is an online retailer based in Aliso Viejo, California
. It began by selling computers
in 1997 and has since expanded into many other categories. Initially the company sold items below cost and intended to make up the losses "from the sale of advertising and ancillary services like warranties and equipment leases." Buy.com sold $111 million worth of goods and services in 1998
, its first full year, beating Compaq
's record for most first-year sales of any company.
Founder Scott Blum sold his stake to SoftBank in 1999 for $195 million just before the company first filed to go public. Stock values plummeted in the year following Buy.com's initial public offering and in 2001 Blum reacquired Buy.com and took it private for 17 cents per share.
Buy.com carries no inventory but brokers deals between buyers and distributors who would normally sell directly to retailers. The company has been accused of poor customer service, including delayed shipping times, shipping incorrect and damaged items, and conflicting information on product availability online; to date they have a 4.26/10 rating on resellerratings.com with over 3,400 reviews. Buy.com's eBay account has a 99.6% positive feedback score, with over 176,000 individual feedback reviews and 4.8/5.0 stars in shipping time.