People logged online to get great deals offered on Cyber Monday
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Americans clicked away on their computers and smartphones for deals on Cyber Monday, which is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history.
Shoppers are expected to spend $1.5 billion on Cyber Monday, up 20 percent from last year, according to the National Retail Federation. That would not only make it the biggest online shopping day of the year, but the biggest since comScore started tracking shoppers' online buying habits in 2001.
Merchants throughout the Louisville metro and in Westport Village said it's more accessible now than ever to reach consumers.
Forget the early alarms and long lines, Deanna Brown is online. "I'm actually getting better deals versus going to the mall or various stores," she said.
Buying through a site pays off at Zi Olive where Owner Bill Gaar knows his customers are wired, so he is too. "There are promotions and incentives on our site, plus we'll ship it anywhere in the U.S," Gaar said.
"On Cyber Monday I think people are placing orders they didn't get what they wanted over the weekend. They go back to work, sit down at their computer and place orders instead of working!" Gaar jokes about the latter, but realizes it's a necessity to connect with his customer base through all facets since he can't compete with discounts offered through national retailers.
"A store like ours is never going to compete with big box stores that can afford to lose money on a product," Amazing Green Planet Owner Dustin Baron said. The Earth-friendly specialty shop owner admits he can't take a hit just to get you in the store. "We still maintain an online presence and share our new products through social media. Cyber Monday can only help web traffic," Baron said.
The Better Business Bureau offers several suggestions to shoppers as they pull out the plastic. Make sure your online purchase is secure – Shoppers should always look in the address box for the "s" in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the "lock" symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page and select "Properties." This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted.
Pay with a credit card – It's best to use a credit card, because under federal law, the shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn't receive the item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card, and many card issuers have "zero liability" policies under which the card holder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it. Never wire money and only shop locally on sites like Craigslist.
Keep documentation of your order - After completing the online order process, there may be a final confirmation page or the shopper might receive confirmation by e-mail – BBB recommends saving a copy of the Web page and any e-mails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.
Check your credit card statements often – Don't wait for paper statements; BBB recommends consumers check their credit card statements for suspicious activity by either calling credit card companies or by checking statements online regularly.