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Bizrate.Com - COMPANY HISTORY

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Just five after its inception, BizRate.com grew to become one of the Internet's busiest retail hubs, second only to Amazon.com. Monthly traffic rates at the end of 2000 reached an average of 6.5 million different visitors, and in early 2001 that number jumped to more than 7 million. Along with allowing shoppers to search for items they would like to purchase and then offering direct links to the e-stores that sell the merchandise, BizRate.com also rates online businesses for consumers. Before making a purchase, shoppers can see how past customers rated their experience with an e-business. Rating criteria, which users can rank in terms of importance to them, include customer support, live phone support, on-time delivery, site performance, order ease, product information, product pricing, order tracking, and privacy policy. Shoppers can search within one of nineteen product categories—such as apparel, books and magazines, computer hardware, computer software, DVD and videos, electronics, flowers and garden, office supplies, and pet and hobbies—or search the entire marketplace. Consumer Reports Online, Microsoft Network, Alta Vista, CNET, and other online information providers list BizRate ratings on their sites.

BizRate was founded in June of 1996 by 27-year-old Farhad Mohit. While earning his master's degree in entrepreneurial management at the Wharton School, Mohit gained his first in-depth experience with the World Wide Web by creating an online site for the school's journal. It was then that he came up with the idea for BizRate, which he believed would address some of the major concerns many consumers have with online purchasing. As stated in a January 2000 article in Computer Weekly, "however professional and enticing an online store may look, it could be run by a company with little financial backing or less-than-honest intentions." To help customers find reputable and reliable places to shop in the rapidly growing and increasingly diverse Web marketplace, Mohit wanted to build a site that would give consumers objective information about an e-store before they actually made a purchase.

He wrote a business plan for the venture as his thesis, and enlisted the help of fellow student Henri Asseily to develop the technology. Using $260,000 borrowed from family and friends, including marketing professor Dave Reibstein, Mohit and Asseily began creating the site. Over the next two years, they also worked on securing additional financial backing. The largest chunk came when Mission Ventures, based in San Diego, California, contributed $4.5 million in April of 1998. Chuck Davis was brought in as CEO in December of 1998. He previously had worked as president of Internet gateway Go.com, owned by Walt Disney Co. While Davis focused on day-to-day managerial issues, Mohit continued to work on developing strategy. When BizRate was officially up and running, Mohit offered things like product discounts, a $50,000 sweepstakes, and a $50 instant-win offer to draw people to the site. He also differentiated the site from competitors like Gomez.com by using data from actual shoppers to create ratings rather than hiring a staff to do that.

BizRate gets its information from customers who shop at the site of a participating e-business, which is labeled with a "BizRate Customer Certified" seal. Once a shopper completes a purchase from a site participating in BizRate's ranking program, a BizRate questionnaire appears on the screen. Each time a questionnaire is completed, BizRate adds the data to the existing information about the e-store, so overall ratings may change over time. BizRate visitors can view these ratings and base shopping choices on them, while the e-businesses themselves can use the information to improve their performance. Online retailers can purchase monthly data reports specific to their e-store for $20,000 per year.

In the fall of 1999, the firm repositioned itself as a shopping portal by offering direct links to those retailers who were willing to participate in the ranking system and give BizRate a portion of the sales—ranging from one percent to 20 percent—that originate at its site. Within a year, more than 50 percent of BizRate's revenues came from these commissions. The firm also made money by licensing its data to sites like Consumer Reports Online.

The firm published The Best of Online Shopping 2001 in November of 2000 to help holiday shoppers who were still leery about making online purchases. As quoted in the November 2000 issue of Business Wire, BizRate CEO Chuck Davis stated, "The real question on every consumer's mind this holiday season isn't the financial future of dot-coms—it is whether Internet retailers will be able to provide compelling gift ideas and deliver on service." Davis believes that the book, along with his firm's rating system, will help to boost shoppers' confidence about online purchasing, a goal that was of particular importance to many online retailers after a few e-commerce fiascos during the 1999 holiday season left shoppers shaken. For example, Toysrus.com 's inability to meet an unexpected spike in online orders left many customers empty-handed on Christmas Day, without the toys they had purchased from the site.

