According to published reports, priceline.com is planning to apply its “name-your-own-price” Web model to the tried-and-true traditional yard sale.
The new site, to be known as Perfect YardSale, will begin testing in January and will attempt to match buyers and sellers in much the same way that giant online auctioneers eBay, Yahoo!, and Amazon.com do. However, this model will allow a user to make an offer below the seller’s asking price and allow haggling for bargains to take place.
In fact, priceline officials believe that the Perfect YardSale will attract the kind of sellers that are willing to unload unwanted merchandise cheaply. This scenario is quite different than what is being played out on traditional auction sites, where dealers are hawking the hottest new toys, collectibles or antiques at fixed prices.
Limited To Local Areas
Priceline points out that Perfect YardSale will be limited to local metropolitan areas so that buyers and sellers can exchange items in person and thereby eliminate shipping charges. Officials also said that the first testing site will probably be in the southeastern United States, but the company does have plans to expand the new site to other areas throughout the upcoming year.
Perks To Attract Bargain Hunters
The company intends to attract online bargain hunters to the site with incentives that are not regularly found at ordinary yard sales and auctions. For instance, priceline will not charge buyers’ credit cards until seven days after a purchase, giving them a week to return the item if they are not satisfied. Additionally, Perfect YardSale users will receive a 30-day warranty, allowing them ample time to get a refund on defective merchandise.
Priceline plans to generate profits by charging sellers a fee of about $1 (US$) to list an item on Perfect YardSale. Sellers will also pay a $3 to $5 fee for every item they sell on the site, while buyers will pay about $1 for every item they purchase.
Major Rock Star Kickoff
Priceline is forming Perfect YardSale as a separate company that is expected to attract additional undisclosed, outside investors. This approach is similar to the one taken when the company launched WebHouse Club, a name-your-price grocery shopping service.
To kick off the new site, priceline is said to be negotiating with a major rock and roll band to hold a free concert.