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BLOG: Mobile Devices Driving Surge in Cyber Monday Sales

December 2, 2013, 5:12 PM HST
* Updated December 2, 5:14 PM
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With the passing of Black Thursday/Friday, Cyber Monday is upon us.

And what a day it’s turning out to be, digital-wise.

According to USA Today, as of 6 p.m. Eastern time, sales were up about 18% over last year.

And more shoppers are doing it on the go.

According to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, nearly 30% of today’s online traffic is coming from mobile devices, which is up 61% from 2012.

The service said that many shoppers were using smartphones to browse but purchases were more likely to be made on a tablet.

And those still looking to make purchases online – indeed, just as Black Friday promotions crept into Thanksgiving, retailers are looking to stretch today into Cyber Week – here’s a few shopping tips from your friendly federal government:

  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card. “Credit card payments can be withheld if there’s a dispute with a store, and if the card is stolen, you won’t have to pay more than $50 of fraudulent charges,” says USA.gov. With a debit card, the retailer is paid directly from your bank account.
  • If you use a public WiFi hotspot such as at a coffee shop or bookstore, make sure it’s secure or your payment information could be compromised.
  • Failing to read the terms of a service agreement could get you signed up for subscriptions or hit with additional fees or restrictions. The terms can be tricky, often presented in fine print or right when you are anxious to make a purchase.
  • Beware of buying event tickets as gifts, because some venues may require that the same credit card used to purchase it be shown to get into the event.
  • Digital assets such as books and music sometimes can’t be given away as gifts if they’ve been downloaded to your account. Consider a gift card instead.

That information and more is available in the 2013 Consumer Action Handbook from the Federal Citizen Information Center at the General Services Administration.

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