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Jet.com prepares for takeoff

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoboken, N.J. – Amazon.com may be hoping to fly high with drone-based deliveries, but a rival e-commerce platform is also planning to take off soon. Jet.com, a subscription-based e-commerce site that hopes to compete with the Amazon Prime membership service using “profit-free” pricing, promises to launch soon.

On its site, Jet promises to offer the best price on more than 10 million items, every time. Retailer partners will sell through the Jet platform on a varying commission schedule. Jet also promises to refund the difference if a customer finds a lower price elsewhere (but doesn’t specify a time limit). Membership is $50 a year, but Jet says the average member will save $150 per year. Shipping and returns will be free.

Because Jet only makes profit on membership fees, the retailer does not attempt to make any money on product prices, hence the lowest price guarantee. A real-time pricing engine will find the lowest price on any item and calculate savings in real time.

Jet CEO Marc Love founded Diapers.com, which he eventually sold to Amazon for $550 million. This time around, his goal seems to be protracted head-to-head competition with Amazon, rather than getting swallowed up by them.

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