December 15, 2010, 4:18 PM

Market America to acquire is among the last original shopping comparison sites to merge or be purchased.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

Online retailer and marketplace builder Market America is jumping into the shopping comparison site business via a big acquisition.

This afternoon Market America, No. 54 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, acquired, a shopping comparison site, for an undisclosed amount.

Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the month, will continue to operate as a separate web site, says Market America. “This unique strategy positions us for explosive growth and to compete head-to-head with the biggest, most dominant shopping sites on the Internet,” says Market America CEO James Ridinger.

Market America, which generated web sales of $321.3 million in 2009, is acquiring for its search and OneCart checkout technology and for its base of 2,000 affiliated merchants. “Market America and are online shopping pioneers with distinct areas of expertise,” says CEO Ken Goldstein, who will depart his current role and become a strategic advisor to Market America after the deal closes. “By bringing our companies together, we are creating a game changing shopping experience with transformative potential to our customers, retailers, consumer brands and business partners.”

Market America also is making the acquisition to apply its personalized merchandising strategy to’s broad base of well-known retailers such as Best Buy Co. Inc., Bluefly Inc. Inc.; Inc.; Inc. Gap Inc., J. Crew Group Inc., Macy's Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. In November 2009 Market America rolled out its “Paid to Shop” program that awards customers 2% back on all purchases made on and its sister sites. The cash-back offer is good on purchases of more than 35 million products available on, including Market America’s own branded products and items offered on the site by thousands of partner retailers including The Home Depot Inc., Target Corp. and Saks Fifth Avenue.

“To date, no one has truly harnessed the power of technology to provide a high-touch, personal shopping experience combined with the depth of selection available through instant search of the more than 43 million products in our database,” says Ridinger. “Our business model rewards customers at every stage – by making their shopping easier and more efficient, and rewarding them with cash back for shopping with us.” is among the last of the original shopping comparison sites to merge or be acquired. In June 2005 E.W. Scripps Co. paid $525 million in cash to acquire Shopzilla Inc.; eBay bought in August 2005 for $620 million; Experian acquired PriceGrabber for $485 million in December 2005; and venture capital firm Providence Equity Partners acquired a two-thirds stake in NexTag in June 2007 for $830 mililon.

Comments | 7 Responses

  • We are witnessing the evolution of online shopping sites as the dominant players position themselves strategically within the marketplace. With its people power, look for Market America to dominate the online shopping arena in this second decade of the millenium. No other company offers the customer support and experience provided by their high touch approach. Milan Moore, MD

  • I think this is the most exciting thing yet Bigger Better Faster.

  • A game changer! Everyone should own a franchise. It just makes sense.

    • I couldn't agree more! I have my zuzu2007 for my kid's future:)

  • This merging is going to create the economy of the future. Market America is going to explode with the technology strenghtened by

  • We are in the right place at the right time with you should be too!

  • What a powerful move to acquire for Market America which has moved up 12 notches (from 66 to 54th in 2009) in the etailer rankings. This year they may move up to the top 40... but for 2011 i predict top 5 after you quadruple the amount of customers driven by And the big move will be year ending Market America's 20th anniversary (1992-2012) First in rankings. They know what they are doing and so does everyone else. Everyone love to be associated with a winner. Tony G

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