DORAL (CBSMiami) – Are you ready to shop til you drop without having to battle long lines at the stores?
Cyber Monday is expected to generate more than $2 billion dollars in sales this year as more and more tech-savvy shoppers turn to their mobile computers, smart phones and tablets to surf the web for bargains.
Doral cyber-shopper Samantha Fernandez said she’s cutting way back on her trip to the malls this year and plans to do a lot more online shopping.
“It’s an easy access. Why go to a store and do lines to pay for something when you can just order it, clothes, Christmas presents for my family, perfumes,” said Fernandez.
All those “shopping clicks” are adding up.
Cyber shoppers this year are expected to make about 150-billion online trips to some 500 online vendors.
So what’s fueling all the new growth? A major shift in cyber shopping.
“We first saw retail go e-tail, now the big shift the past two seasons is to go from e-tail to mobile shopping and that means you’re on a smart phone or maybe a tablet,” Brian Cooley of CNet.com explained.
Cyber Monday ads all over the net the past several weeks are aimed at tempting consumers to pound their keyboards and spend.
Alex Barros said he’s seen some very good online deals aimed at keeping him in front of his laptop and away from the malls.
“It depends on the product that I like, if it’s not online of course I have to go and get it in the store. But if I can manage and get it online, I’ll definitely do it,” said Barros.
Some longtime deal-watchers say Cyber Monday shoppers can find the best prices on clothing, accessories, home decorations and gardening supplies.
But they warn despite the holiday hype, you may not be getting the lowest prices this soon into the season on cameras, computers or smart phones.
Dan deGrandpre of Dealnews.com added, “Retailors are slashing prices, but they’re not slashing prices anymore than they did last year, not significantly more. So what you’re seeing as consumer is you can be picky and you can be a little frugal about it and be as opportunistic to get the deals that are good and skip the ones that aren’t.”
To make sure you’re really getting the deep online discounts you’re expecting, double check all extra handling and shipping charges.
Make sure they really have the merchandise in stock and ready to ship and ask about their return policy and any extra re-stocking fees on returns.
While Cyber Mondays has a lot of local fans, Hallandale shopper Cindy Eeng said online shopping still has some rough spots.
“I just order a pair of shoes, but they come and it’s a different quality and they always send the wrong order,” said Eeng.
Don’t forget while it’s easy to use a portable computer, smart phone or tablet to shop on a public internet WiFi service, your financial data like credit card numbers can be intercepted online and stolen.
Always use a secure internet connection and double check your credit card statements closely to make sure there are no fraudulent charges when the bills come due.
Safe Online Shopping Habits for Cyber Monday.
- Don’t shop online on an unencrypted or open wireless network.
- Secure your computer before shopping online.
- Know who you’re dealing with. Before shopping online with an unknown e-store, check out the seller and be sure to get the name and physical address of the vendor in case something goes wrong.
- Pay the safest way – by credit card, especially when you’re purchasing something that will be delivered later.
- Only shop on safe sites. When providing payment information, the Web site URL address should change from “http” to “https,” (or, less frequently, “shttp”) indicating that the purchase is encrypted or secured.
- Don’t fall for a phishing email or pop-up.
- Be careful when shopping for a gift in an online auction.
- Turn your computer off when you’re finished shopping.
- Don’t be tempted by offers of free money.
- Visit www.fraud.org to learn more about protecting yourself from online scams year-round and to report suspicious sites, sellers, or scams.