All Articles Tagged "online shopping"
Store openings on Thanksgiving day took the bite out of Black Friday, with retailers tallying a 13.2 percent drop in sales compared to 2012. But total sales for the two days were actually up 2.3 percent to $12.3 billion. Over the course of the entire four-day weekend, sales are estimated to come in at $57.4 billion, down 2.9 percent versus last year. Cold temperatures and a storm seemed to keep shoppers home in the Northeast, which tallied the lowest sales. A total of 141 million people went shopping over the holiday weekend.
Experts say that the super early start to the holiday sales along with the option of shopping on turkey day sucked some of the excitement out of Black Friday. Also playing a big role is the continued budget crunch that many average Americans are feeling. The amount that each consumer said they would be spending this weekend was $407.02, down from $423.55.
This is a big deal for retailers who usually look to take in 20 to 40 percent of their annual sales during the holidays; 10 to 15 percent are from this Thanksgiving holiday alone, reports The New York Times.
A bright spot was mobile and online shopping, with an IBM survey of 800 retailers showing that sales on mobile devices were up 40 percent versus last year. Tablet sales made of 14 percent of the total sales on Black Friday, and online sales were up 19.7 percent on Thanksgiving and up 19 percent the following day, says CNN Money.
Which brings us to Cyber Monday. Hopes are high for online sales this year, so much so that retailers like Amazon and Walmart are declaring this Cyber Week. Some of the deals include 40 percent off at H&M and Banana Republic, a 16GB Kindle Fire HD tablet down to $119 from 169 on Amazon, and a Dyson Multifloor Vaccum down to $399 from $549 at Best Buy. Lots of news sites are offering a round up of Cyber Monday, but honestly, if you go to any site or receive daily emails from your favorite retailers, then you probably know what to buy where. Airlines and travel companies are also offering deals today. So if you’re thinking of taking a trip to recover from the holidays, today might be the day to get a deal.
Even with fewer people out and about there was mass craziness at retailers across the country. ICYMI, here’s a taste of what some people were doing while you were chilling out with family and friends. Happy holidays.
Sooner or later many of us are going to begin our holiday shopping efforts for the perfect gift. Some will hit up malls and shopping centers while others will use their electronics for online purchases. While purchasing gifts is expected this time of year, it’s important to remember there are bad people waiting in the wings in hopes of taking your items and even your information.
Gone are the days when one could just enjoy the holidays without thinking about the lurking technology dangers. As we all at some point will use our phones to check our balances and possibly move money around, we need to be conscious of closing the door to virtual theft. Here are some mobile banking dangers and safety tips.
If you aren’t a fan of crowded fitting rooms and shops, then online shopping is for you. During my college days, online shopping was a must. I would hunt for bargains on Karmaloop, Urban Outfitters and eBay (no shame in my game) for 20 minutes and still make it to class on time. The site deals and discounts are even more tempting to the eye of a fashionista, but I’ve learned that even the most tempting sites and deals can leave you more exposed than Instagram on Throwback Thursday. Here’s why, along with some things to remember when shopping online.
Scoping the internet for the best discounts can be a tiresome task, but after The Great Recession, many people are up to the challenge and being more scrupulous with their cash. But which group is clipping the most coupons to save money? Bachelors and bachelorettes? Married adults? A new survey details which demographic is more inclined to be frugal, Motley Fool reports.
More than three-fourths of adults with kids are likely to use coupons when making online purchases. When it comes to the childless, 67 percent, just a few percentage points less, would use a discount. Also, adults who have said their “I do’s” are more prone to use promo codes (71 percent) compared to single shoppers (63 percent), according to a survey conducted by PromotionalCodes.com.
Among college graduates, 32 percent are more inclined to use coupons to redeem discounts for their purchases. For shoppers with high school degrees or lower, only 27 percent would do the same. Surprisingly, the survey’s participants whose household income exceeded $75,000 used more coupons for online shopping (33 percent) compared to those who earned less than $35,000 (24 percent). Motley Fool explains this observation:
[I]t appears that educated, higher-wage-earning married adults with kids living at home are the most likely group to save money when shopping online. Perhaps since more demands compete for their dollars (funding back-to-school supplies, higher insurance premiums, family trips to Disneyland, college tuition, etc.), it creates more pressure for families to make every dollar stretch as far as possible.
