FatWallet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

FatWallet.com
TypePrivate company
GenreBargain Hunting Website
FoundedRockton, Illinois, U.S.A.
December 5, 1999
Founder(s)Tim Storm
HeadquartersBeloit, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Revenue12.3 million (2009) [1]
Owner(s)Performance Marketing Brands [2]
Employees54 (2010) [3]
Website[4]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
FatWallet.com
TypePrivate company
GenreBargain Hunting Website
FoundedRockton, Illinois, U.S.A.
December 5, 1999
Founder(s)Tim Storm
HeadquartersBeloit, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Revenue12.3 million (2009) [1]
Owner(s)Performance Marketing Brands [2]
Employees54 (2010) [3]
Website[4]

FatWallet is a bargain hunting website, centering around a set of forums that allow users to publish deals and rebate offers on a comprehensive range of products and services, though computer-related products and electronics are most prominent in the listings. It is headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Contents

Products and services

Coupons and Cash Back

FatWallet features a Coupons and Cash Back rebate shopping section; where users can find coupons and discounts from online retailers. Members can also receive a percentage of purchases back from purchases made through referral links to partnered retailers (originally known as FatCash). FatWallet has paid out over $28 million to its members since 2005 (membership is free with an email address).

Forums

FatWallet users frequently post the sale prices of major retailers before they were even released in the retailers' advertisements, which embroiled the site in a major legal dispute in 2002 involving Black Friday advertisements. Several retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and Staples, have served FatWallet with "take-down" notices pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, claiming that their sale prices were copyrighted and must be removed from its site. In addition, Wal-Mart served FatWallet with a subpoena to reveal the identity of the users that had posted Wal-Mart's prices, but the demand was quickly dropped. It is not known if Wal-Mart ever made good on its threats to sue.[1][2]

Though FatWallet initially complied with the take-down notices due to the fear of liability, within two weeks it took the offensive, reposting the prices and arguing that the prices were uncopyrightable facts rather than expression. FatWallet filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against three of the retailers, seeking damages for their knowing assertion of invalid copyright claims and a declaratory judgment that the take-down provisions of the DMCA were unconstitutional. The case, FatWallet, Inc. v. Best Buy Enterprise Services, Inc., was dismissed. The court ruled that FatWallet lacked standing to sue for any harm done to its users for having their postings temporarily removed, and FatWallet did not assert any injury to itself that the court found cognizable. Apparently, FatWallet executives welcome another opportunity to settle the U.S. laws surrounding dissemination of advertising information, and are confident that threats by retailers are bluff and bluster.[2]

Since its launch, FatWallet has expanded its forums to include discussion on other financial topics such as investments, banking and credit cards. The Finance forum is often mentioned in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times referencing personal finance topics ranging from credit card topics to 401K investment tips.

Best Deals

FatWallet launched Best Deals in 2009 (initially called Today's Top Deals) which features dozens of researched deals found all over the internet by deal hunting staff and members. Best Deals also features an Expert Picks section where deal hunting experts research bigger ticket retail products like laptops, computers and HDTVs for the best value for the price and post their endorsements each week.

Compare Prices

Compare Prices was launched in June 2010 as a price comparison that includes cash back, shipping costs and taxes.

Relocation

Between March and April 2011, Fatwallet moved to Wisconsin from its home in northern Illinois in order to avoid termination of affiliate contracts with online retailers such as Amazon.com that provide about 30% of the companies revenue. An Illinois law passed in March 2011, the Main Street Fairness Act, required online retailers with Illinois affiliates to collect and remit sales taxes to the state.[3]

Bought out and New Company

Fatwallet was sold to Ebates in 2011. Fatwallet was bought at the same time as Anycoupons and will merge with Ebates to form a new company called Performance Marketing Brands. Former owner, and founder of Fatwallet, Tim Storm will stay on as a Strategic Advisor for the new company.[4][5]

Awards

Other notable company achievements include FatWallet being named one of 2010's 50 Best Places To Work in America by the Best Places To Work Institute and Entrepreneur Magazine. FatWallet ranks #20 on the list for best small businesses. Founder Tim Storm was also named as one of four finalists for Entrepreneur of 2010 by Entrepreneur.com. The winner of this prestigious national award will be announced in January 2011.

Notes

  1. ^ Walker, Rob (2005-09-18). "Collective Bargain Hunting: FatWallet.com". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/18/magazine/18consumed.html. Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  2. ^ a b Stross, Randall (2007-11-18). "Digital Domain: What to Do When Goliaths Roar?". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/technology/18digi.html?ref=technology. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  3. ^ Doris Hajewski (16 March 2011). "New Illinois tax law threatens Fatwallet's online retail network". Journal Sentinel. http://www.jsonline.com/business/118140254.html. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/arcmessageview.php?catid=18&threadid=1123529
  5. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/09/backed-by-vcs-ebates-buys-fatwallet-com-and-anycoupons-com-starts-new-company/

References

External links