RealTime IT News

Overstock.com Stocks Shelves With Gear.com, Miadora.com

Discount e-tailer Overstock.com announced a pair of deals to acquire the now defunct Web sites and inventories of Gear.com and Miadora.com. Under terms of the land-grab, Overstock.com will stock its shelves with $14 million worth of sporting goods equipment and another $12 million in jewelry.

Gear.com burst onto the Internet retailing scene, offering discount sporting goods, before attracting attention from Amazon.com last summer. Coinciding with Amazon's newly unveiled initiatives to sell toys and consumer electronics, the e-tailing posterchild also took a 49% stake in Gear.com. That ringing endorsement was enough to attract a $12 million second round of funding for the newcomer this summer, but not enough to keep Gear.com afloat just two months later.

The once-promising Miadora.com had billed itself as the Tiffany's of the Web, selling luxury good items alongside a bevy of me-too competitors in the space. Before Net stocks began dying on the vine, the start-up attracted loot fit for a king. Sequoia Capital weighed in with more than $6 million in seed money, while Amerindo Investment Advisors backed the idea with an additional $25 million shortly thereafter.

In February, Miadora scooped up rival Jewelry.com for an undisclosed wad of stock. And just ahead of April's meltdown, investors poured another $20 million into the high-brow retailer. By late September, the San Mateo-based company announced plans to layoff all of its 75 employees and liquidate any remaining assets.

Enter Overstock.com. The company is in the business of searching out inventory from dot-com failures and overstocked merchants, and reselling the goods at a deep discount. Operating out of a sprawling 100,000 square foot warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, the upstart has quietly mushroomed into one of the top 25 most visited retailers on the Web according to Media Metrix .

The formula is remarkably simple. Keeping its eyes peeled for another addition to the dot-com boneyard, Overstock.com goes bargain hunting for a good deal. Last month, the company scooped up the inventory from ToyTime.com, an online toy store that went belly-up this summer. In that sweetheart deal, Overstock paid under $4 million for nearly $12 million worth of goods.

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