including big names like Sears, Toys R Us, and Old Navy. As a result, shopping on Thanksgiving Day has skyrocketed from 10.3M shoppers in 2005 to 22M shoppers in 2010, and this trend is expected to continue. • On Black Friday, over 75% shopped at department stores, 55% shopped at supercenters and “big box” stores, and 52% at electronics stores. • Typically, 64% bought apparel, 60% bought electronics, 47% bought toys, 36% bought video games, and 35% bought gift cards. • Black Friday online sales grew from $648M to $800M, reflecting a general upward trend in online shopping and more aggressive marketing from online retailers prior to Cyber Monday – the Monday after Thanksgiving. "ƒ Cyber Monday 2010 – By the Numbers • In 2010, Cyber Monday sales increased by almost 20% over what they were in 2009. • According to Coremetrics, last year’s Cyber Monday sales were 31% more than last year’s Black Friday sales. • The average order on Cyber Monday was about $195, which was up over 8% from Cyber Monday of 2009. • A new trend in cyber shopping is the use of mobile devices. Last year about 4% of all Cyber Monday shoppers used a smartphone or other mobile device to make a transaction. That number is expected to increase significantly this year. What Will Be the Deals This Year? • Typically, the highest profile deals over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend are in the electronic and video game segments. But you can expect to see great deals in just about every shopping category since the competition for limited shopper dollars is going to be so great. • LAST YEAR: Here are some of the best deal categories and merchants from last year, many of which were limited quantity “door buster” specials: -LCD HDTV televisions -Portable DVD and Blu-Ray players -iPods $25 gift card deal -Video game systems & games -GPS navigation systems -Basic Nook e-reader -Digital cameras -Portable hard drives -Small kitchen appliances -Jewelry -Apparel -BEST STORES: Walmart, Target, Kmart, Sears, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Kohl’s, JC Penny, Old Navy, Staples, Office Depot "ƒ • THIS YEAR: Merchants will be rolling out sale ads all the way through the end of the year. Here’s some of the things we expect see deals on this year: -Android powered tablets – from $60 up to $300 or $350 based on brand and features -Budget laptops – $175 to $225 -High-spec smartphones – $125 with a 2-year contract -Blu-ray players – $50 for the basic model up to $100 for a Wi-Fi/3D model -DSLR camera bundles – $300 with a standard lens and $450 with a standard and telephoto -Apple gadgets – 5% to 10% off deals and gift cards -e-readers such as the Kindle and Nook color -LCD HDTVs and TV/Blu-ray bundles -Apparel • EVERY YEAR: Blank DVD/Blu-ray disc spindles, SD cards, USB drives, and batteries are all going to be at their lowest prices for the year. Black Friday • The keys to successful shopping on Black Friday are preparation and organization. Use the Internet and newspaper ads to check and compare prices and products. • Many stores begin running pre-Black Friday shopping deals on weekends several weeks before Black Friday. In some cases, the savings are better than you’ll get on Black Friday. Your best bet is to think of November as “Black Friday Month." • Be very wary of Black Friday deals with very limited quantities. For example, if a store only has 10 or 20 items at the Black Friday price, your shopping time may be better spent someplace else. • To plan your route, organize gifts by store and category. Don’t forget that you will need to adjust your itinerary according to when stores open and in light of any time-sensitive offers – e.g., an offer that is good only between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. • If you intend to shop for specific advertised items at a specific retailer, take the complete ad with you so you don’t end up in the wrong store demanding a price that they didn’t advertise. Alternatively, if the retailer matches competitors’ prices, you’ll have the ad with you to make your case for a lower price. • If you don’t get what you want, don’t get discouraged. You can still save money on Black Friday if you’re shopping for things like clothing, shoes, housewares, and small appliances since most of the early shoppers are shopping for “door buster” electronic deals. • Also, if you miss the hot deals on Friday morning, you may still be able to save if you check Craigslist and eBay.com the weekend after Black Friday. Many people stock up on Black Friday deals, only to turn around and try and make a quick profit by selling them on the Internet. So for a small mark-up, you can sleep in on Black Friday while someone else does your shopping for you! • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes to save your legs and back. Pack some water and snacks, and take some breaks to rest, to check your list, and to prioritize to get the most out of the rest of your day. Online Shopping & Cyber Monday • Before you do any holiday shopping, check the Internet to make sure you are getting the best deals possible – especially as we approach Cyber Monday. • In some cases Black Friday “door buster” deals are available online before they are available in the brick-and-mortar stores. Either way – in person or virtually, you have to be quick. • When you shop online, lack of inventory is less of an issue – number of merchants and warehouse shipping – and the Internet gives you the ability to comparison shop for specific merchandise at hundreds merchants at the same time. • Online purchases are not subject to sales tax if the store you buy from doesn't have a physical location in your state. Often this sales tax savings will offset any shipping costs. • Many national retailers offer a “buy online, pick up in store” free shipping option • You can almost always avoid having to pay full price for anything. Most online merchants have coupons and promotion codes all year long, but especially during the holidays. Online deal sites gather all the online deals from thousands of merchants and publish them all in one place. Before buying anything online, always check an online deal site to see if a particular merchant has a coupon code available. • Stack coupons. A merchant may let you use a 10% off coupon with a free shipping code, or let you apply a coupon code to sale or clearance items to maximize your savings. • Many merchants give discounts or free shipping to purchases that are more than a minimum total amount (e.g., free shipping on orders over $50, or 20% off a $150 purchase). Consider purchasing multiple gifts from the same retailer if it will qualify you for a better deal and save you more money. • Check the following before you complete any online purchase: your billing information, your credit card information, the shipping address, the description and number of items ordered, and the total charge for the order. And to make sure you don’t accidentally double your order, don’t hit the “confirm” or “submit” button more than once. • Before you buy online, know the retailer’s return and exchange policies. Return policies vary so be sure to find out who pays the cost of shipping if you need to return or exchange an item. • Keep a record of all online purchases - print and save the purchase confirmation, save the confirmation emails. This will help if you need to returning or exchanging items and will let you verifying your credit card purchases when you get your statement. How to Pay • One way to save money is to make a commitment to pay cash for holiday gifts. Set specific amounts that you can afford to spend on each person on your gift list, and then only carry enough cash to cover the cost of the gifts you intend to buy on each shopping trip. • Another way to save is to use your credit cards like cash by keeping a running tally of your credit card spending. When you come home from a day of shopping, immediately subtract the amount you’ve charged from your checking account balance to ensure that you'll have enough money in the account to pay the bill when it arrives. • Instead of using credit to fund all of your holiday purchases, try using credit cards only for limited expenses – when shopping online, when shopping over the phone, or when traveling. • If you decide to pay by credit card, use the one with the lowest interest rate and best reward program – cash back, sky miles, and extended warranties. • Avoid using a debit card or check pay service. Credit cards provide protection under the Fair Credit Billing Act that may not be available when you use other forms of payment – liability limits and disputed charges. • Avoid the temptation to apply for store credit cards. You may save 10% on your purchase, but you’re likely to spend more than you intend to, and pay higher interest rates on any unpaid balances. • Avoid “No Interest Till” credit deals unless you already have the means to pay off the balance immediately if necessary. Remember that the interest on these purchases is “front-loaded” and one late payment or failure to pay the entire balance due within the specified time will be costly.
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