The sale beat goes online
Black Friday is over, so gear up for Cyber Monday, says Money Magazine’s Amanda Gengler in “Nearly 75 percent of online retailers will offer special promotions” today, and you can peruse the deals at cybermonday-dot-com. The most popular offer is free shipping, which is “especially appealing these days,” with FedEx and UPS charging steep “fuel surcharges.” Remember to comparison shop, “scour the fine print for the return policy,” and only buy from sites with physical addresses and phone numbers. And if you’re at the office, please note that “nearly 75 percent of companies monitor their employees Internet use.”
Economists and the meaning of Christmas
“Hardy American consumers have clearly conditioned themselves to shop till they drop” during the holidays, says Daniel Gross in Slate, and this year will be no different. Economists, citing very real negative data, are predicting a bad year for retailers—like they do every year. But these “Christmas pessimists err by continually viewing holiday shopping as a discretionary item,” while the evidence suggest it is “compulsory at some level,” fed by decades of “social, emotional, and cultural” pressure. “From an economist’s perspective, that may be the true meaning of Christmas.”