January 9, 2012, 3:47 PM

A home improvement e-retailer builds three new sites on new technology

OverstockDeals.com is moving to Magento as it develops new sites.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Lead Photo

Launched in 2008, OverstockDeals.com now generates more than $10 million a year in sales. The web-only retailer of bath and kitchen fixtures and other home improvement products is taking the next step by preparing to launch three new web sites on a new technology platform, says Dave Ems, owner of OverstockDeals LLC, No. 609 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide.

The first of the new sites, to be launched in about a month, will be PlumbingDepot.com. Also in the works are DreamBath.com, which will feature fixtures for spa-like bathrooms, and SaveWaterToday.com that will link to a water conservation site managed by fixture manufacturer Kohler Co.

Ems says he has engaged Denver web design firm The Unleaded Group to develop the new sites on Magento e-commerce software. Magento is owned by eBay Inc. Ems says it will cost him $35,000 to develop the sites and $15,000 for an annual Magento license.

He says he’s been paying $700 per month for e-commerce technology and site hosting by Volusion Inc., but believes he will get more flexibility from the new Magento sites. He says Magento allows him to add products or change prices on all his sites at one time, gives him the option to accept PayPal and provides more flexibility in designing the checkout flow.

Magento also provides translation services so that he can cater to consumers who speak other languages, Ems says. He also likes the flat fee structure of Magento, whereas, with Volusion, he paid higher fees when transactions passed a certain threshold or for sending e-mail newsletters to more customers. “With Magento, it’s a flat fee whether I have five sites or 20 sites,” Ems says.

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