October 14, 2003, 12:00 AM

Overstock.com launches online travel store

Overstock.com is applying its model of finding surplus and making it available to web shoppers at discounted rates to unsold travel inventory.

Overstock.com has launched an online travel store offering online shoppers discounted rates on unsold hotel rooms, airline seats and rental cars. “Our business revolves around tracking down surplus and making it available to the consumer at substantial savings, whether it’s handbags, designer jeans, or airline tickets,” says CEO Patrick Byrne. “Our goal is to be the first place consumers go to save on everything they buy, including travel.”

The online travel store will feature bargains that Overstock says are not available on other travel sites, including domestic and international hotel accommodations. Overstock’s travel partners have developed exclusive relationships with brand name travel companies that allow unsold travel inventory to be offered in Overstock’s travel store, the company says. Consumers will be able to see the exact specifics of what they are buying at the time of purchase, according to Overstock. The travel store does not require shoppers to register online before starting to shop, nor does it use a bidding model or require customers to fly standby to get the lowest fares. Airline tickets are e-tickets, though shoppers have the option of having tickets mailed to them.

The travel store follows two other major initiatives rolled out by Overstock recently: enhanced search functionality and a multi-media national branding campaign launched last week. “Overstock.com is delivering on the early promise of e-commerce envisioned in the 1990s--low prices, broad selection and superior convenience,” Byrne says. “This is one more step for Overstock.com down the road of evolving into the one-stop shop for saving on everything consumers are seeking.”

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