My 8-year-old son, seeing a Sears TV ad for Black Friday last week, asked, "How come we don't celebrate Black Friday? Is it only for Christian people?"
He had never heard the term before, and suspected it was some holiday his Hindu parents were keeping from him.
Turns out we don’t celebrate Black Friday in our household — for laziness, rather than religious reasons. But we are devotees of Cyber Monday.
And this year, we’ll be doing our share of contributing to what is expected to be a record day of cybershopping today. One expert has predicted sales of $1.2 billion, more than doubling sales since the term was first coined by the National Federation of Retailer’s Shop.org six years ago.
This year, Shop.org and its CyberMonday.com aggregation site say 9 out of 10 online retailers are offering special deals for the holiday weekend. Sixty percent of office workers are expected to shop online and retailers will do heavy promotions on Monday to get their attention.
This year, the rise of tablets, especially the iPad are expected to contribute increased sales all through the weekend as users, hanging out on couches can browse and shop without using a desktop or laptop.
If you are looking for deals, here are some online places to try.
• CYBERMONDAY.COM: This "official" site offers deals from 700 retailers, with plenty of deep discounts on display right now, including “deals of the hour” and info sent out via Facebook and Twitter.
• MYCYBERMONDAYDEALS.COM: Another aggregation site, it stands out for offering links to specific deals, such as best laptop deals, best TV deals, etc.
• AMAZON.COM: The online giant’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday section offers “lighting deals” that expire after a certain number of purchases as well as new deals throughout the weekend.
• DEALNEWS.COM: This site, which boasts, “Where every day is Black Friday,” is a good place to find deals and to learn about trends for online sales. I especially like its list of 10 things NOT to buy on Black Friday, including toys, top-brand TVs and 2012 calendars. I know some of you are saying, “Now you tell me?”
Before you shop online, be sure to read this Mashable article from a cyber security expert: 10 Tips to Avoid Cyber Monday Scams.
Did you find deals you’d like to share? Post your comments below using your Facebook account or on Twitter @sree.
Every week, DNAinfo contributing editor (and Columbia Journalism professor) Sree Sreenivasan shares his observations about the changing media landscape.