to Offer ‘Buying Power’

In a new twist on a tried-and-true e-commerce concept, launched a Web site Monday that plans to sell online shopping dollars for 95 cents each. The virtual dollars will only be valid to buy items from online merchants in the mall.

The concept of an online mall is not new, nor is the idea of offering shoppers discounts to shop at the stores. However, by offering buying power for sale, is essentially trying to persuade shoppers to put their money into its site before they even buy anything from the retailers.

Shoppers will be able to buy dollars using a credit card, which will be charged for the purchase amount whether or not the shopper uses the online currency to purchase merchandise right away. Unused discount dollars remain in the customer’s account, to be drawn in the future.

With no dollars available yet for sale — and therefore no merchants processing the discounted dollars — the Web site is primarily being used as a tool to generate interest and entice visitors to register. Presumably, if generates enough interest, it will be able to attract popular online merchants to participate. claims that it has 5,295 registered users already.

Lining Up Stores

The company lists Dell and as its “premium partners,” which means that their home pages can be loaded into a portion of the framed site. The company lists 13 merchants as its core mall tenants, including nine that sell movies, books and music and four selling flowers and gifts.

In addition to Dell and Amazon, companies listed include Barnes and Noble,,, NetRadio, and Gift Express. The company is talking to venture capital investors to complete the final stage of its launch.

“ is designed to aid consumers and merchants by offering not only a better value for the shopping dollar, but a better shopping experience as well,” the company says. Although the company’s discount dollar program is designed for any online merchant, the company hopes to put up an enticing online mall to keep shoppers coming back to one central site.

Citing research stating that more than 60 percent of online shoppers abandon the transaction in mid-purchase, the company aims “to ensure the successful completion of these formerly unsuccessful transactions through our custom e-commerce processes.” is privately owned by J Internet Group International, LLC. The company has not disclosed when its online shopping service is expected to launch.

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