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Residents share perspectives about Cyber Monday

By ALLISON MILES
Nov. 24, 2012 at 5:24 a.m.
Updated Nov. 25, 2012 at 5:25 a.m.


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Want a sneak peek at this year's Cyber Monday deals? CyberMonday.com offers a list of stores, discounts and even tips for making the most of the shopping holiday.

With Thanksgiving dishes washed, the leftovers stowed and Black Friday purchases tucked safely away, Monday is a chance to return to some sense of post-holiday normalcy.

But the shopping doesn't necessarily end there.

Cyber Monday, or the Monday after Thanksgiving, serves as the official kick off to online holiday shopping. A follow-up to Friday's dash for deals, it's a day that many retailers take to the Internet with flash sales, free shipping, discounts and more.

But the shopping holiday means different things to different people throughout the Crossroads.

For Erin Hatley, a Victoria resident with two small children and little free time, online shopping is a way of life. The Internet offers a better selection, she said, and it's often easier to have larger items shipped.

Although she's never checked out Cyber Monday herself - her husband did some shopping last year - she said she plans to give it a try this time around.

"I'll probably get on there and at least see what I can find," the director of The Vine School said, cradling 1-month-old daughter Georgia while 22-month-old Charlotte played nearby. "We'll check it out."

Clint Morris, a firefighter who lives in Victoria, shopped last year's deals but said he plans to pass them by this year. Electronics are his main online purchases, he explained, and he doesn't need any more this year.

Bel Schoeneberg, who manages Cavender's Boot City, said she feels the online deals take away business from her store.

Shoppers venture out throughout the weekend, she said, and then take that Monday as a chance to search for better discounts online.

"Cyber Monday is giving them a way of shopping and getting those deals without getting out in the crowds," Schoeneberg said, explaining people still shop in-store but traffic to the company website increases. "People are trusting it more."

For Sherita Miller, who owns Red Bird Books, the effects are harder to tell. While she sells items from her Navarro Street shop, she also sells through both Amazon.com and Half.com.

Because she sells through online retailers - and not her own Internet shop - she said it's difficult to offer Cyber Monday specials and to even know whether sales see a jump.

"I couldn't really tell you if it's busier or not," she said. "It's hard to say."

Bruce Miller, who owns Miller Appliance Inc., said his company doesn't participate in after-Thanksgiving sales, but said he didn't feel the online deals affected his business.

While Miller sells new appliances, he also offers parts and repairs - something most bigger stores don't do anymore.

Shoppers who do purchase larger appliances during Cyber Monday are potential clients, he said, noting items might get cracked or broken during shipping.

"If it ain't broke today, it'll break tomorrow," he said with a laugh. "That's what I target."

Marilyn Hereford is another Victoria resident who prefers the in-store experience over online shopping.

Although the retired nurse has purchased perfumes and similar items through the Internet, she said she's been disappointed in the quality of some of her purchases once they arrived.

To get around that, she said she prefers a chance to evaluate the item in person first.

"I like to look at what I'm going to buy," she said. "I'll pretty much stick to the stores."

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