Browser Tool Allows Comparison Shopping From uBid

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Online auction platform uBid Inc. along with SmartShopper.com is offering the uBidShopper program, downloadable comparison-shopping software designed for uBid.com customers.

This new service gives customers more useful information by letting them view myriad products and prices when searching for goods online.

"We have thousands of brand-name items, often at prices up to 70 percent off retail," said Tony Priore, chief marketing officer at uBid.com. "This new shopping channel allows us to more effectively communicate relevant product deal opportunities so our uBid customers don't miss out."

UBid customers download the free uBidShopper from www.uBid.com or via uBidShopper CDs that ship with customer deliveries. Once installed, the tool appears in a side bar on the user's Web browser when they search for products or travel deals online.

The tool alerts the shopper to relevant uBid deals while the user is engaging in normal online shopping, instead of searching for items directly on uBid.com. This lets consumers practice normal online shopping behavior while receiving real-time notices about better prices on items that they are seeking. With the new feature, consumers do not even have to visit the uBid.com site.

Formerly named Cape Coastal Trading Corp., the auction site offers new, closeout, overstock and refurbished merchandise to consumers and businesses.

SmartShopper.com Inc. is a New York-based firm backed by Deutsche Bank, Eurofund and Unterberg, Towbin. The SmartShopper technology helps consumers compare prices and vendors while shopping.

Other companies like Southwest, Microsoft's Xbox and CNN offer various desktop marketing applications. But this is the first time that an online merchant has offered both comparative-shopping alerts alongside its own real-time inventory and auction offerings in one interface. The two companies hope this marriage complements their assets of comparison shopping in the auction-shopping experience.

"Up until now these tools did not attempt to give users the right offer at the right time, but rather were another way of getting marketing messages to users, similar to e-mail by using various forms of desktop notifications and pop-ups," said Ziv Eliraz, vice president of strategic alliances at SmartShopper.com. "UBid is unique in that it provides information, not ads, in a completely complementary way to the shopping experience."

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