ARN launches buying exchange

Retail customers can now leverage collective buying power on the Internet with the launch of

The site promises consumer savings of up to 30 per cent on street prices, depending on the number of customers who buy the product.

"It is a simple concept - consumers buying together makes things cheaper," said CoShopper Asia Pacific managing director Chris Lane.

Australia is the 10th CoShopper community to go live around the world and the company has plans to launch more sites in Asia in coming months. monitors the retail prices of its stock, taking an average to determine a "street price". The items are generally displayed for two weeks to determine the number of buyers - a process referred to as "cycle time".

"Our model is based on cutting out as many middlemen as we can," explained Andrew Coates, country manager for Australia and New Zealand.

The site has proven most popular with computer hardware and peripherals, which also afford the quickest discounts.

"High value items such as laptops only take around five people to get the best price, whereas lower value items can take up to 20 people," Lane explained. "It is the flip-side to an auction, where the more popular the site becomes, the more likely the price is to increase. This is a buyer's market." hopes to drive customers to the site through affiliate partnerships and word of mouth, rather than spending big money on advertising.