Regardless of which group has the most financial burden, we know for a fact that clipping coupons can certainly do wonders to build financial security. “While a small monthly savings might not seem like much, it could end up creating a nice little nest egg for your future goals,” Motley Fool concluded.
Urban Outfitters. I never understood the appeal—$60 for a top that feels like potato sack? I’ll pass. Without fail, I always find a similar top, with better quality, for a fraction of the price. I’m a diligent shopper, especially in these stagnant economic times. I consider quality, durability, and trendiness before making any purchase. And I will trek all over the mall, from Macy’s to Charlotte Russe, to find the best deals and I do the same for my online shopping.
But I’ll save you the stress of bargain-hunting in the vast worldwide Web. Here are some amazing online shops that’ll give you more bang for your buck!
Don’t be too quick to accept “free 30-day trial” offers, especially if your credit card information is required! Most Americans forget to cancel the subscription after the 30 days are up. Next thing you know, you’re unwittingly paying for an unwanted product. These companies love how oblivious we are because they rake in $14.3 billion due to our forgetfulness, reports USA Today.
Known as “gray charges,” one in three Americans are lured by these “free” deals and turned into paying subscribers, a recent study commissioned by BillGuard shows. These card holders are losing an average of $215 per year.
“These gray charges are not illegal; they’re just kind of unethical and a little but questionable,” Ron Shevlin, the survey conductor adds, “[a]nd many times it’s the consumer’s behavior that triggers these gray charges.”
By consumer’s behavior, Shevlin is referring to the fact that many Americans are simply forgetting to unsubscribe from the service, “which merchants are counting on,” says Mary Anne Keegan, the chief marketing officer for BillGuard.
Gray charges are becoming a bigger problem because consumers are increasingly making online purchases, which, of course, require credit card information. This makes it much easier for companies to keep your information on file and charge you without your consent.
Services that we love to use such as Amazon and LinkedIn are some of the main culprits behind the accumulating unwanted charges customers face. “[They] offer consumers free trials of upgraded services for a limited time, then start charging them,” adds USA Today.
Take a look at one scare an Ohio University senior endured:
Three weeks ago, Mallorie Sullivan, 21, saw her bank account had been overdrawn by about $70 and couldn’t figure out why. Until she remembered about a free Amazon Prime trial for students she’d signed up for six months earlier.
Luckily for Sullivan, and many other victims of gray charges, BillGuard is in talks with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about the deceptive marketing ploys of these companies. They are campaigning to encourage “consumer-friendly innovation” in corporate America, USA Today concludes.
BillGuard is a service that allows people to track companies that perpetuate gray charges and educates its users how to dispute them.
Facebook continued with the big news announcements last week with news that it has teamed up with Amazon for gift card sales. The partnership will allow a group of Facebook friends to collectively buy an Amazon.com gift card. Here is how it works: Once Amazon users are log in they are prompted to link their account to their Facebook profile. Then a page pops up that lists all of the user’s friends, sorted by the days left until their birthday.
Next, the user can select a friend and can send the gift card worth $1, $5, $10 or $25. The user can also choose various Facebook friends asking them to contribute. “The combined total is delivered on the birthday. Amazon will credit $3 to users who buy and deliver three gift cards by July 21,” reports The Los Angeles Times.
Gift cards are definitely worth buying. According to Gift Card Exchange Day, 39.2 percent of shoppers will purchase a department store gift card for friends and family, followed by 33.4 percent of shoppers opting for a restaurant gift card. Many surveys find that gift cards are usually the present of choice for most people. The average amount is $25. However, many gift cards go unused. According to the site, between 2005 and 2011, $41 billion in gift cards went unused. American households have an average of $300 in unredeemed gift cards. So be sure to use those gift cards if you’ve got them!
The news comes right after introduction of its Instragram Video, which has dramatically cut into the number of Vine videos that were shared on Twitter since its arrival. “After reaching a peak of nearly 2.9 million shares on June 15, Vine shares on Twitter dropped sharply to 1.35 million—more than a 50 percent decrease—on June 21, just a day after Instagram video was launched,” reports CNBC.
Have you done research on your mobile before buying something in the store? You are not alone. According to a new study, African-American consumers use mobile devices for shopping more than the general population. In fact, black consumers ages 18 and over are more mobile-minded than the general population. And they’re on the leading edge of engagement when it comes to using their mobile devices to view online content and find other information as they do their shopping, reports Target Market News.
