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RealTime IT News

Grab a Free Cab, Shop While You Ride

Yahoo! launched some interesting promotions for its shopping portal, including a one-day opportunity for consumers to get a free cab ride in San Francisco while shopping the Web via mobile phones.

The free taxi promotion is part of the launch of Yahoo! Shopping on Web-enabled phones. The mobile commerce launch integrates the functionality of Yahoo! Shopping into the company's suite of mobile offerings. Consumers can now browse, compare prices and purchase books, music and movies directly from their WAP-enabled mobile phones.

Special shopping cabs in San Francisco (and San Francisco only; sorry, Silicon Alley) will offer passengers a free ride, and a chance to hop in and shop on the Web with Motorola Web-enabled mobile phones and the Sprint PCS Wireless Web.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! Shopping will also promote itself by providing personal valets, free of charge, to carry packages and bags at Minnesota's Mall of America, the largest, fully enclosed retail and entertainment complex in the United States.

"Through Yahoo! Shopping cabs and personal valets, we provide a great way for people to kick off their holiday shopping, have fun, and make the most of their limited time,'' said Jennifer Dulski, brand manager, Yahoo! Shopping.

In San Francisco, Yahoo! Shopping teamed with Luxor Cab Company to provide easy access from Union Square cab stops, to anywhere within San Francisco County. Easy to spot with specially marked "Free Ride, Shop Inside" taxi tops, the entire Luxor fleet on the day after Thanksgiving will be free to holiday shoppers traveling within the county from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Each cab is equipped with a Motorola phone and the Sprint PCS Wireless Web.

At the Mall of America, people can swing by the Yahoo! Shopping valet station, located at the North Entrance of the mall on the first floor between Sears and Nordstrom. A Yahoo! Shopping valet will then carry the weight of the holiday shopping season, along with items purchased, to shoppers' cars free of charge. Yahoo! Shopping valets will be on hand every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 23.

Also as part of its m-commerce effort, Yahoo! has launched Yahoo! Mobile Store, a destination that allows consumers to compare prices for and purchase a variety of mobile devices, accessories and service plans. That effort is in cooperation with Sundial.com, a one-stop telecommunications marketplace on the Internet.