E-tailer Lines Up Texas Agencies

ApplianceOrder.com of Austin Is Conducting $20 Mil. Review
DALLAS–Another dot.com company has offered up a lucrative advertising account for the first time.
This time it is online seller ApplianceOrder.com, with an estimated $20 million or more reserved to shape its fledgling brand.
A spokesperson for ApplianceOrd-er.com in Austin, Texas, confirmed that the company has settled on a list of finalists, but declined to name the contenders.
An industry source said the three finalists are: The Richards Group in Dallas, GSD&M in Austin and Egan/St. James in Pittsburgh.
At least one agency, GSD&M, was clearly surprised to be considered a finalist. An agency representative said the shop only had preliminary contact with the prospective client and had not yet held a capabilities presentation.
A decision may come as soon as this week.
Makos Advertising in Austin previously handled advertising for ApplianceOrder.com, according to a source. Makos officials were unavailable to comment at press time.
The company began e-tail operations in January 1999 as a spinoff of Trilogy Software. Trilogy operates e-commerce business on behalf of companies including IBM, Boeing and Xerox. The firm has spun off several Internet ventures, including PcOrder.com, CarOrder.com and CollegeHire.com.
ApplianceOrder.com offers washers, dryers, dishwashers, ranges and refrigerators for sale over the Internet, generally at prices 15 percent less than retail store stickers.
Service is currently limited to the Austin, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth areas, although the company plans to expand nationwide.
To deliver the large products to the homes of customers, Appliance Order.com contracts with technicians in each of the cities to install and test the new items, as well as remove old appliances.
According to The Austin American Statesman, the company faces competition from at least four other online sellers: ValueAmerica.com, iQVC.com, NetMarket.com and Appliances.com., all of which sell appliances.
In addition, Sears, Roebuck & Co. began selling major appliances via its Internet venue earlier this year.