In yet another response to the Internet sales boom, AbsoluteFuture.com (OTC Bulletin Board: AFTI) is working on a new program to handle product returns and, when necessary, dispose of them in an environmentally safe manner.
The company, based in Bellevue, Washington, develops proprietary Internet solutions for e-commerce companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Mainframe Entertainment Inc. Most recently, AbsoluteFuture.com expanded into the online recruiting business, paying $200,000 for Internet Interview, Inc., a provider of technical professional personnel for the information technology industry.
Joining Forces to Reduce Costs
AbsoluteFuture.com has enlisted GreenDisk Inc. to develop the Internet database that will enable vendors to process and route returns. The service will build on GreenDisk’s current Return Material Authorization Clearinghouse Program, which provides a secure, audited accounting of product returns through a network of clearinghouses. “Publishers, vendors and resellers can greatly reduce the cost of handling, shipping and, most importantly, financing returned products that were destined to become trash,” GreenDisk says.
Rather than sending products that cannot be resold back to merchants — who then have to dispose of them — GreenDisk’s new system will provide consumers a way to send the goods to GreenDisk. The system tracks returns for the merchants, who can audit them to protect their intellectual property rights. Additionally, merchants will be able to minimize returns by incorporating the data into their selling and marketing strategies.
The U.S. Postal Service signed up GreenDisk as a pilot site for its new e-commerce post office. Under that arrangement, GreenDisk provides the Postal Service’s returns and delivery confirmation system. GreenDisk says it also has agreements with several Fortune 1000 companies and emerging e-commerce firms.
The database software is slated to be available early next year, in time for returns from the holiday selling season. GreenDisk is a recycler of intellectual properties, including software, music, film and books in a “secure and environmentally responsible manner.” GreenDisk uses some of the recycled material to produce office products, such as computer diskettes.
“Absolute will be instrumental to providing us with the revolutionary e-business solution which will significantly strengthen our position in the online recycling business,” GreenDisk President David Beschen said. “Consumer research has shown that returns are the second highest concern after credit card security for consumers in e-commerce transactions.”
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