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Buy.com, Incorporated
Type Private
Founded 1997 (Aliso Viejo, California)
Headquarters Aliso Viejo, California
Key people Scott Blum, Chairman, Neel Grover, CEO
Products Retail-Computers, Electronics, Books, Videos, Music, etc.
Revenue $290.8MM (2004)[1]
Operating income ($13.3MM) (2004)[1]
Net income ($15.4MM) (2004)[1]
Website www.Buy.com

Buy.com is an online retailer based in Aliso Viejo, California. It began by selling computers and electronics in 1997 and has since expanded into many other categories.[2] Initially the company sold items below cost and intended to make up the losses "from the sale of advertising and ancillary services like warranties and equipment leases."[2] Buy.com sold $111 million worth of goods and services in 1998, its first full year, beating Compaq's record for most first-year sales of any company.[3]

Founder Scott Blum sold his stake to SoftBank in 1999 for $195 million just before the company first filed to go public.[4] Stock values plummeted in the year following Buy.com's initial public offering and in 2001 Blum reacquired Buy.com and took it private for 17 cents per share.[5]

Contents

Criticism

The company has been criticized for poor service, including delayed shipping times, shipping incorrect and damaged items, providing conflicting information on product availability and price online, or even simply canceling confirmed orders without any notification to customers. As of 28 December 2009 (2009 -12-28) they have a 4.16/10 lifetime rating on ResellerRatings with over 3,800 reviews. [6] Buy.com carries no inventory but brokers deals between buyers and distributors who would typically sell directly to retailers [7]. This business model has received attention for minimizing the environmental impact of shopping [8]

Buy.com's eBay business has also been the subject of much criticism. Many accuse the company of having a significant unfair advantage over smaller eBay sellers. The company has a special fee arrangement with eBay and pays substantially less for fees than smaller sellers; as a result, the company is able to essentially "spam" eBay with a large assortment of products, something that would not be feasible for other eBay sellers to do. [7]. Its eBay account has a 99.7% positive feedback score, with over 1,000,000 individual feedback reviews. [9]

CNET reported in July 2009 that Buy.com had contracted with WebLoyalty, a customer loyalty service accused of imposing "mystery charges" on Buy.com customers' credit cards.[10]

Return Policy

Buy.com makes it difficult for consumers to return products they purchased online. Their policy states that they will only accept returns if the product is shipped back in its original package, with manuals and other documents. If a consumer purchased a product but experienced a defect after it was properly set up (and original packaging discarded), then the only recourse is to escalate the issue with a customer service manager.

References

External links


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