Browse Prior Art Database

System for processing competitive bids at point-of-sale terminals

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004471D
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 10K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An apparatus comprises a central controller connected to each store. The stores are all owned by the same parent retailer, and are sellers that accept competitive bids by customers for limited-supply products. In the process of placing a bid, customers enter their bid amount, contact and credit card information into an automated POS terminal. The information gathered by POS terminal is securely transferred by dedicated network connection to central controller. The Central controller uses programs known in the art to collect, compare and award purchases to the highest level bids placed by a customer.

This text was extracted from a Rich Text Format document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 100% of the total text.

System for processing competitive bids at point-of-sale terminals

The recent explosive popularity of Sony's Playstation 2 video game system made apparent the willingness of customers to pay more than the advertised list price for an especially popular item. Large retailers such as Toys 'R Us or Circuit City could benefit in the future when dealing with such product-driven hysteria if they employ a system of automated point-of-sale (POS) terminals that would allow customers to enter competitive bids for a specified number of items to be introduced at a later point. By accepting bids from such POS terminals, retailers allow customers to place unsolicited bids while in their component stores. Limiting customers to these physical locations (in lieu of offering an internet-accessible option) emphasizes the perceived value of visiting the store, while adding very little capital cost to the overhead of a retailer's stores. Automated POS terminals are relatively low-cost, high-utility additions to a store. And the use of a competitive bid processing adds to the profitability associated with the sale of limited supply products.

In Figure 1, an apparatus 10 comprises a central controller 12 connected to each of stores 14, 16 and 18. As described in detail below, stores 14, 16 and 18 are all owned by the same parent retailer, and are sellers that accept competitive bids by customers for limited-supply products. Although three stores are shown in Figure 1, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is applicable to one or more stores. In the process of placing a bid, customers enter their bid amount, contact and credit card information into an automated POS terminal (not shown). The information gathered by POS terminal is securely transferred by dedicated network connection to central controller 12. The Central controller 12 uses programs known in the art to collect, compare and award purchases to the highest level bids placed by a customer.

Figure 1 System for processing competitive bids at point-of-sale terminals