October 10, 2008, 12:00 AM

Headsets.com talks the talk—behind brands’ backs, so to speak

The e-retailer has been accumulating 800 telephone numbers that spell names of popular brands of headsets. And the tactic, a legally legit move, has boosted sales.

Headsets.com Inc. is talking behind the backs of some of the most popular brands in the business. But it’s good talk, because the e-retailer is selling the brands’ products as a result.

Headsets.com has just added the pneumonic toll-free number 1-800-JAWBONE to its arsenal. Jawbone is the registered trademark of a company that manufactures popular headsets for mobile phones. A trademark owner has a right to web domain names; however, the same does not apply to phone numbers. Toll-free 800 numbers cost less than $20 flat.

In addition to 1-800-HEADSETS, the e-retailer, No. 477 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also owns the toll-free numbers for top office headset brands Plantronics and GN Netcom, and says this tactic has helped grow sales. If a consumer doesn’t believe it, he can try calling 1-800-MIKEFAITH.

“When Jim McCann obtained the phone number 1-800-FLOWERS, he bought instant brand recognition and instant memorability,” says Mike Faith, president and CEO of Headsets.com. “The same principle works for us. Every day we receive many calls on our 800 number and the branded 800 numbers.”

What has been the reaction by consumer brand manufacturers to Headsets.com purchasing the 800 numbers? Faith says they’re not entirely happy, but the fact that the e-retailer is successfully selling their products keeps them content.

“Now,” he adds, “all roads lead back to my company.”

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