Facilitating electronic commerce through two-tiered electronic markets and auctions
Patent 6266651 Issued on July 24, 2001. Estimated Expiration Date: February 19, 2019. Estimated Expiration Date is calculated based on simple USPTO term provisions. It does not account for terminal disclaimers, term adjustments, failure to pay maintenance fees, or other factors which might affect the term of a patent.
A computer-implemented two-tiered electronic market system includes a data repository storing information corresponding to an inventory of one or more available items and a first-tier electronic market (e.g., a retail tier) that provides a first participant (e.g., a retail consumer) access to the inventory of one or more items in the data repository. The inventory is offered to the first participant under a first (e.g., retail) pricing scheme. The two-tiered electronic market system also includes a second-tier electronic market (e.g., a wholesale tier) that provides a second participant (e.g., a wholesale dealer), different from the first participant, access to the inventory of one or more items in the data repository. The inventory is offered to the second participant under a second (e.g., wholesale) pricing scheme different from the first pricing scheme. Electronic commerce is facilitated using an electronic auction system having at least a wholesale tier and a retail tier by presenting for auction an item description stored in a database operationally coupled to the electronic auction system. The presentation of the item includes a current retail bid amount. A wholesale bid is received from at least one wholesale-tier participant and the current retail bid amount is selectively displaced if the received wholesale bid increased by a predetermined amount is greater than the current retail bid.
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