Powered by Shopatron

May 22, 2007 § 1 Comment

My good buddy George, who works for a mid-sized independent ski manufacturer, just told me about an interesting company called Shopatron. Shopatron runs the e-commerce transactions behind branded manufacturer websites like Callaway, Brooks, and Diadora…companies that run the risk of upsetting retail partners by selling directly to consumers and cutting retailers out of the loop. Shopatron runs transactions from partner sites, “sells” items to the consumers at the manufacturer suggested retail prices, then puts items out to bid via the web to retailers within the consumer’s region. The retailer that is in the consumers region that has the item in stock and is willing to sell it at the highest price gets to make the sale. If no retailers have the item in stock or want to sell, the manufacturer sells the item directly to the consumer.

For example, Spy makes sunglasses and ski goggles…they sell goggles and glasses on their site, but the transactions are processed by Shopatron. If I buy a pair of ski goggles for $150 via spy.com, Shopatron processes my order and puts it out to bid to Spy retailers in the Chicago area. If none of them pick it up, I get the item directly from the manufacturer.

Very cool idea and Shopatron has a very solid portfolio of companies.

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