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Method and system for hosting centralized online point-of-sale activities for a plurality of distributed customers and vendors

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US20030216981A1
US20030216981A1 US10386886 US38688603A US2003216981A1 US 20030216981 A1 US20030216981 A1 US 20030216981A1 US 10386886 US10386886 US 10386886 US 38688603 A US38688603 A US 38688603A US 2003216981 A1 US2003216981 A1 US 2003216981A1
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sales
customer
vendor
online
invention
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Michael Tillman
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Michael Tillman
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/04Payment circuits
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/12Payment architectures specially adapted for electronic shopping systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/20Point-of-sale [POS] network systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/22Payment schemes or models
    • G06Q20/24Credit schemes, i.e. "pay after"
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/04Billing or invoicing, e.g. tax processing in connection with a sale
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • G06Q30/0601Electronic shopping
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • G06Q30/0601Electronic shopping
    • G06Q30/0613Third-party assisted
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • G06Q30/0601Electronic shopping
    • G06Q30/0641Shopping interfaces
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q40/00Finance; Insurance; Tax strategies; Processing of corporate or income taxes
    • G06Q40/02Banking, e.g. interest calculation, credit approval, mortgages, home banking or on-line banking

Abstract

One or more networked computers (18) receives input from a customer (12) specifying two or more vendors having vendor web sites (14) from which to purchase goods or services during an online shopping session, receives input from the two or more vendors indicating that the customer has purchased goods or services at the two or more vendor web sites during the online shopping session, and outputs a single online receipt (32) to the customer reflecting all goods or services purchased at the two or more vendor web sites during the online shopping session. Sales tax may be collected from the customer for goods or services purchased during the online shopping session and electronically disbursed tax to one or more tax authorities. Payment for the goods or services purchased during the online shopping session may be electronically collected and disbursed to vendors. Credits for one or more purchased goods or services may also be disbursed. Reports may be generated based on a plurality of data collected during POS transactions.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application Serial No. 60/363,437filed Mar. 12, 2002.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates generally to electronic commerce, and more specifically to a novel method and system for hosting centralized online point-of-sale (“POS”) activities for a plurality of distributed customers and vendors.
  • [0004]
    2. Background Art
  • [0005]
    [0005]FIG. 1 schematically illustrates the operation and architecture of conventional Internet commerce. Via the Internet 10, a plurality of online customers 12 a-12 e access or otherwise browse a plurality of vendor web sites 14 a-14 d. Notably, online customers 12 a-12 e may access or otherwise browse distributed vendor sites utilizing a variety of devices/utilities having operable electronic or wireless connectivity to the Internet 10. Devices/utilities include but are not limited to a personal computer 12 a, Microsoft X-Box 12 b, a personal data assistant 12 c, conventional telephone 12 d or wireless telephone 12 e. Alternately, customers 12 d and 12 e can contact vendor sites directly, as represented by arrows 7 and 9, respectively.
  • [0006]
    The operation and architecture of conventional Internet commerce suffers from at least three general drawbacks. First, customers who wish to purchase goods or services from multiple vendor sites during an online shopping session must make multiple purchase transactions. For example, a customer who purchases three goods from three different vendors has to input his or her shipping address, billing address, credit card number, e-mail address, etc. three separate times. Besides simply being frustrating and time consuming, this redundant data entry is prone to errors.
  • [0007]
    Another general drawback associated with the operation and architecture of conventional Internet commerce is the fact that each purchase transaction results in a separate vendor receipt 16 a-16 d that the customer must account for and maintain. Due to varying post-transaction practices at the vendor sites, the receipts are e-mailed back to the customer at varying times after the actual time of purchase, only complicating customer accounting and maintenance. This multi-receipt problem also increases the chances that one of the several receipts will be lost—by the customer, the vendor, or otherwise.
