I avoided the whole mess, shopping online and blogging about it for TheStreet. Maybe you avoided the crowds, too, waiting for today, Cyber Monday.
If you did, you're as much a victim as anyone who found themselves in a tent outside a Best Buy (BBY) last week.Cyber Monday, like Black Friday, is a fiction. As A.J. Kohn notes at Blind Five Year Old, the biggest shopping day of 2005 was Dec. 12. It has been moved up two weeks despite employers restricting employee use of the Internet, and despite the rise of broadband and tablets making access a true 24-7 proposition. How? Marketing, of course. The term was first coined by Shop.Org, a unit of the National Retail Federation. It started an annual list of "Cyber Monday" deals in 2006 and the concept spread. It's now used in six countries. Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have the same aim -- to turn a desire for spending less into a mania that leads to you actually spending more. It's American exceptionalism in action. As with Black Friday, deals drive Cyber Monday. A 32-inch TV at Amazon.Com (AMZN) for $247.99. A 75% off sale on diamond earrings. Investopedia has some others. But the really big deal this year, as I noted Friday, are the apps. Carry an app into the store that compares the price you're seeing to what you could have gotten in a catalog or online, like Priceblink, and it all turns into a frothy shopping meringue. Hand over your credit card -- resistance is futile. That frothy mix is big data, which is what shopping comparison sites like privately held TheFind.com are in the business of collecting. Its biggest competitors are units of other companies. NexTag is mostly owned by Providence Equity Partners. Pricegrabber is owned by Experian (EXPN), the Irish-based credit reporting firm. Shopping.Com is part of eBay (EBAY).
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV