Black Friday begins today

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: If you just can't wait until tomorrow to start that holiday shopping, a couple of major retailers will be open today for the first time. BJ's Warehouse from 8 to 3 and CompUSA from 9 p.m. to midnight. Of course, after all the turkey you could just plop down in front of the computer and shop online. Stacey Vanek-Smith tells us what the Internet shopping scene will be like this year.


STACEY VANEK-SMITH: Web merchants are expected to rake in $27 billion this holiday season.

That might sound like a whole lotta money, but it doesn't mean dot-com stalwarts like eBay and Amazon are sitting pretty.

In fact, growth in the number of people going online to buy seems to be leveling off. At the same time, competition in cyberspace, has gotten fierce.

Sucharita Mulparu is a senior analyst with Forrester Research.

SUCHARITA MULPARU: There's an infusion of manufacturers, for instance, who are now selling online, that hadn't sold online in the past.

And it's not just big companies, either. Smaller online retailers are also chipping away at eBay and Amazon's dominance.

Smaller dot-coms can easily undercut the prices of their bigger rivals, because they have almost no overhead.

I'm New York, I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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