RealTime IT News

Collective Buying Service for Consumers Set to Launch

Accompany Inc. is planning a new online buying service designed to leverage the power of the Internet "to bring people together in real time to pool their purchasing power."

Customers will access Accompany's service directly or through a partner site. After deciding which product to purchase, customers will join that product's Buy-Cycle--the period of time during which an item is open for buyers to join the purchasing process. The more people who join, the more the price continues to drop, the company said.

Accompany said it will employ its patent-pending demand coordination engine that enables individual buyers to transact as a group. Customers will be billed at the Buy-Cycle's close, usually at a price significantly lower than when they joined, the company said.

Each customer is encouraged to refer friends and family to Accompany through its "Word of Mouse" e-mail program.

"We feel that Accompany will fundamentally change the way buyers and sellers do business on the Internet, shifting the balance of power from seller to buyer through aggregation, access and advocacy. We feel that a customer is truly empowered when marketed to one-to-one, yet able to transact many-to-one," said Jim Rose, CEO and co-founder of Accompany.

Accompany said its buyer advocacy model encourages customers and suppliers to work together to extract the greatest value possible from volume sales.

The San Francisco-based company said it filed for a patent on its demand coordination technology and business model in early February and will launch later this month.