RealTime IT News

A New E-Commerce Outsourcer

Buy.com founder Scott Blum, who took the company private last August at a price of 17 cents a share, has decided to market its e-commerce engine on a "virtual private label" basis, letting client companies extend their product offerings.

Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Buy.com, the self-proclaimed "Internet Superstore," ran head-on into the Internet recession and Blum twice stepped up to rescue the company, once when he bought it and again about three weeks later when he had to provide financial support to maintain the operation's credit card agreements.

Now Blum has launched United Commerce Service (UCS) via his ThinkTank portfolio of companies. UCS said it will offer its Commerce Center Connect e-commerce product, "capable of handling hundreds of thousands of transactions daily," to companies providing Internet, wireless and interactive TV applications.

"The precedent-setting technology that has powered Buy.com is now available to companies looking to benefit from the most successful online retailing engine available," Blum said.

UCS said that no capital investment is required of client companies, and partners receive an e-commerce platform with up to 10 categories and more than 1 million SKUs of computer products, electronics, books, music, movies and games. The service will compete with established outsourcers such as Digital River , among others.

"The customer provides the traffic, UCS runs the store, and we both share in the revenue," said Keith Allen, UCS general manager. In addition to the turnkey "commerce in a box" solution, UCS offers site development, hosting, transaction processing, content management, fulfillment, reconciliation, customer service and merchandising services.

Founded in October 1999 by Blum, ThinkTank, a holding company, says it provides technology infrastructure, financing and management expertise to its companies.

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