SquareTrade Releases SideBar Version 1.0 for Smarter, Safer Holiday Shopping Online
New Proactive Comparison-Shopping Tool Is Free to Consumers
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A new comparison-shopping tool called SquareTrade SideBar becomes available today, just in time to help online shoppers make smarter, safer purchase decisions -- not to mention relieve stress and save money on gas by choosing to use their fingers to shop rather than their four wheels -- for the hectic holiday shopping season. SquareTrade SideBar is free to consumers at www.squaretrade.com. It takes less than a minute to install on your web browser. SquareTrade SideBar is an always-on application that acts as your online shopping assistant so you don't have to remember yet another website. It detects when you are shopping and automatically delivers relevant information necessary to make a better-informed purchase -- pricing comparisons, availability, reviews and seller trust ratings. SquareTrade SideBar makes shopping more convenient and comprehensive by displaying a broader range of purchase options -- from retail stores to auctions and classified ads. The first release of SideBar is focused on delivering great results in one of the largest gift-giving and online shopping categories: consumer electronics, for which industry research indicates that over $20 billion in U.S. online purchases will be made in 2005. Over time, SquareTrade plans to roll out additional product categories, as well as expand the retail outlets it draws from. "Our goal is to eliminate the time-sink and complexity of online shopping and give people peace of mind that they got a great deal," said Steve Abernethy, SquareTrade CEO and co-founder. "Shoppers experience a lot of stress and waste hours -- or even days -- hunting for the best deal online, especially during the holidays. In fact, our research indicates that many online consumers visit up to 10 sites per day over multiple days to assure themselves of a good deal." "We also see that consumers aren't just looking for the cheapest price, they want to have the peace of mind that they are buying from reputable merchants," Abernethy continued. "We can help consumers drastically reduce their efforts and get great results." SquareTrade's peace-of-mind promise also extends to a common menace in online shopping today: fraudulent web sites. SideBar is the first comparison-shopping tool to incorporate anti-fraud and anti-phishing technology. This protection incorporates specialized databases shared by consortiums that include eBay, Microsoft and Visa. Since its first public showing at the tech industry's DEMOfall05 forum last month, SquareTrade SideBar has been lauded as one of the most interesting new products for the coming year. Among the accolades for SideBar, PC Magazine online wrote: "Similar price-comparison tools have often been the purview of adware companies, but SquareTrade says there's no monkey business in SideBar. In fact, in addition to helping you find the best price, SideBar will also alert you when you visit fraudulent, 'phishing' web sites." "SquareTrade SideBar is a well-considered application that eliminates some of the complexity and inefficiency, and gives people the assurances they demand in their online shopping experience," DEMOfall Executive Producer Chris Shipley said. About SquareTrade SquareTrade is the leading provider of online shopping services addressing the "trust deficit" in ecommerce. Established in 1999, SquareTrade delivers industry-leading merchant verification, post-purchase protections and online dispute resolution. SquareTrade works with eBay, Yahoo! and other leading brands, as well as with thousands of online merchants to help millions of consumers shop safely every month. SideBar -- a smarter, safer online shopping assistant -- is the latest in the company's growing portfolio of services helping consumers shop more confidently and safely online. Privately held, SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information go to www.squaretrade.com. Contact: Betty Taylor Krause Taylor Associates for SquareTrade, Inc. 408-918-9082 firstname.lastname@example.org Patricia Pane Krause Taylor Associates for SquareTrade, Inc. 212-947-6553 email@example.com
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