Cyber Monday Shopping

December 1, 2008 8:00:09 PM PST
Nearly 85 million Americans are expected to log on in search of "Cyber Monday" deals.Staff members here at the Merced Sun-Star insist they've only used their computers for business. But across the country, more than 55 percent of workers with internet access will shop for holiday gifts on this Cyber Monday. And we found Merced residents may have extra incentives for logging on.

Big discounts, free shipping, and the lack of long lines have millions of Americans checking off their Christmas lists with the click of a mouse.

"I usually check slickdeals.net. I get a lot of emails also from Amazon, Ebay," said Raman Nazari.

U.C. Merced Senior Raman Nazari says it's a convenient way for busy students to pick out presents before heading home for the holidays. And they can find items that may not be available in local stores without spending the time or money to travel to bigger cities.

"There's just not enough variety here in the Central Valley, particularly here in Merced," said Nazari.

Assistant Economics Professor Todd Neumann says the recession has many shoppers more desperate for the best possible deals. He expects to see at least the same three percent spike in sales on this Cyber Monday as retailers saw in stores on Black Friday.

"Every year internet retailing is catching on more and more, so I think 8 out of 10 retailers are offering some kind of discount today," said Neumann.

But Neumann believes as the deals decrease, so will the spending.

"In the next couple of weeks you may see sales drop quite a bit because these sales or incentives are not in effect," said Neumann.

Of course plenty of people still choose to avoid the internet altogether. Rose Carizzales is one of many who prefer to pick their gifts in person.

"On the internet, you can't, it comes to you, you try it, then you have to go back to the post office and send it back, and it's too much trouble I think," said Rose Carrizales.

While more people are expected to shop on this Cyber Monday than last year, some analysts predict sales for the season will stay the same. That's because many retailers are having to offer deeper discounts to attract more customers.

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