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Buystand puts control in the hands of buyers of active lifestyle products

December 7th, 2012

By Allan Maurer

Joe Davy

Joe Davy, CEO of Buystand, which lets buyers set a price for active lifestyle products they want to buy.

Deals, deals, deals: discounts are the byword of online shopping these days, but usually, sellers are deciding how much the discounts should be. A Durham, NC-based startup, Buystand, wants to change that.

Buystand, says CEO Joe Davy, “Is the world’s first completely buyer-driven marketplace for active lifestyle clothing, equipment and footwear.” That includes everything from boots to mountain bikes and skis.

“Originally the brainchild of Ted KrausĀ and commercialized by Ted Kraus and Bill Brown atĀ 8 Rivers Capital, which Davy says “works like an incubator for ideas, going through the patent process and funding them,” Buystand launched in beta about a month ago and already has hundreds of retailers, 250 brands, and thousands of customers signed up.

Davy, who joined the company after taking a course Brown, who is managing partner at 8 Rivers, taught at Duke University Law School, presented the company’s business plan at the Startup Summit that preceded this year’s Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC in November.

Innovative companies from early stage to pre-IPO looking for funding may want to apply to present at TechMedia’s next event, The Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, in March. SEVC is now accepting applications.

Davy explains that at Buystand retailers let the buyer tell them what they want pay for certain products. That lets retailers see what their products are worth to buyers and lets brands see what they’re worth compared to their competitors’ products.

The retailer can decide at what price it wants to sell.

Control in the hands of buyers

“It puts control back into the hands of buyers,” says Davy. “There has never been a company before that let buyers come in and say what they’re willing to pay for a physical product, although it does happen in the hotel and travel markets. We’re inventing that model for products.”

Davy says this startup differs from many others – including the last one he ran – solve “What amounts to a big problem for a small number of people. They’re building a better widget or solving a very niche problem. What we’re doing appeals to a universal desire. It’s a much better way to shop, not just for a few people, for 90 percent.”

Customers already seem to like it. “People are using this multiple times a month. They’re not only happier when they pay the price they want to pay, but it translates into them spending substantially more money,” he says.

The firm has lots of room to grow. “It’s an $83 billion market,” Davy says. “And no one else is being innovative in the space right now. A lot of people are doing daily deal sites, but those crush brand equity and undermine the future sales of retailers.”

There are plenty of places to buy used products, he notes, including eBay and Craig’s List. “Buystand is for people who want a brand new product from retailer but don’t want to pay full price,” he says.

People have adopted it quickly, he adds. “We saw traction in just a few weeks,” Davy says.



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