Who: BuyItNow Inc., Tulsa, Okla.
What: Virtual department store that sells toys, tools, home fashions, kitchenware and CE products including audio, video, communications, PDAs, security systems, home theater and accessories. President Anthony Link took a bare-bones approach to page design, employing a Plain Jane list of clickable categories and a search-by-vendor function. Pricing reportedly adheres to MAP agreements, although the e-tailer guarantees to match competitors' prices or refund the difference. However, a pending merger with e4L (Everything for Less), an infomercial broadcaster with a price-driven virtual warehouse club, could further sharpen BuyItNow's retails - and marketing clout.
When: Launched September 1998, after three-and-a-half years of development.
Why: "Traditional retailers are horrible, severely horrible in service and product knowledge," says Link, whose site provides real-time help online.