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Grocery Discounts Online

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, January 6, 2000

So what's the deal with this name your own price for groceries. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. One of the best known dot com names...thanks to William Shatner and all of that advertising....is Priceline.com. Like Amazon.com....it seems to be expanding in every direction. Including, these days, into groceries. Priceline launched it's WebHouse Club in the New York market...then into Philadelphia...

"Beginning of the year we'll be in Baltimore, Washington, up and down the eastern seaboard, we'll start to move across the country and by mid-year 2000, we'll be coast to coast and probably in 70 percent of the households in the United States."

WebHouse Club President Steve Mott. So how does this work? You go online and choose the items you want...and if your prices are accepted....you're charged by credit card and you simply bring a print out for the items to the supermarket...

"When that happens, you then have your price for a product. We make up the difference in the background using other people's money. A lot of it's from customer acquisition companies, we call them sponsors, like AT&T and Mobil SpeedPass. Plus a whole lot of Internet sites are willing to pay us to get you to come look at their sites and get you to try out their products and services out there too."

So by clicking and using those sponsors, you earn those WebHouse discounts. And supermarkets are just the start... there are plans to add gasoline and more...

"Just about anything that a consumer is going to pay for out of his wallet, we think we have a way that they could name their own price."