Minneapolis - Best Buy has added a third-party marketplace to its e-commerce site.
The addition of third-party sellers -- a strategy that has also been employed by Amazon.com, Buy.com, Walmart and Sears, among other merchants -- will expand Best Buy's online assortment by about a third in time for the holiday selling season.
Offerings are "complementary" to Best Buy's existing online assortment, the retailer said, and will be integrated throughout BestBuy.com.
Buy.com is among eight initial sellers within the Best Buy Marketplace, along with ANT Online, Beach Audio, Cameta Camera, Electronic Express, Mambate, SF Planet and Wayfair. Each has "a strong track record of superior customer service and satisfaction," the CE chain said, while new sellers will be evaluated against a set of standards including their tenure in business, overall customer satisfaction, order-cancellation history and back-order history.
Best Buy did not disclose the commissions and/or fees it charges its retail partners.
Items fulfilled by third-party sellers are clearly indicated on the site, and share the same shopping cart and checkout process as Best Buy inventory. Sellers handle shipment and returns, and are responsible for collecting taxes where applicable.
Purchases are backed by a "Marketplace Guarantee" to ensure customer satisfaction, Best Buy said. The guarantee is not a product guarantee or warranty, but a commitment to work with the seller and "take reasonable steps" to resolve product or service issues.
Purchases from Marketplace sellers will also earn Best Buy Reward Zone loyalty points for customers.
"Best Buy Marketplace is a key development to our multichannel platform," said CEO Brian Dunn. "As we continue to grow our online business, Best Buy Marketplace is an element that enables consumers to shop how they want and encourages additional reasons to visit and purchase at BestBuy.com."
John Thompson, senior VP and general manager of online operations, added that "increased assortment of products, brands and price points is exactly what people have told us they want," while Neel Grover, president/CEO of Buy.com, said, "We're happy to be among the first to open up new sales opportunities through this partnership with Best Buy."