  • [0008]
    Yet another general drawback associated with the operation and architecture of conventional Internet commerce is the lack of centralized tax collection and disbursement. Today, each tax-collecting vendor must independently collect taxes from each of its customers, and disburse those taxes to the appropriate tax collection agencies.
  • [0009]
    Because each Internet vendor is currently responsible for independently hosting their respective point-of-sale activities (e.g. customer account maintenance, payment processing, receipts, returns, tax collection/disbursement, etc.) an inherent inefficiency exists. Despite the welcome diversity among the broad spectrum of specialized products and services that each individual vendor offers, they must each redundantly staff, host, execute and support the same basic point of sale activities.
  • [0010]
    What is needed is a method and system for hosting centralized online point of sale activities for a plurality of distributed customers and vendors.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    Preferred embodiments of the present invention illustrated and described herein include an online method and system for hosting centralized point of sale activities for a plurality of distributed customers and vendors. More specifically, these and other embodiments of the present invention include a novel and efficient means for providing customers with a single receipt for an online sales session, independent of the number of different online vendors from which goods or services are purchased.
  • [0012]
    In addition, embodiments of the present invention facilitate central sales tax collection and disbursement, eliminating the need for the distributed vendor sites to provide costly and timely investments in redundant taxation services that are not related to the quality of the goods or services that vendors offer. Put another way, online vendors utilizing features of the present invention do not have to make the time and capital investment necessary to host tax collection and disbursement activities, many of which are or will soon be required by law.
  • [0013]
    Another advantageous feature of the present invention allows a customer to input payment information only once during an online shopping session, independent of the number of different online vendors from which goods or services are purchased. This feature simply reduces the redundancy, time and aggravation many customers experience during their online shopping sessions.
  • [0014]
    Another advantageous feature of the present invention supports the processing of customer returns and processing in a centralized fashion similar to the centralized sale processing aspects of the present invention.
  • [0015]
    Preferred embodiments of the present invention include a method and system for centrally hosting online point of sale activities. A system comprising one or more networked computers is operably programmed and configured to receive input from a customer specifying two or more vendors having vendor web sites from which to purchase goods or services during an online shopping session, receive input from the two or more vendors indicating that the customer has purchased goods or services at the two or more vendor web sites during the online shopping session, and output a single online receipt to the customer reflecting all goods or services purchased at the two or more vendor web sites during the online shopping session.
  • [0016]
    According to another aspect or embodiment of the present invention, the one or more networked computers may additionally be programmed and configured to collect sales tax from the customer for goods or services purchased during the online shopping session and electronically disburse the collected sales tax to one or more tax authorities.
  • [0017]
    According to another aspect or embodiment of the present invention, the one or more networked computers may additionally be programmed and configured to collect and electronically disburse payment for the goods or services purchased during the online shopping session. Payment may be electronically disbursed to the two or more vendor web sites. Payment may be electronically disbursed to vendor banking institutions, and include a transactional fee for hosting the point-of-sale activities.
  • [0018]
    According to another aspect or embodiment of the present invention, the one or more networked computers may additionally be programmed and configured to disburse a credit for one or more purchased goods or services.
  • [0019]
    According to another aspect or embodiment of the present invention, the one or more networked computers may additionally be programmed and configured to electronically obtain payment authorization from the customer's credit card company for goods or services to be purchased at the two or more vendor sites.
  • [0020]
    According to another aspect or embodiment of the present invention, the customers or vendors may be located in different countries.
  • [0021]
    According to another aspect or embodiment of the present invention, the one or more networked computers may additionally be programmed and configured to present the customer with an online table of contents including a plurality of hyperlinks to different vendor web sites.
  • [0022]
    According to another aspect or embodiment of the present invention, the one or more networked computers may additionally be programmed and configured to generate one or more reports based on a plurality of data collected during the transaction of the point-of-sale activities.
  • [0023]
    According to another aspect or embodiment of the present invention, the vendor web sites may include one or more online auction sites.
