February 11, 2014, 12:58 PM

A social twist on buying and selling wholesale seafood

The SeafoodGrabber.com marketplace and social network enables suppliers to offer customized pricing to each of their buyers based on factors such as location, quantities and inventory levels.

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SeafoodGrabber.com is making the process of buying and selling wholesale seafood social.

The site provides a platform where wholesale seafood suppliers and buyers can connect to exchange pricing information, place and receive orders, and stay in touch. The site, which launched last month, has about 40 companies using the service—evenly mixed between suppliers and buyers, says Warren Browne, CEO and founder. Participating companies include restaurant and fish market Ross Fish Co. Inc. in Scarsdale Park, NY, wholesaler Bailey Seafood in Buffalo, NY, and supplier Pelican Seafood Co., Fort Pierce, FL.

The site is designed to let suppliers find new customers and buyers to find new suppliers, Browne says. Its custom-developed platform, built on open-source PHP technology framework, enables suppliers to offer customized pricing to each of their buyers based on factors such as location, quantities and inventory levels.

“Rather than rely on faxes and e-mails to get pricing information and orders, we’re presenting all the information a restaurant needs in one place,” he says.

SeafoodGrabber lets buyers submit an order directly from an order form on SeafoodGrabber.com. Once a buyer finds the product he wants to buy, at the price he wants to pay, he can send a purchase order directly to his connected suppliers to lock in the price. The site doesn’t provide connections to a buyer or seller’s own accounting or business operations software, “but I foresee that as next step as we continue to evolve,” Browne says. The site also recommends new suppliers to buyers based on buyers’ purchasing histories.

The site aims to help buyers and suppliers stay connected over the long term. Like Facebook, the site’s users can create posts to remain in communication with their contacts. Those posts are shared on a user’s news feed.

The site, which charges no set-up fees, lets users connect with 10 businesses for free, but charges a $65 monthly fee for users with more than 10 connections.

Browne says the site might add advertising in the future. For instance, it might enable suppliers to pay for premium positioning in search results.

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