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Haggling on the Web

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, December 15, 1998

New twists to online shopping. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. First there were the online auctions, then came the name your own price concept on priceline.com, now there are sites that let you haggle for lower prices before you buy. One well done new site is called makeusanoffer.com, where Kathy Morrell says consumers can bargain with an online character named Chester...

"What we've gotten is really pretty positive responses from our customers. They really seem to like the idea alot."

It's a mom and pop kind of online shop with about thirteen hundred items you can wheel and deal for so far. The much larger Netmarket site has added a haggle zone too. Netmarket's Scot Melland....

"You can choose one of four different characters to haggle against. In fact, one of our characters is Scrooge. And so for the Christmas season you can haggle a Christmas purchase with Scrooge."

The characters each have different personalities. It's almost like an online game...

"We're trying make it fun. We believe that part of shopping is entertainment."

Yet another new site in this year of e-commerce, is called worldspy.com. The focus here, says CEO Alan Clingman, is on giving shoppers independent research and reviews ...

"The name comes from the concept that we go out around the world and seek out the best products, the best information, as much consumer intelligence as is needed.purchase decision."

The site uses ratings from Consumers Digest.