Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

ReplyBuy Takes Daily Deals to SMS

ReplyBuy is today launching a personalized deal site where users can receive alerts about new products on sale and complete transactions by text message. (If this keeps up, before long a startup is going to come along to deliver limited-time offers straight to our bloodstreams.)

ReplyBuy’s angle is the simplicity of its transactions. Users tell ReplyBuy what kind of stuff they are interested in purchasing (right now inventory is somewhat limited but it includes half-off DVD sets, toys and other presents for the holidays) and set up their payment information online. Then they receive a text message about a new limited-time deal once per day. Should they wish to purchase, they reply with their pin number.

The idea, obviously, is to reach potential shoppers on the go without requiring them to use a smartphone. And while SMS transactions and alerts are already a feature of other shopping sites, ReplyBuy hopes to build on the success of the new crop of deals sites like Groupon and Gilt.

ReplyBuy has offices in San Francisco and Phoenix and is funded with an angel round of an undisclosed amount from investors including three former YouTube employees: Christina Brodbeck, Dwipal Desai and Cuong Do. ReplyBuy founder Josh Manley was not a YouTuber himself, but was previously president of e-commerce storefront provider Cartfly.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work