Online deals may come again with Christmas' approach

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Jonathan Hardison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Early numbers from Cyber Monday look promising with online sales running 15% ahead of last year's pace at about 3pm Monday.

But is Monday the best day to buy online if the bottom line is your biggest concern?

Customers and retailers are starting that age-old game of chicken trying to see who blinks first. You might think you can stall until retailers get so desperate on December 23rd that they cut the price. But that may not be your best bet this year.

Samford University business professor Dr. Betsy Holloway says online sales typically peak between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, then they tail off for 2 weeks until they surge again in the last 10 days before Christmas because shoppers are desperate or waiting for the price to go down. But this year, she's expecting retailers to try and keep the momentum from this weekend going by offering big discounts in the next 2 weeks.

"The good retailers see this as a marathon, it's not a 1 or 2-day sprint," Holloway says. "They're looking at the next month."

If you miss out on a big Cyber Monday promotion, Dr. Holloway says there's still reason for hope.

"That depends on supply and demand, really. It's a matter of if that item you're interested in is potentially going to sell out, I would say you're better off buying now, but we know there are deals to be found leading all the way up to Christmas Day. Shoppers have some time yet to find some good deals out there."

Cyber Monday was not the busiest online shopping day when it was first named back in 2005, but it will be this year.

Retailers are expecting to do more than $1 billion dollars in business before midnight Monday, and now, 90% of them are offering some kind of special promotion today.

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