In a move aimed at accelerating its path to profitability,
launched a new e-commerce marketplace and began offering premium placement in
a dynamically priced “Seller’s Auction” in which merchants may bid for
position in product category search results.

The new shopping area is called the C3 Marketplace, which the company says
delivers consumers “choice, convenience and confidence.”

Meanwhile the rating system, formerly based on a star ranking, has changed to
decimal points to provide more distinction among competing merchants, BizRate

BizRate attracts about 6.5 million unique visitors a month, according to
Media Metrix figures.

The C3 Marketplace provides consumers with direct access to a wide choice of
products online, a customer-regulated merchant ratings system, and a “C3
summary” on top products, BizRate said.

“C3, named after its consumer benefits, addresses the many frustrations
online shoppers face today by providing consumers with a real choice of
sellers and products, confidence to shop through our unique rating system and
convenient shopping tools,” said CEO Chuck Davis.

“At the same time, the Seller’s Auction helps e-tailers achieve a better
return on investment by allowing them to attract serious shoppers, not just

Consumers visiting now have two ways to shop: the C3
Marketplace and the Ratings Guide.

The C3 Marketplace provides consumers with a search engine that connects
shoppers with specific products and a choice of sellers. Other additions
include a downloadable personalized toolbar that remembers passwords,
shipping and billing information and credit card details, a savings center
for exclusive shopping deals, “hot” product listings and a themed
gift-giving ideas section.

The Ratings Guide offers shoppers the ability to evaluate more
than 1,300 sellers based on price; on-time delivery; privacy policies;
customer support; quality of product selection; ease of ordering; order
tracking; Web site navigation; shipping and handling and product information.

The Seller’s Auction, separate from the customer-based ratings, provides
e-tailers with a direct marketing tool, allowing merchants to target traffic
buys, control their customer acquisition costs, and get instant access to
traffic results. The pay-for-performance model charges merchants based on the
traffic results BizRate produces for sellers. got its start as a rating system, compiled exclusively from
point-of-sale and fulfillment surveys of participating merchants on 10
metrics related to cost and service. Ratings appear on Consumer Reports
Online and in Consumer Reports magazine, as well as on the Microsoft Network,
AltaVista, GO Network, Go2Net, Snap, Citibank, iChoose, Brodia and CNET. The
C3 Marketplace is also featured at Fleet Bank Services’ online site.

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