IQ news: Productopia Plans Consumer Paradise

In this brave new world of e-commerce, a new company called productopia wants to be the consumer’s friend. This online resource for product and purchasing information, launching tomorrow, uses an editorial model to deliver objective recommendations on a wide array of products, from apparel to electronics.
“We want to be the trusted third-party provider of product information for consumers when they’re deciding what to buy,” said Roger Neal, president and CEO of the San Francisco-based company.
A 20-person editorial staff will research products, and locate merchants online and off who sell them. Site visitors can browse through categories; results include buying tips and editors’ picks for style, value and quality.
With product info will come a “where-to-buy” bar with links to merchants who have paid for placement; there will also be an online yellow pages search provided by Info-Space, Redmond, Wash., and a link to eBay for auctions. Users will be able to search for more retailers using the price-based shopping bot from mySimon, San Francisco. Neal stressed that product picks will be based on merit, not availability.
Revenue for productopia is expected to come from retailers, who may pay for referrals, transactions or impressions. The site will also contain banners. Neal expects to sell most of these banners to participating merchants.–Susan Kuchinskas