–Dan Kelly, Attorney

I have never participated in early morning Black Friday sales.  For me, those hours each year are most often spent peacefully enjoying the last fruits of a tryptophan-induced slumber.  It is not just a lack of interest, either.  There is a bit of loathing mixed in.  For instance, my goal for the last two year’s shopping seasons was not to go to the largest mall in the area.  Increasingly, when I shop, as I stand in lines, fight traffic, and not find what I’m looking for, I repeatedly arrive at a conclusion I need to recall before I step out the door:  shop online.

The interesting thing about shopping online, though, is the overwhelming number of options.  Comparison shopping conventional retailers’ online stores can sometimes be as time consuming as physically running from store to store.  On the other hand, online clearinghouses don’t always inspire confidence.  It seems that many retailers are a bit slow at comprehending where some of the future value lies on the Internet, but not all.  Toys ‘R Us has figured it out:  it owns toys.com and etoys.com.

Here’s a brief survey of websites residing at some “generic” domain addresses pertinent to the season, roughly in order (as of this writing) of least developed to most developed:

Domain Comments
holidayshopping.com No web site; interestingly, this domain can be promoted as both “HolidayShopping.com” and “HolidaysHopping.com.”
christmashopping.com A classic automated PPC (“pay-per-click”) page (note that this is “ChristmasHopping.com.”)
christmasshopping.com The “real” ChristmasShopping.com; still just an automated PPC page.
blackfriday.com Great address, content only marginally better than a typical automated page of click-through ads.
theblackfriday.com Billed as the “official” Black Friday site, many if not all of the links redirect to pages at dealsofamerica.com.
christmas.com Decent home page, but digging reveals that it is largely automated click-through ad content with a pretty face.
bfads.net Marginal address, but currently the first web hit on both Yahoo! and Google searches for “black friday;” set up in blog style, content appears current and relevant.
shop.com Well developed.
shopping.com Very well developed; its “/holiday” page is the first hit on a Yahoo! search for “holiday shopping.”
gift.com Redirects to JCPenny’s registry page — here is another retailer that gets it.
gifts.com A great website that I’ve actually used before; has a “finder” feature to shop by personality type.