New Costco/Amazon Rival Stirs Up Retail

Everything You Need To Know About, the new website that has the Internet buzzing this week, launched on Tuesday and has received significant media attention. Why? Jet is the first upstart retailer to come along in years with the moxie to compete with big names like Amazon, Costco and Wal-Mart on their own turf.

The Jet premise is simple, and in many ways is similar to Costco’s: pay a monthly fee and get the lowest prices possible. In order to entice customers, the website is giving away free three-month trial subscriptions, with no auto-enroll. Customers can shop and evaluate the site without paying the $50 monthly fee and decide if Jet is right for them.

Here’s Jet explaining their memberships and pricing.

Smart Items Add To Savings

Jet has designated certain items as “smart” items. These items feature reduced prices when bought along with other smart items. Think of it like a non-stop buy-one-get-one-at-a-discount sale, except that it applies to every smart item that the site lists.

For consumers who use large quantities of particular items, a little research into Jet’s prices may yield worthwhile savings. Jet also allows users to opt-out of features they don’t need, which can produce even more savings. Many consumers may not be aware that credit card companies charge retailers for the privilege of allowing customers to shop using their cards – retailers earn less on some type of transactions. passes the corresponding savings, or costs, along to consumers: an area in which consumers have had little choice. CEO Marc Lore Seen As Innovator

Conceived in 2014 and co-founded by Marc Lore, Nate Faust and Mike Hanrahan, Jet received its first round of financing in February 2015. It has since undergone four rounds of financing and raised $225 million.

If taking on retail giants like Amazon and Costco, and raising millions of dollars in venture capital, doesn’t sound innovative, consider Lore’s take on employee salaries, reported in Fortune.

“Everybody makes the same amount of money at the same level of company. Every director makes the same amount. Every associate director makes the same amount. We want to be completely transparent.”

The idea of each Jet employee earning the same salary, regardless of experience or education, is certainly Utopian, if not untested. One wonders what other benefits Jet has in store for employees, as the company has no plans in recruiting based on salary expectations – the result may produce a culture with ideals that stray from the norm – something that may not be a bad idea.

Can Jet Compete With Amazon?

Brian Barrett with Wired recently comparison shopped the site. He filled his Jet shopping cart with his usual Costco purchases and found that the savings totaled $22.16 compared with Amazon. Savings that would pay for a $50 membership in less than three visits. Barrett’s items qualified for free shipping. Jet charges for shipping with some items.

The best way to find out if can make your shopping experience more enjoyable, or perhaps more importantly, if it can save you money, is to visit the website and fill a shopping basket with items you regularly purchase and compare.

Have you shopped at yet? What did you think? Please share your Jet experiences with us in the comments below.

[Screenshots From Jet YouTube Account]