Teresa McUsic

This year, Cyber Monday shopping starts Saturday

Last year, Amazon.com says shoppers ordered 500 items per second on its site during Cyber Monday.
Last year, Amazon.com says shoppers ordered 500 items per second on its site during Cyber Monday. AP

Holiday shoppers take note: Cyber Monday, the day when the Internet lights up with holiday sales, actually startsSaturday.

Mega retailer Amazon has announced it will start its Cyber Monday lightning deals Saturday and run them through Dec. 5, adding new deals as often as every five minutes.

Last year, the retailer said Cyber Monday was its busiest day of the year, with customers ordering more than 43 million items worldwide at a record-breaking pace of 500 per second. For a list of the deals and when they are available, check out www.amazon.com/cybermonday.

Amazon isn’t the only one starting Cyber Monday early.

Walmart is starting a day ahead on its deals, offering them Sunday starting at 7 p.m. CST. The retailer has created Cyber Week, which will run through Friday, with 2,000 online specials offered each day.

Historically, when Walmart released select Cyber Monday deals on Sunday evening, traffic increased significantly, the retailer said. So it decided to release everything starting earlier on Sunday.

“It can be exhausting for working parents and millennials to stay up past midnight to shop online, only to wake up early the next day to get ready for work,” Fernando Madeira, president and CEO of Walmart.com, said in a statement.

“By starting Cyber Monday hours earlier on Sunday evening and quadrupling the number of Cyber Monday specials, we’re making it easier for customers to get ahead of the busiest online shopping day of the year and save on the best gifts.” More information can be found at www.walmart.com/cybermonday.

Toys R Us is starting its Cyber Monday sale at 7 a.m. Sunday. Starting on the actual Monday, Target.com will offer a 15 percent sitewide discount with the promo code Cyber15, along with around 75 e-doorbusters with discounts of more than 50 percent and departmentwide deals throughout the week.

Just like the other major retailers, Target has extended its online Cyber Monday sales all week. Deals will be listed in the retailer’s weekly Sunday ad or online at www.Target.com. Target also is offering free shipping through the rest of the year on any item.

There is a reason retailers are aggressively promoting their online Cyber Monday — it beats even Black Friday in the number of shoppers.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation (which coined the term Cyber Monday 10 years ago), almost 80 percent — or a potential 183.8 million unique shoppers — said they would or might shop on Cyber Monday. That compares with an estimated 135.8 million shoppers who said they would definitely or might shop on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday combined.

“Cyber Monday is bigger than ever. It’s really coming into its own,” said Benjamin Glasser, features editor for DealNews.com. “You see more deals on Cyber Monday than you do Black Friday.”

While some retailers publish their sales ahead of the date, most wait until their Cyber Monday period starts, in many cases ahead of the actual Monday, Glasser said.

Clothing, shoes, accessories and toy deals are traditionally the best on Cyber Monday, based on past years, Glasser said.

“But as with any sale, the longer you wait, the deeper the discounts, but also the less inventory,” he said. “You have to be able to balance the two.”

Cyber Monday deals are often a percentage off sitewide, said Jon Vincent, founder of EaryBlackFriday.com.

“Black Friday is more about specific item deals, Cyber Monday is more a general sale,” he said. “It’s another bite of the apple for consumers. What you didn’t get on Black Friday you can still get at a low price on Cyber Monday.”

Teresa McUsic’s column appears Saturdays. TMcUsic@SavvyConsumer.net

Cyber Monday deals

eBay: Up to 30 percent off name-brand electronics such as Apple, Samsung, and GoPro; up to 65 percent off fashion brands such as Tumi, Hunter Boots, UGG Australia, Vera Bradley, and Ray-Ban. Up to 50 percent off name-brand items for the home such as Keurig and KitchenAid, and Samsonite luggage. All at the Buy It Now price.

FTD: 50 percent off holiday floral bouquets, centerpieces and wreaths Nov. 25 through Dec. 4.

TicketMaster: Two-for-one tickets during Cyber Week, Nov. 30-Dec. 4. Other discounts available.

Dell Small Business: $379 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 i3 laptop with 4GB RAM and 500GB hard drive; $129.99 Dell E2216H 21.5” monitor.

Toys R Us: Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Gold Mine Mountain set at half price, $80; Barbie Malibu Dream House for $95, down from $135; and Tonka 12-volt Dump Truck Ride-On for $200, down from $350.

Google Play: Wide range of free MP3 downloads of music and movies. https://play.google.com.

Crocs: 35 percent off storewide sale last year; Joe’s New Balance Outlet had 20 percent off. Look for similar deals this year.

Source: DealNews.com