Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday which is the Friday that is after the Thursday that is Thanksgiving in the United States. Got it?

Cyber Monday, now five years old, has become a major online shopping day in the U.S. It is when people presumably buy the items they could not find in local stores on Black Friday. Most online buyers know that is more myth than fact.

Today’s web shoppers are more like the Troll in the childrens story “The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff.”

They hang low and wabilly goatit for the meaty deals to walk “tip-tap, tip-tap, tip-tap” on the bridge and then exclaim “Now, I’m coming to gobble you up, my bargain!”.

Unlike the Troll, the shoppers are smart enough to wait for the deals. Many already have a Plan B if they don’t get what they want.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: woodleywonderworks

This year, while the buyers examined the deals that walked across the bridge “tip-tap, tip-tap, tip-tap” they were distracted by the cry of Dow Jones in the distance.

Dow Jones exlaimed “Now, I’m coming to gobble you up!”. The Dow gobbled almost 680 points – the fourth worst loss on record. Not that I need to draw a line between the economy and shopper confidence, but web buyers have become smarter. Much, MUCH smarter. Many may have already made up their minds of how much they will and won’t spend.

The first blast of news for Black Friday said sales were up 10%. By midday Monday, it was obvious the numbers were down. The first news – maybe off of press releases – gave an excuse to stores to keep prices higher for Cyber Monday – and see what happens. Some may opt to keep prices higher, take the loss in sales and maintain the better profit margins. And a few will not. THESE stores are where the bargains may well be.

Now does this work with a WII gaming console? No. At least I don’t think so.

Does this work with flat screen televisions? It might.

Games? Board games, at least.

Remember how the story ends: “And the Billy Goat flew at the Troll, and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones”.

We just have to figure out who we are in the story and hope we are really the smart Billy Goat. And we better hope the economy isn’t the Troll.

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