Patent Number: 7,711,604

Title: Retail system for selling products based on a flexible product description

Abstract: A system is provided in which a sale price is determined based on a product description, and the sale price is transmitted to a customer. The customer is not guaranteed what specific product will be sold to the customer before an agreement to purchase a product for the sale price is received from the customer. After receiving the agreement, a retailer selects a product conforming to the product description, and identifies the product to the customer. The retailer is able to evaluate a customer's individual demand based on the received description and to determine a sale price accordingly, thereby reducing losses associated with conventional single-price systems. Although this may result in different sale prices for an identical product, the system is perceived as fair because a higher-paying customer likely agreed to a different product description than a lower-paying customer, and neither would have agreed to the other's product description and sale price. The system also allows a retailer to mask product discounts by selecting undesirable redemption conditions under which to sell the product, such as pickup at a faraway location, even if the product is available at a closer location. As a result, the customer believes that the discount is attributable to the undesirable redemption conditions, rather than to the product quality or to decreased demand. Accordingly, price and brand dilution are minimized.

Inventors: Walker; Jay S. (Ridgefield, CT), Kim; Peter (Stamford, CT), Jorasch; James A. (Stamford, CT), Mik; Magdalena (Greenwich, CT), Tedesco; Daniel E. (Westport, CT), Sammon; Russell Pratt (Stamford, CT), Golden; Andrew P. (New York, NY), Mueller; Raymod J. (Weston, CT), Bemer; Keith (New York, NY), Van Luchene; Kathleen (Norwalk, CT)

Assignee: Walker Digital, LLC

International Classification: G06Q 40/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 5/04/12018