December 11, 2007, 12:00 AM

Monday-watchers give mixed reviews to yesterday’s sales

Shopping.com sent 54% more traffic to merchant partners yesterday than the same Monday last year, making it the heaviest shopping day of the year. Payment processor Chase Paymentech says Monday was “good but not great.”

For those watching Mondays as a bellwether of holiday sales, yesterday’s results were mixed.

Comparison shopping site Shopping.com, a subsidiary of eBay Inc., says traffic from its site to merchant partners was up 54% from the same Monday a year ago. “We continue to see a lot of momentum through yesterday,” says Josh Silverman, general manager of Shopping.com. PayPal, the payment service owned by eBay, also reported its strongest day of the year, with transaction volume 34% higher than the same Monday last year.

But Chase Paymentech, whose Pulse index tracks the payments it processes for 10 large online merchants, says sales yesterday were “good but not great.” Sales for those 10 merchants amounted to $113.3 million from 2.1 million transactions, up 11% from $102.2 million on the same Monday during the 2006 holiday season, and up 31% from Sunday of this year. But Monday’s results fell far short of last Wednesday’s, when the 10 merchants racked up $154.1 million in sales and 2.75 million transactions.

Chase says Tuesdays were the heaviest shopping days for its merchants last year, and Wednesday has been strong this year. “Based on this, Monday’s uptick should usher in higher totals for the next couple of days,” Chase said in a statement.

Meanwhile, web measurement company comScore Inc. says that last Thursday, Dec. 6, was the heaviest online shopping day ever, hitting $803 million, 28% higher than the same day a year ago. For the period Nov. 1-Dec. 9, comScore says online spending this year totals $19.79 billion, up 18% from $15.94 billion in the same period year last year.

Silverman of Shopping.com says the site may be benefiting from consumers looking for good deals at a time of economic uncertainty. He predicts sales will continue to be strong through about Dec. 21, the date about half of Shopping.com’s merchant partners have set as the cut-off for guaranteed delivery by Christmas.

The busiest shopping period Monday at Shopping.com was noon to 1 p.m. Pacific time, suggesting many consumers are shopping online during their lunch hours, Silverman says. Here are the most popular items yesterday on eBay, with the average price:

  • Webkinz Reindeer Pet, $12.98
  • Krups Espresso Maker, $53.61
  • American Girl Dolls, $104.39
  • Volkl Supersport Allstar Men’s downhill ski, $474.99
  • Nintendo Wii video game console, $421.63

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