  • [0024]
    Still further features, objects and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains upon reference to the following detailed description.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 1 schematically illustrates the operation and architecture of conventional Internet commerce;
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 2 schematically illustrates an overview of a preferred implementation of the present invention;
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 3 schematically illustrates how a customer accesses the ASP to begin an online shopping session in accordance with a preferred implementation of the present invention; and
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIGS. 4 through 7 schematically illustrate a detailed manner in which POS activities associated with an online shopping session may be hosted at ASP in accordance with preferred implementations of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0029]
    Embodiments of the present invention include a method and system for hosting centralized online point of sale activities for a plurality of distributed customers and vendors. FIG. 2 schematically illustrates a preferred implementation of the present invention. Those in the art will recognize, however, that the content or arrangement of all figures illustrating aspects of the present invention may be modified or supplemented within the scope of the present invention to best-fit a particular implementation scenario.
  • [0030]
    In accordance with the preferred implementation illustrated in FIG. 2, application service provider (“ASP”) 18 centrally hosts a variety of online point-of-sale (“POS”) activities between a plurality of customers 12 a-12 e and a plurality of vendor web sites 14 a-14 d. Notably, vendors 14 may include conventional online vendors of goods and services as well as online auction web sites (e.g. E-Bay, Yahoo, Amazon, etc.).
  • [0031]
    Online POS activities hosted by ASP 18 include but are not limited to (i) payment processing for goods and/or services rendered to customers 12 a-12 e, (ii) tax collection and disbursement between customers 12 a-12 e and tax authorities 22, respectively, (iii) issuance of receipts 18 a, 18 b to customers 12 a-12 e, (iv) issuance of payment to vendors 14 a-14 d or credit card companies 19 for goods and/or services sold, and (v) processing of customer returns and refund/credit processing.
  • [0032]
    Notably, ASP 18 centralizes online POS activities between customers 12, credit card companies 19, and tax collecting authorities 22 such that a customer purchasing multiple goods or services from multiple vendor sites 14 a-14 d during an online shopping session undergoes a single online payment/taxation transaction and receives a single consolidated online sales/credit receipt 18 a/ 18 b therefor, independent of the number of purchases or vendors involved.
  • [0033]
    In a preferred embodiment, ASP 18 includes one or more networked server computers in operable communication with web browsers operating on customer client computers 12 a-12 e, and vendor server computers hosting vendor sites 14 a-14 d. Additionally, ASP 18 server computers may be in operable communication with payment institutions 19 (e.g., banks, credit card companies, etc.) and tax authorities 22.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 3 schematically illustrates customer 12 accesses to ASP 18 to begin an online shopping session in accordance with a preferred implementation of the present invention. More specifically, customers 12 are validated or registered upon login, as represented by arrow 13. Customer master file database 20 maintains customer demographic information. Customer location I.D. database 22 maintains tax jurisdiction/authority information for each customer. Upon customer validation, ASP 18 enables customer access to vendor sites 14, as represented by arrow 15.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIGS. 4 through 7 schematically illustrate the manner in which POS activities associated with an online shopping session may be hosted at ASP 18 in accordance with preferred implementations of the present invention. Referring now to FIG. 4, a customer obtains or otherwise selects a vendor site via ASP 18, as represented by arrow 17. Next, the customer browses to the selected online vendor site 14, as represented by arrow 19. Upon selecting one or more items for purchase from the vendor 14, the vendor submits a payment request to customer 12 via ASP 18, as represented by arrow 24. This activity alerts ASP 18 that customer payment information (e.g. credit card information) will be forthcoming, enabling ASP 18 to intercept the payment information as it passes from the customer 12 to the vendor 14 in response to the vendor's request.
