Overstock.com is an online "closeout" retailer offering high-quality, brand-name merchandise, including bed-and-bath goods, home decor, kitchenware, watches, jewelry, cars, electronics and computers, sporting goods, apparel and designer accessories among other products at discount prices.
Customers can shop for bargains conveniently, while offering manufacturers, distributors and other retailers an alternative sales channel for liquidating their inventory. The company offers membership for $9.95 for one year which includes free shipping on all merchandise.
In 2013, the company reported revenues of $1.3 billion, a 19% increase from the year before, and net income of $88.5 million. The company said average order size increased 17% to $158 due to a shift into home and garden products.
Overstock.com tried to change its name to O.co in 2011 but switched back due to customer confusion.
In the spring of 1999, Dr. Patrick M. Byrne recognized the potential in liquidating excess inventory through the Internet. Up until then, consumers had relied upon far-off outlet centers with crowds and limited product selections for finding bargains, and small retailers found little access into the world of closeout merchandise. Meanwhile, adoption of online shopping was skyrocketing. Patrick calculated that while the Internet would prove inefficient at competing with normal retail channels, it was tailor-made for liquidation due to the highly fragmented and inefficient nature of the industry in the offline world.
Six months later and with no outside funding, the Overstock.com website launched with the mission of being the premier company selling excess inventory through the Internet. Founded on the principles of value investing and fair dealing, Overstock.com has quickly become the on-line leader in a market valued at $60 billion in the United States. Since then, Overstock.com's gross bookings (previously called gross merchandise sales or GMS) have blossomed from $1.8 million in 1999 to $856 million in 2007.
The numbers of products Overstock.com offers has grown from less than 100 in 1999, to more than 63,000 non-BMMG (Books, Music, Movies, and Interactive Games) products and over 720,000 BMMG products. Overstock calculates that, since launching the site in October 1999, Overstock.com has saved consumers millions of dollars off the retail prices recommended by manufacturers.
In January 2011, Overstock.com acquired the O.co URL and began incorporating it into parts of its brand. The name change was applied to Overstock.com's international and mobile businesses, the cars business, as well as the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA.
Updated October 27, 2014