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Cyber Monday sales up, workplace productivity down - abc27 WHTM

Cyber Monday sales up, workplace productivity down

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Black Friday's annual frenzy hit a holiday shopping lull over the weekend, as Cyber Monday sales are expected to rise. Like any balance beam, if online shopping goes up, work productivity must go down.

Besides the Auburn epic touchdown, chit-chat around coffee shops on Monday tended to lean toward the better-than-anticipated Black Friday shopping excursions. Across the country, retailers reported sales were down 2.9 percent this year compared to 2012.

What has become a shifting trend in recent years continues to grow. The National Retail Federation projected 131 million would participate in Cyber Monday. The NRF expected numbers around 110 million retailer site visits, 22 million packages to be shipped, and more than $2 billion in over sales just in one day.

Those who didn't spend the day hunting deer for the first day of rifle season most likely hunted deals at work. According to a national poll from the online coupon site retailmenot.com, 86 percent of people admitted they would shop online during work hours. Another 21 percent said they have been caught by their boss while shopping online.

As many workers hit Downtown Harrisburg for their lunch break, Melanie Nolt 'fessed up and said she too did some shopping at work.

"Shh...I keep that on the down-low," she said. "But yeah, a little bit at work here and there."

Ashley Ramer also admitted to a little Cyber Monday browsing.

"I did some shopping at home this morning," she said. "And, yes...I did some at work today."

Besides running the risk of getting caught at work, the FBI warned cyber shoppers of risks and scams this time of year. Federal officials suggest people use only reputable retail sites and stay away from third-party websites offering deals on behalf of major retailers.

The FBI also suggested people use their credit card instead of debit cards in case a shopper must dispute fraudulent charges. Because there was a national uptick in packages being stolen from doorsteps, the FBI urged people to get a tracking number, signature confirmation, and give your carrier specific instructions for delivery if not at home.

Some helpful sites economists suggest are CyberMonday.com and CyberMonday2013.com. Both sites offer secure up-to-minute deals to safe and savvy shopping.

If you're still at work thinking about shopping online, Erica Poles suggests others to be smart.

"Keep my screen down a little bit I guess," she said. "[Quietly] try look for deals, check my email...yeah."

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