  • [0036]
    [0036]FIG. 5 illustrates an interception at ASP 18 of the customers payment information, represented by arrow 26. Upon interception, two preferred scenarios are provided. In scenario “A”, vendor 14 is notified that the ASP 18 has intercepted the customer's 12 payment information 26. According to this scenario, ASP 18 awaits a purchase receipt 25 from vendor 14. When the receipt 25 is obtained, ASP 18 adds an appropriate sales tax and transactional fee, and executes the payment and taxation transaction with the appropriate authorities 19 and 23, respectively. In other words, ASP 18 collects payment information from the customer 12 and automatically/electronically disburses payment to the appropriate vendor(s) and tax authorities.
  • [0037]
    In scenario “B”, ASP 18 forwards the payment information through to the vendor 14 for vendor-managed purchase approval and disbursement. ASP 18 awaits a purchase receipt 25 from vendor 14. When the receipt 25 is obtained, ASP 18 adds a transactional fee and the appropriate sales tax (i.e. by jurisdiction), and executes a payment transaction on these amounts only. In this scenario, however, only the tax authority and the ASP itself are thereafter credited (the vendor has already executed a customer payment transaction for goods sold).
  • [0038]
    Preferably, transactional charges and sales tax are added on a per-line-item basis. Next, the ASP 18 writes all line items and corresponding tax and transaction charges to a sales transaction file 28 and sales tax file 30 for the customer's current online shopping session. Notably, receipt 25 is not forwarded to customer 12 at this time.
  • [0039]
    [0039]FIG. 6 schematically illustrates certain POS activities following the completion of the customer's first purchase transaction (see FIGS. 4 and 5). Upon completion of the first transaction, ASP 18 sends a message to or otherwise communicates with customer 12 to inquire whether customer 12 is finished shopping, as represented by arrow 21. If the customer is not finished shopping, the processes illustrated and described with respect to FIGS. 4 and 5 are generally repeated. For subsequent purchases, ASP 18 automatically consolidates the original vendor receipt 25 and any subsequent vendor receipts into a consolidated receipt 32 in a fashion that is transparent to the customer. However, a “current total” or “current receipt” may be displayed to the customer throughout the current online shopping session.
  • [0040]
    Preferably, customer payment information is maintained at ASP 18 throughout the online shopping session such that a customer need only submit his or her payment information once.
  • [0041]
    If customer 12 indicates that he or she is finished shopping, the consolidated receipt 32 is forwarded to the customer and the current online shopping session is terminated. Preferably, the consolidated receipt includes all line item sales from all vendors along with the corresponding taxes and transactional charge(s).
  • [0042]
    Notably, web-based POS sales activities such as those illustrated and described above may be configured and implemented to support cross-jurisdictional (e.g. inter-state, multinational, etc.) collection and disbursement of payment for goods purchased and corresponding sales taxes (e.g., United States sales taxes, Canadian value added taxes (VAT), etc.).
  • [0043]
    [0043]FIG. 7 schematically illustrates customer navigation through ASP 18 (e.g. FIGS. 2 and 4) to a vendor 14 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention. Preferably, ASP 18 (not shown) provides a registered customer (not shown) with an online table of contents 34 containing hyperlinks to a plurality of online vendors 14. In one embodiment of the present invention, the customer browses the online table of contents (e.g. 34 a, 34 b, 34 c) and selects a particular vendor of interest, as represented by arrow 36. Selection of the vendor of interest, as represented by arrow 38, directs the customer's browser to vendor website 14, as represented by arrow 38. In an alternate embodiment, the customer inputs his or her own URL directing the customer's browser to a particular vendor site, as represented by arrow 40.
  • [0044]
    Another aspect of the present invention supports customer return/refund processing. According to one embodiment of the present invention customer return/refund processing is managed via ASP 18 in a fashion similar to sale processing discussed and illustrated with respect to FIGS. 2 through 7. More specifically, payment information is ultimately intercepted at ASP 18 and forwarded to payment institutions 19 and/or tax institutions 22 for issuance of a credit to customer 12. A final vendor receipt 25 reflecting the return/refund is issued to ASP 18 and customer 12 detailing the line items being returned along with the proper credit amounts for the actual purchase and for the various sales taxes levied enumerated on it. If a return/refund is being requested from multiple vendors 14, a consolidated receipt 25 reflecting the return/refund is generated and forwarded to the customer 12.
