Welcome To SurveyWednesday

'Tis the time of year for journalists to be buried in meaningless surveys, all of which come down to "Holiday shopping will be up (or down) this shopping season, depending on which is better for the surveying company."

My favorite survey this year thus far came Tuesday from a company called BuySafe, which sells purchase insurance. One of their highly-credible conclusions? "Two out of three shoppers would spend more online if all online purchases were guaranteed" and " an overwhelming 65% of shoppers feel more comfortable buying from a Bonded Merchant."

Gosh, think those conclusions were perhaps a tad bit preordained? Yes, I'd certainly believe such conclusions from a vendor that sells this stuff. I'm tempted to quote from a classic old Robert Klein routine about a hair replacement commercial, where the spokesperson being filmed said, 'You can trust me. I'm the president of the company.' How's that for logic? 'What possible reason would I have to mislead you about the quality of this product?'"

Most of the surveys are either about Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The best part is that those are terms that no longer have—and frankly never did have—any real meaning because shopping always peaked long after Black Friday and online purchases fluctuate and Cyber Monday is not likely to be anything special. No, the terms were coined by PR people to make this stuff easier to cover for consumer media.

In that spirit, let me welcome you to SurveyWednesday, which I will now proclaim to be the day when journalists are flooded with more surveys than on any other day in the year.

We're going to be watching the major retail sites Friday to see if any major site crashes happen. But of course we'll find one because somebody somewhere is going to either crash or have a serious slowdown. We'll try not to elevate the inevitable—and not terribly meaningful—crash of some Fortune 500 retailer into an omen for the industry.