Amazon.com posts highest sales this holiday season

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Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. claimed sales during the 2006 holiday season to be its best ever, with its busiest day being Dec. 11 when customer orders exceeded 4 million items.

Amazon spokesman Craig Berman said extended shipping deadlines and good deals helped increase sales.

"We were able to extend our Super Saver deadline by two days until Dec. 17," he said from Amazon's Seattle headquarters. "This extended the shopping season for customers who wanted free shipping."

Though Amazon would not disclose any numbers, the firm did create a "Best Of 2006 List" which includes the bestselling, most positively reviewed, most wished-for and favorite gift products as determined by Amazon customers in 2006.

Bestselling products by total units sold included flagship media products like the book, "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins; the CD, "Taking The Long Way," by Dixie Chicks; and the DVD for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

Software and electronics top sellers were the World of Warcraft video game and Apple iPods. Amazon's electronics store also sold its most expensive MP3 player to date in 2006 - the $19,999 Trekstor i.Beat Organix Gold 1GB MP3 player.

The products that were reviewed most positively included the book, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," by J.K. Rowling; the CD, "Josh Groban," by Josh Groban; and the "Mean Girls" DVD.

In the apparel and accessories category, Lee Jeans Women's Missy One True Fit Basic Flare were well liked and when it came to toys, the Fisher Price Learning Home was a hit.

This year Amazon extended Free Super Saver Shipping two extra days through Dec. 17.

Interestingly, Amazon sold enough orange-flavored Airborne health supplements to supply every passenger on 192 Boeing 747s. And enough coffee pots were sold to make coffee for everyone in Austin, TX.

The Internet retailer launched its first Amazon Customers Vote promotion, where 1,000 Xbox 360s were sold in 29 seconds, and 1,000 Axion portable DVD players were sold in 34 seconds.

"The customers vote promotion was very well received," Mr. Berman said. "Additionally, I think that customers were able to take advantage of many deals offered on the site."

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