By Sarah Falson

SYDNEY: Over 35 electrical brands including Sony, Panasonic, LG, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel and Miele are among the brands selling products online through Australia’s first ever retail-driven shopping website,, which launched today.

The website is designed to work with both customers and retailers in a bid to encourage the shoppers to purchase products through physical retail outlets rather than online virtual stores.

Brands ranging from small appliance to home electrical vendors may sign up, with categories such as laundry, telecommunications, home electrical and digital cameras and video only the beginning of a growing list of items that may be advertised on the site.

De’Longhi, Kenwood, Omega, Smeg, Canon, Doro, Oricom, Motorola, Panasonic, Telstra, LG, Fisher & Paykel, Haier, Hitachi, Kleenmaid, Maytag, Miele, NEC, Samsung, Whirlpool, BenQ, Bang & Olufsen, Philips, Sharp, Sony, Thomson, Bosch, Ilve, Konia, Electrolux, Sanyo, Apple, Creative and Grundig have all signed on, amongst others.

The website works on a ‘reverse-auction’ basis, whereby internet-using consumers input the product they want to buy, and the distance they’re willing to travel to purchase it, and registered retailers across the country have a chance to offer the best price they can, within seven days from the consumer’s request.

Each retailer has only one chance to impress, and if the customer accepts the offer they must travel to the store to complete the monetary transaction and handover of goods.

Users may also search through a database of items, each with an image and recommended retail price, promoting impulse and wishlist purchases.

“Everyone wins with,” said the managing director of the website, Michael Rihma, in a press release distributed last week.

“Retailers get consumers back into their stores, giving them the chance to close the sales, up- and cross-sell as well as start a new consumer relationship. The consumer gets the best price, safe in-store transaction, convenience and personal service.

“According to research from AC Nielson, 5.9 million shoppers use the internet to save time, money and hassles. With retailers can now finally have a piece of this market.”

Retailers must pay a start-up fee of $2,640, which gives them full access to