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As Thanksgiving Day Sales Become the Norm, We’re Left to Wonder What’s Next?

In 2011, consumers using RetailMeNot.com reported saving more on Thanksgiving than they did on Black Friday. Additionally, consumers using RetailMeNot.com spent 5% more on average per order on Thanksgiving than on Black Friday.

That tidbit comes from the WhaleShark report with the long-winded but accurate title of “OctoNovemCemberTM: Why an Unsteady Economy Is Causing Consumers to Search for Deals Long Before Black Friday.”

What it means is that the retailers who were vilified last year for daring to put profits above family time went laughing all the way to the bank when it opened the next day. Even more retailers pushed their Black Friday opening times back from ‘crack of dawn’ to ‘stroke of midnight’ to make the whole event even more tiresome and exciting.

Real Models and Video Boost Online Apparel Sales

Buying clothes online is hard. Just because you wear a size 9, doesn’t mean you’ll look good in every size 9 dress. And more than once, I’ve bought a piece of clothing that looks luxurious online, only to find that it looks and feels cheap in person. Unlike one-size-fits-all DVDs and books, people want to touch clothes and try before they buy because we’re emotionally attached to what we wear. Don’t believe it? Ask a woman which outfit in her closet makes her feel good, which one is for bad days and which one is for those “feeling fat” days. (Men, do you do this, too?)

Ebay Pushes FedEx Shipping and Encourages Sellers to Take a Loss

When I first joined eBay, back in the late 90’s, it was all about the one-off auction. It was the place to go for a Lost in Space lunch box, a mint-in-box Barbie, or a rare Frankenstein poster. Back then, the majority of sellers were individuals looking to clean out their attic and make a little cash. It was the ultimate, online, treasure hunt for collectors like me.

While you still find this type of item on the site, they’re now buried under 50 listings of the same new DVD release, wholesale electronics, even listings from major retailers like Toys R Us.

That Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lair is pretty cool, but still, I don’t like this trend. With every step, eBay moves further and further away from their roots and closer and closer to becoming Amazon.com.

4 Out of 10 Consumers Will Start Holiday Shopping Before Halloween

The Ho Ho Ho-lidays are here! Yes, I know Halloween is still a week away, but according to the National Retail Federation, 41% of Americans have already started shopping for the holidays. (I’m almost done, how about you?)

Shopping early means you don’t have the benefit of all those steep Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but that doesn’t mean consumers are going to miss out. 36.6% of consumers said that sales and discounts would determine where they shop this year.

And here’s great news, 51.8% plan to shop online, buying an average of 38.8% of their gifts. Both of these numbers represent a jump up over last year. The forecast for the season? Cold and blustery with a 12% rise in online sales. That’s $96 billion dollars up for grabs, so make sure you get your cut.

New Study Says Men Want the Right Thing, Not Just the Newest Thing

Break Media has just released a new report called “The Definitive Guide to Men.” When I saw it, I thought I’d finally get the answers to the questions I’ve had burning in my heart for years — sadly, it’s only about men as consumers. That’s good for you, the marketer, but not as helpful for me, the woman.

But let’s not dwell on my disappointment. Let’s see what we can learn from this intimate look at the buying behaviors of the American male.

Break surveyed 2,000 men and found that the major of them were striving to be a “good guy.” They’re interested in doing what’s best for their family and their friends. They were willing to give up career goals in order to be more of a family man and 55% said they’d like to be a stay-at-home dad but they feel pressured to be the major breadwinner.

I’d Like to Order a Medium Pizza with a Side of Louboutin Shoes

If you have a craving for a peperoni pizza and a new pair of fashionable shoes, relax — you can have them both in under 90 minutes.

Shutl’s rockets are on the way from the UK to the USA. Once they get here, they’ll start delivering¬† your online purchases to your home or office, sometimes in under an hour. According to their website, their fastest delivery time in the past week was 20m:26 seconds. I can’t imagine them beating that in Los Angeles where it takes 20 minutes just to go five blocks but they’re going to try.

The company is launching soon in ten US cities: Atlanta, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Montreal and Toronto. They aren’t showing off a list of stores yet, but in the UK they include electronics hub Maplin, Laithewaites Wines and several fashion outlets such as Karen Miller and Oasis.

Shopping Engagement: Facebook Has the Reach but Pinterest Has the Passion

When it comes to online shopping neither Facebook nor Pinterest has had much success with conversions, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Bizrate Insights asked consumers to list the reasons they use either of the social sites, then they compared the results with this handy-dandy chart.

Users of both sites found them to be entertaining and a good place to connect with people who have similar interests. But after that, it’s all Pinterest. Look at the second set of bars. 70% of Pinterest users said the site inspires them to buy things. That’s huge.