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Business models are possibly the most discussed and least understood facet of the web. Brokerage models, such as are market makers: they bring buyers and sellers together to facilitate transactions. leads the way to a unique new type of e-commerce known as a "demand collection system". is the world's first online buying service through which consumers name the price they're willing to pay. Leveraging the unique attributes of the Internet, finds sellers willing to meet buyers' needs and price.

Jay Walker, the founder of, created a new concept and business model. This model shifts the setting of prices from sellers to buyers. The company seeks to use its patented system on products such as airline seats, hotel rooms, gasoline and groceries. Using a simple and persuasive consumer proposition called "Name Your Own Price," collects consumer demands for a product or service at a desired price. reroutes that demand within their own databases or simply directly to participating providers. fulfills customers' offers from inventory provided by participating sellers. enables sellers to generate extra revenue without disrupting their existing distribution channels or retail pricing structures. In this sense it uses the Internet's communication and information abilities to turn customary retailing upside down; alternatively it opens up to the individual consumer a form of transaction which has previously only been open to corporate entities.

Key Issues incurred tremendous success in its beginning years. However, the success story has been put on hold in 2000. is now faced with many critical issues. Recently, has suffered a serious beating from its investors and is now hanging on the edge of survival with both failures from WebHouse Club and Perfect Yardsale. Major areas of concerns, which will be analysed in further details later on, for include: contested patent techniques, poor customer service, need of new brand identity, dependence on travel industry, falling stock price, and fierce new competitors.

Now, dealing with monumental problems, is faced with a daunting future and a questionable long-term success. Will find itself pushed out the market by copycats, despite its patent? Fundamentally, can's survive?


An evaluation of's strengths and weaknesses arises as an inspection of the company's internal mechanisms, which are relatively easier to control than outside factors. On the other hand, opportunities and threats were analyzed as part of an external environmental analysis; over which no control.

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