April 2, 2001, 12:00 AM

Now`s the time to buy web expertise, says Ben Narasin

It`s a buyer`s market for retailers who are looking for ways to leverage the web. And buyers should be aware that they need to act fast.

The current state of the internet market makes this a good time to buy the expertise needed to sell on the web because prices are significantly lower than they have ever been, Ben Narasin, president of fashionmall.com, told attendees at the E-Business Forum for Retailers section of the Internet and E-Business Expo in New York on Monday.

"There is an underleveraged opportunity to buy the experience, the partners and the traffic you need." But buyers need to act fast lest the assets of a failed company go bad. "For every company that shuts down, the assets become worthless very soon," said Narasin, whose company bought boo.com and itsybits.com as they were faltering. "You have to act fast. As soon as garden.com shut down, Burpee`s and Wal-Mart were there buying. It was a great purchase."

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