At the end of 2000, BizRate launched its C3 Marketplace, which included features like improved search capabilities covering more than 1,500 e-tailers, a discount area that showcases special deals on certain products, a listing of the best-selling items on the Web, standardized check-out procedures, and a gift idea center. The C3 Marketplace also let customers opt, for the first time, to allow BizRate to save their password and other personal details such as address and credit card information for future purchases. A seller's auction allows merchants to request their e-store appear at a specified place within the search results of certain product categories. For example, Flowers.com might request that their site appear first anytime a BizRate.com visitor searches the Flower and Garden category for roses. Unlike its competitors, BizRate doesn't charge e-tailers for each placement they receive. Rather, fees are based on how many users actually visit a site. Therefore, Flowers.com would not be charged each time its site appeared first within specified search results. Rather, its fees would vary based upon the amount of traffic it received from the placement.

Most analysts recognize the value of BizRate's rating system for both consumers and merchants in the relatively new world of e-commerce. However, some critics argue that BizRate's rating system will become obsolete as online shoppers who become increasingly familiar with the Web will likely return to their favorite sites to do business. Mohit counters this by pointing out that new businesses, particularly traditional brick-and-mortar companies, continue to open e-stores and overhaul existing sites. Instead of relying solely on a growing base of new sites to rate in order to justify its potential for continued success, BizRate also is developing new technology to bolster its presence as one of the Internet's top shopping hubs. Hoping to give online shoppers another reason to visit its site, the firm began working in 2001 on a system that will allow customers to keep track of their online spending by listing all completed purchases in a single account.

FURTHER READING:

"About BizRate.com ." Los Angeles, CA: BizRate.com, 2001. Available from www.bizrate.com.

"BizRate.com Becomes Second to Amazon as the Most Popular Retail Site on the Web." Business Wire. February 15, 2001.

"BizRate.com Launches an A-Z Online Shopping Guide Book in Time for Holiday 2000." Business Wire. November 15, 2000.

"BizRate.com Solves e-Commerce Woes with Launch of New C3 Marketplace." Business Wire. October 17, 2000.

Mcnamara, Paul. "BizRate.com Founder Farhad Mohit Eyes Every Aspect of His Business the Same Way Comic Steve Martin's Cop Character on 'Let's Get Small' Looked at a Shrunken Motorist: We're Gonna Have to Measure You." Network World. February 5, 2001.

"Siteseeing." Computer Weekly. January 13, 2000.

Smith, Geoffrey. "There's Good Reason for the Buzz about BizRate." Businessweek Online. November 26, 1999. Available from www.businessweek.com.

Weintraub, Arlene. "E-Commerce Crusader." Businessweek Online. June 5, 2000. Available from www.businessweek.com.

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5 months ago

I am displeased with your service. After applying for games from gamefly. I completed a survey to receive a hundred dollars gift . Now in finding out my debit card is being billed. I never gave you authorization to take money off my card. 127 dollars is gone I dont know how much more you try to take . Words scam and misleading is what happened. So im asking you to cancel my false free subscription and stop being fraudulent by taking taking money without lawful permission.

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almost 2 years ago

I PURCHASED SOME CONTAC LENSES AND FILLED OUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE, BUT I DO NOT WANT THE MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THE FOUR MAGAZINES I SELECTED--I DID NOT ANTICIPATE THE $2.00 CHARGE FOR EACH MAGAZINE SELECTED. PLEASE DO NOT CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD FOR THESE SUBSCRIPTIONS--I DO NOT WANT THEM. SINCERELY, B. ALEXANDER

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almost 2 years ago

I PURCHASED SOME CONTAC LENSES AND FILLED OUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE, BUT I DO NOT WANT THE MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THE FOUR MAGAZINES I SELECTED--I DID NOT ANTICIPATE THE $2.00 CHARGE FOR EACH MAGAZINE SELECTED. PLEASE DO NOT CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD FOR THESE SUBSCRIPTIONS--I DO NOT WANT THEM. SINCERELY, B. ALEXANDER

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over 2 years ago

thanks the useful website knowledge , nice website to good customers search amazing prduct.http://www.greedia.com

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almost 3 years ago

click:cartier bracelet men

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about 3 years ago

Pandora jewellery is popular among fashion public with the high reputation. Each year, when the newest fashion designs of Pandora Charms are launched, there are a lot of people who are in different regions will put much attention to the details of Pandora accessories. There are also a lot of types of Pandora accessories, such as the pretty Pandora Beads, and Pandora rings and so forth. Every year, pandora jewellery tends to give you the latest and best accessories among the market worldwide. In that case, you could get any Pandora jewellery according to your tastes at anywhere or anytime. People love fashion and love to dress up so that brings them brilliant daily life enjoyments. Because of well-known of Pandora jewellery, the distributions of it are wide so that you could get it at the most of counties. No matter what types of Pandora accessories you want, and if you go for a right place, you will get the most quality and reasonable price of Pandora accessories. Moreover, the best wishes to you.

