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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Cyber Monday wraps up Thanksgiving shopping bonanza

By Ylan Mui

The post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy heads into its fourth day as retailers roll out new discounts for what has become known as Cyber Monday.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, a trade group, nearly 90 percent of retailers planned to offer special promotions Monday, up from about 70 percent three years ago. EBay is holding limited-time sales on popular holiday items, such as the BlackBerry Curve smartphone for $99.95, a savings of 82 percent off the retail price. JCPenney is touting its largest Cyber Monday sale ever, with 40,000 products discounted from 30 to 75 percent. And local retailer Simply Soles was trying to lure in shoppers with 40 percent off any purchase for just two hours this morning. After 10 a.m., the discount dropped to 20 percent.

"All signs are pointing to a successful start to the season," said Heather Dougherty, director of research for Experian Hitwise, which tracks Web traffic. "I think we saw everyone come out kind of guns-a-blazing with promotions."

Online shopping has stood out as one of the bright spots of the retail industry, maintaining strong growth despite the recession. This holiday season, market research firm comScore predicts online sales to grow 11 percent to $32 billion. The company said Black Friday was the biggest sales day of the year so far, raking in $648 million, up nine percent compared with last year.

In the Washington region, Google searches for "Cyber Monday sales" jumped 30 percent from the previous year. Searches for "American Girl," a popular doll and book series, spiked 70 percent over the past week, while "Nerf" jumped 50 percent, according to Google data.

But Cyber Monday is just one pit stop in the race for holiday deals. Many retailers, including Amazon, began offering doorbuster online promotions on Sunday. Wal-Mart has eschewed the term Cyber Monday in favor of Cyber Week and plans to keep the discounts rolling after the calendar has turned. And retailers typically see another burst of activity as the shipping deadline nears to receive gifts by Christmas.

"Consumers are also really well trained in the fact that there's going to be more sales," Dougherty said.

By Ylan Mui  | November 29, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Retail  
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Comments

Amazon's "Lightning Deals" are failing me (on their special Cyber Monday page: http://amzn.to/e5EbDA). I'd love to join in the Cyber Monday splendor, but I can't think of anything to buy.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm shopping at my desk at work. Found a great website with more than 300 shopping links, including the huge retailers. It's www.cybermondaydiscountcodes.com

Posted by: tony24 | November 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

It really is more of a "week" of promotions now, isn't it? Luckily most people stick to the big names like Amazon, JC Penny, Wal-mart and etc, but at VeriSign we just want to remind everyone to stay safe while making their discounted purchases. Most of the sites noted here are protected with extended validation ssl, which makes the url bar turn "green" when active. This technology is quite useful as an anti-phishing mechanism -- case in point, if you're making a purchase and the url bar turns unexpectedly from green to white or gray, you've probably been intercepted by a phisher. It's just good to exercise caution. Happy shopping!

Posted by: josephadeo | November 29, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Looking for the web's best prices? Try "FreePrice Alerts.com " -- downloads onto your browser in seconds, then pops up the web's lowest pricing on whatever you shop for -- and it's FREE! Totally worth trying, I saved over $200 on a Canon camera... happy holidays!

Posted by: annrumley | November 30, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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