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Four more $1 billion days in online retail sales
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Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 12601
Location: Texas

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:34 pm    Post subject: Four more $1 billion days in online retail sales  

Four of the five workdays last week topped $1 billion in online retail sales, comScore reported yesterday. For the holiday season, e-commerce remains nearly 15% ahead of last year, although the growth pace is slowing from the explosive gains around Thanksgiving weekend.

Holiday season retail sales for Nov. 1 through Friday, Dec. 16, total $30.937 billion, up 14.95% from $26.914 billion in the comparable period last year, according to comScore, which makes estimates based on tracking the online activity of a panel of 1 million U.S. consumers.

The heaviest online shopping days last week were Monday, when sales hit $1.13 billion and Friday, a day when 2,300 e-retailers took part in the Free Shipping Day promotion organized by FreeShipping.org, when shoppers spent $1.07 billion at retail web sites.

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Joined: 25 Feb 2008
Posts: 39

Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Four more $1 billion days in online retail sales  

My wife (accountant) and I (MBA) have both done all of our Xmas shopping this year on the internet except for a few stocking stuffer items. Why slog the malls and shops for hours on end when you can do it quickly and easily online? Why buy it locally when most of the time you can buy it at a fraction of the price?

We have in fact, done extensive internet shopping in the past year - something we would never have thought much about a year or two ago. We've purchased many things on Amazon, but only one item on ebay. We love the way Amazon purchases arrive in a few days. Interestingly, the one and only item I bought on ebay has not arrived for Xmas despite having plenty of time to arrive. Although I used to buy a lot on ebay, I rarely do anymore. I don't even have to go out of my way to avoid them. They're just too expensive most of the time I find. They do have a niche on some items (as far as my interests go) like vintage vinyl records and vintage electronics.

It seems like there has been a major surge in the past year or so of businesses opening up online sales. Walmart, Sears, Costco and the like are doing it big time now. And there are lots of specialty online stores for just about anything now. Need a bathroom exhaust fan, TV or electric heater? No problem. There are lots out there now.

I have noticed that you have to do your due diligence and shop online to you drop if you want the best price. I've seen prices vary up to about 3 to 1 for the identical item. You have to watch out for shipping costs. Many advertise "free" shipping but as most know, they're ain't no such thing as "free." If you find a place that advertises free shipping often the advertised price is higher, but not always. Sometimes I will tell my wife I've found a good price on something I want to buy online, then she'll say "let me give it a try." For some reason, she often finds it somewhere else at an enough of a better price to make me buy it there. She'll even give Craigslist a tryand a few times, she's located a new item for sale at a bargain price.

We also find that trying to find higher quality goods and items can be difficult as there is so much on the internet from China, Taiwan, Singapore and the like. I recently wanted a digital voltmeter and wanted a quality one made in the US. It took me a lot of searching online to find one. I had to pay over twice the price of an offshore one, but I know it's quality. It's often buyer beware when looking for things.

We're in Canada. I've been buying lots from the US over the past decade. We used to get things sent here by courier or mail. We eventually became sick and tired of paying rip-off brokerage fees and other high fees from couriers, higher postal rates to ship to Canada and numerous other hassles and costs of getting things shipped across the border. We have been using a "mailbox" across the border in the US for a couple of years or so. The basic shipping rates are a lot cheaper up to the border. Normally "free" shipping only applies within the US. We're close to the border so a trip into the US is easy (esp. with Nexus now). For declared values under around $300 (for 2 in the car) we never get charged duty or taxes. So with free or lower shipping costs and no duty or taxes, the total savings for us are enormous. And we try and fill up our vehicles with the much cheaper US gas and we try and do a grocery shop as well.

For us, we've learned that online shopping in the only way to go. We can certainly see why online shopping has become so popular. It has actually gotten to the point where you can't afford not to shop online.

I might also add that I think that ebay has become a middleman for a lot of vendors. Many vendors on ebay (and Amazon) also have their own online stores. Ebay is like a middleman. Sooner or later, I expect them to fall by the wayside. To sell items on their site, someone is going to have to pay for their high seller fees and Paypal fees. We'd prefer to pay someone directly with a C/C too since there are benefits like 1% cash back and double the warranty on a purchase, something you don't get with Paypal. When we start to look for an item, we tend to look on ebay to see what brands are on the market and what their going prices are. Then depending on what it is, we'll do a cross-check on Amazon for the same info. Then it's off to Google for an in-depth search which usually turns up an item at a considerable savings. I'm talking about commodity items here. Things likes collectibles, antiques and books are a lot different. Currently, I hate the way that when doing a search on Amazon, many things show up that are totally unrelated to your search. In fact, I can't stand that....

I only see online sales continuing to grow (not including ebay or Amazon) at an astronomical rate.
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Joined: 10 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject:  

There aren't many competitors in Canada (of course, the market is smaller) so that's why prices over there are generally higher (which is good for me).
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