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about 3 years ago

Product Description You may have seen Fitflop 's summer sandals to help you, but what to do when the weather turns cooler? That's when you trade them in for the Super Boat Short boot. If you sure its soft leather upper, rounded sole and the love that increases leg, calf and buttock muscle activity, improves posture and reduces stress on your lower back and feet. Now every trip is a workout-without disrupting your busy lifestyle.Because of the manufacturer created in the United Kingdom, over a two year collaboration between former Bliss spa entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore, Biomechanist Dr. David Cook and a team of untiring footwear engineering, Fitflop were initially designed to help modern women squeeze a little!
More exercise into their increasingly hectic schedules. "I thought, how wonderful if I could imagine that would help fight the onset of cellulite while I walk to the office," says Kilgore. "I work. I have children. I have a husband. And the likelihood of me seeing the inside of a gym in the next ten years is slim to none. That said, I would obviously prefer to go with slim." Kilgore found Dr. Cook at the Centre for Human Performance at LSBU in London, where he was injecting the patent-pending "micro-wobble board" technology in mind in the midsole of the feature-forward flip flop. Slightly destabilizing, Fitflop feature three different densities of EVA foam in a single merged under the feet part, for challenge your muscles more every time you step – to provide a workout while you walk.

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over 3 years ago

It's really good and i like way they sale products.

http://toolscatalog.blogspot.com/

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over 3 years ago

hmm, it seems not bad. But i know a better shop from my firend. If i buy some goods there, i can get a free gift! what is a surprise! In addition, it is with a lowest price but the quality is top in the market.

This is their site:

http://www.nikeking123.com

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over 3 years ago

Hmm...it seems really not bad. but i know a better site from my friend. I heard that shop is a international trade, if buy something there, would get a free gift. All is with a lowest price but in a top quality.

This is their web site:

http://www.nikeking123.com

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over 6 years ago

Umm, why would someone fill out questions about buying habits and give up their personal information to a company that suckers people into magazine subscriptions? Why would online retailers partner with bizrate who in their terms of service actually say that they will share your information with said retailers competitors?

This is out of their privacy statement:

http://www.bizrate.com/content/privacy.html







"In certain areas or features on our Web site or other Services, we may work with a reputable third-party source of specialized information or other content and services to provide you with some information or service ("joint services"). You authorize us to share with such party any information you provide in connection with your use of those joint services, and such party's handling and use of any shared information shall be governed by their own privacy policies and terms of use. "



Tis company has to be the biggest spam email address harvester in the United States.

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over 6 years ago

While shopping online on Strawberrynet, a Bizrate survey popped up offering 4 free magazine subscriptions for 12 months for completing the survey. The survey also asks for the country. However on completion of the survey which takes approx 15 minutes one discovers the offer is only for customers in the US. This is called cheating the customer.

Customers should be advised upfront that the offer is for the US Only. It is deceptive as by asking which country the customer belives it is applicable. I would like your response please

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over 6 years ago

I have had nothing but hassles with phone calls from a variety of business that I never wanted info from. THe curiousity is that I decided halfway into the survey that this wasn't for me... and cancelled out... And evidently my info went out to a zillion businesses anyhow.

This is no way to get me to purchase anything!

No one needs to be preyed on by 25 businesses for 2 lousy dinners anyway.

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almost 7 years ago

Having again been asked by Bizrate to fill out a survey, I was reminded why I think Bizrate is a fraud to consumers. I don't mind helping legitimate businesses, but when I'm told that I will be paid by PayPal if I win a contest, this constitutes fraud to me. PayPal requires you to register to get your money and then PP frequently doesn't pay anyway.