By Martin Vedris

MELBOURNE: While retail may be down, and retail stocks falling, Catch Of The Day demonstrated that people are willing to spend on a bargain after the site sold 950 Asus Eee PC 1000s within 23 hours of listing them for sale on its website for $498 each.

This Eee PC sale was a saving of $200 for consumers as the same laptop was retailing in stores for $698 in the past two months.

“We sold all 1,000 as expected,” said Catch Of The Day co-owner, Gabby Leibovich. “It sold out just after 11 this morning.”

In the modern market product lifecycles for laptops are measured in months, with model upgrades coming to market every three months or so. This can represent a problem for suppliers who can be left with excess stock that retailers can’t move or don’t want to be stuck with.

Often a deal is struck with a particular retailer to buy large quantities of run out stock, but choosing one retailer over another for a bargain can present a problem for suppliers.

“Suppliers can come to us instead of trying to choose between retailers and risk upsetting one retailer by giving the run out stock to their competitor. Instead, suppliers can come to us and we can buy big quantities because we know we can sell them,” said Leibovich.

“Our aim is to get as many people coming every day, and suppliers know that we can move their stock, but we do it in a way that doesn’t affect the market — it’s fast, it’s online and it’s overnight.”

Leobvich said that while the past few Catch Of The Day featured items have been electronics and IT products, the site sells products in many categories.

“We don’t just do laptops, we are very strong in manchester, toys, cosmetics, baby product, home goods, and our customers are equally male and female who are interested in all types of goods.

“Every day we get quite a lot of offers from all suppliers in different industries and we look at all offers and pick the best on the day.”

The trick with online retailing is to move beyond just offering a bargain and Catch Of The Day has hit on a popular concept, which in turn has given the site a very large and interested consumer base.

In addition to the Catch Of The Day, there is another unique feature of the site. Leibovich said that for all the customers who missed out on a daily bargain, there is another chance at the end of the month in the ‘Catchathon’.

“We have a Catchathon once a month. It’s an opportunity for people who missed out on a product to have a chance to buy it again, if there is stock available," he said. "Sometimes we can get more stock of a popular product and this is another feature of our site, so people know that once a month we sell about 150 to 200 products in our Catchathon.”

For anyone looking for free products, once a year Catch Of The Day also has an annual giveaway.

“Next month is our birthday, and each year to celebrate we give stuff for free for about four days," said Leibovich. "It will cost us thousands of dollars and it’s the end of October — expect some crazy stuff happening.”