The study, conducted by according to Prosper Insights & Analytics, found that overall black consumers have a mobile aptitude score of 127.3, indicating that they have a higher mobile capacity (+27 percent) than most adults 18 and older.
Blacks use their mobile devices to comparison shop, to price match, and to get more detail on a product. And get this: after checking out a product in the store African Americans are actually more likely to buy online.
To that end, Adweek says African Americans shop online more than other groups. Affluent African Americans are shopping online at record levels, reports the magazine. Almost half of survey respondents made at least 30 percent of their retail purchases online. More than 22 percent of affluent African Americans made at least half of their retail purchases online.
College students have been finding innovative ways to make money since the birth of higher education. From waitressing weekends, to setting up salons in dorm rooms, hustling is just as much a part of the college experience as the classes themselves. Current students like University of Kansas senior, Jacque Amadi, are giving that hustler’s spirit a tech upgrade.
A psychology major and business minor, Jacque doesn’t have a resume that screams fashion. She dabbled in fashion blogging, but never thought to pursue it professionally. Her online boutique, Lioness, started as a celebration of her hobbies and interests, one she hoped would ease the financial woes that come with a college education.
“I would sell clothes on eBay whenever I needed money,” says Jacque. “And I love thrifting, even if I don’t keep what I find. With blogging and taking pictures – I loved doing it, but I was broke. So, I wanted to do all these things that I love in a way that could make me money.”
There’s one extra twist. Lioness is a digital time machine where the dial is always set to 1995. Jacque may be too young to remember the top news stories of the decade, but the images she saw as a child made a big impression on her.
“At first I was selling any vintage clothes I found, but then I decided to focus on the 90s because I felt that time period was the best time period for African Americans in terms of our exposure and our reach on television,” Jacque said.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been taught to buy black. If there were a white mechanic in the neighborhood and a black mechanic 30 minutes away, who charged a bit more, in financially fit times, my father would have opted for the black mechanic. This behavior was drastically different than my maternal grandfather’s. A Jamaican living in Indianapolis, Indiana, my grandfather didn’t always view American blacks in the most positive light. In fact, his sentiments would lead you to believe he regarded them as inferior– and he might have. Though, in his defense, he’s grown over time.
But buying black was an important lesson I learned at the crib. One that stuck with me once I got a little money of my own…which was just three years ago really.
I can honestly say that I do as much, if not more shopping online than I do in actual stores. Everything is at your disposable on the internet in ways that the stores are drastically limited. And not only that, on the internet, you’re more than likely to find more black owned and operated businesses. There’s jewelry made by black women. (Earrings are my everything.) Books written by black women, businesses run by black women and unique, one of a kind clothes designed, made and shipped to your apartment or workplace by black women. It’s a beautiful thang. And I’m happy to support even if it means I end up spending a few dollars more than I would have if I bought said item from a white and or mainstream outlet.
Now, please know that my money is not long. With rent, student loans, regular utilities and other things that come up, I don’t have an extensive shopping budget. But as hard as I work, every month I have to buy myself at least one something nice.
In November it was a necklace from Peace Images Jewelry. In December, it was a Boxing Kitten dress. For Christmas I asked my sister to buy me an Ifenkili pillow and earlier this week I was looking at a $55 sweatshirt from Quelly Rue Designs. The sweatshirt featured a simple design on a plain, solid colored hoodie. I showed it to my sister telling her I was thinking about buying it. She agreed it was cute; but when she saw the price tag, her immediate reaction was, as it often is, “I can make that.” My sister, the artsy one, is probably right. But would she actually make it. Probably not. But that’s not the issue, I was contemplating buying the hoodie because the design, although simple, was still beautiful and the designer was a black woman. Historically, that’s been a good reason to spend $10, $20, even $50 dollars more than what I would pay somewhere else.
I support black women because one day I know I’ll need the same and I believe in karma. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. My father, who recently started up his own business selling and installing blinds and window fixtures works with all types of people. But recently he had a client, a black man, who said that he was buying from my father, though he probably could have gotten a lower quality product for less, because he was a black man and he was trying to support his business. As a black woman with a dream, that will ultimately require the financial support of others, it’s important that I regard these women and their products as I would hope they would one day do for me.
Do you go out of your way to patronize black businesses? Are you willing to pay more to buy their products?