Cyber Monday Competing with Black Friday Sales

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First it was Black Friday and then Cyber Monday came along.

As Americans — and many Canadians — swipe their credit cards on the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S., other shoppers are gearing up for what’s become known as Cyber Monday. The Monday immediately following Black Friday is when those consumers, who would rather sleep in and not wait outside stores at 4 a.m., can also take advantage of similar bargains online.

Internet retailers dramatically cut prices and some even offer free shipping — anything to make the sale and drive traffic to their websites.

The origins of Cyber Monday go back to 2005, when the website coined the phrase in a news release to promote their online sale on the Monday following Thanksgiving.

The new sales day to promote e-commerce is observed in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Portugal. While Canada hasn’t completely jumped on board, web-savvy Canadians will likely tell you they’ve always participated.

According to PayPal Canada, a secure online payment processor owned by eBay, 34 percent of Canadians between 18- and 34-years-old are aware of Cyber Monday and 15 percent will shop online to take advantage of the sales. You can probably already guess that men far outnumber the amount of women that will shop online (11% vs. 4% split).

The most popular items purchased are electronics, such as computers, game consoles and accessories.

If you’re not buying from a Canadian retailer, keep in mind you may be on the hook for taxes, duties and brokerage fees if your item is coming from the United States.