After a weekend of discounted shopping the national shopping spree continues today online for Cyber Monday.
Experts say that just like many Black Friday deals, this year Cyber Monday started early. Online shoppers are expected to spend more than $1 billion today, taking advantage of the online deals.
It's predicted to be the biggest online shopping day of the year. Retailers generally begin offering deep discounts on their websites at midnight. This year many of those deals started early.
"There were so many deals being offered online starting from Wednesday all the way through the weekend, and now some of that money has already been spent," Marshal Cohen, analyst with NPD Group, said.
Several major retailers started Black Friday early as well. Target, Walmart, and Kohls were among several stories that opened on Thanksgiving Day.
The strategy paid off as 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the past four days, spending on average $432 per person. That totaled about $59 billion spent over the holiday season, an all time high.
"Actually I didn't get any Christmas shopping done, I just shopped for myself," shopper Palma Murray.
"We got boots, we got shoes, we got appliances. We got luggage," another shopper Jennifer Willis.
The deals also brought out the worst in some shoppers.
"Everybody started going crazy about it and then the cops got called in and it just became a madhouse," one person said.
In Massachusetts a man left his girlfriend's 2-year-old son in a car while he went shopping for a new flat screen. Police forced their way into the car and found the boy asleep. He was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution.
Experts say the madness of the holiday weekend shopping will pay off for the economy. The National Retail Federation estimates that overall retail sales in November and December will be up 4.1 percent this year.
For Cyber Monday, the Better Business Bureau has some tips for participating shoppers:
- Make sure you trust the site you're buying from.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card.
- If you're using your phone to shop, make sure the Internet connection you're using is secure.