  • [0045]
    Another aspect of the present invention supports customer return/refund processing. According to one embodiment of the present invention customer return/refund processing.
  • [0046]
    Another aspect of the present invention supports report generation. According to one embodiment of the present invention, ASP 18 is programmed and configured to collect and store a plurality of information as customer and vendor POS activities such as those described herein are transacted. Preferably, certain data collected is associated with a country, state/province, county, township/borough, and city. This aspect of the present invention enables queries and corresponding reports to target geographical criteria at various levels of granularity. Of course, multiple levels of granularity may be implemented across a wide variety of other collected data including age group, market, etc. This aspect of the present invention additionally enables relative comparisons and analyses (e.g. trend analyses, point-in-time analyses, etc.).
  • [0047]
    Table 1 below includes a variety of example reports generated by ASP 18. Of course, other reports may be generated within the scope of the present invention.
    TABLE 1
    Report Category Report Description
    Total or Individual Item-description and/or item inventory number
    Sales Analysis Vendor
    Sales tax jurisdiction-country, state/province,
    county, township/borough, city
    Sales class-description and/or class
    number/designation
    Sales/vendor location
    End customer
    Time period-day, week, month, quarter, year,
    day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month,
    quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year
    Payment methods-charge card company
    breakdown by usage, geographical location,
    income median, zip code, age group etc.
    Auction sales locations.
    Purchase orders issued for item return/credits
    Pseudo Inventory Inventory turnover by vendor.
    Reports Inventory turnover by sales location.
    Inventory turnover by/for the end customer.
    Inventory turnover by sales location.
    Inventory turnover by geographical location.
    Inventory to sales “turnover” ratio by vendor
    sales location(s).
    Inventory to sales “turnover” ratio by vendor
    inventory location.
    Inventory to sales “turnover” ratio by vendor
    production location.
    Inventory values-LIFO or FIFO
    Inventory values at 3rd party sales locations or
    auction locations.
    Inventory returned by purchase order issued
    Item return/defect analysis
    Return Sales Items Total returns/credits by sales item.
    Reports Total returns/credits by vendor.
    Total returns/credits by sales tax jurisdiction-
    country, state/province, county,
    township/borough, city.
    Total returns/credits by sales/vendor location
    total returns/credits by end customer
    Total returns/credits by payment method (i.e.-by
    charge card company and/or bank)
    Total returns/credits by time period-day, week,
    month, quarter, year, day-to-day, week-to-week,
    month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year.
    Total purchase orders issued for returns
    Returned Sales Items Returned sales by 3rd party sales vendor/auction
    Reports (with Auction location.
    Locations) Returned sales/auction items by item-description.
    Returned sales/auction items by sales tax
    jurisdiction-country, state/province, county,
    township/borough, city.
    Returned sales/auction items by end customer.
    Returned sales/auction items by time period-day,
    week, month, quarter, year, day-to-day, week-to-
    week, month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, year-
    to-year.
    Value of returned sales to 3rd party auction
    locations by price.
    Sales Tax Collected Sales taxes collected by sales tax jurisdiction such
    Reports as country, state/province, county,
    township/borough, city.
    Sales taxes paid by sales tax jurisdiction such as
    country, state/province, county,
    township/borough, city.
    Sales taxes collected by time period-day, week,
    month, quarter, year, day-to-day, week-to-week,
    month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year.
    Sales taxes paid by time period-day, week,
    month, quarter, year, day-to-day, week-to-week,
    month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year.
    Sales taxes collected by end customer.
    Sales taxes collected by vendor.
    Sales taxes collected by item sales class.
    Sales taxes collected by vendor/sales location.
    Sales taxes collected by customer.
    Sales taxes collected by geographical location.
    Revenue Reports Total revenue by vendor/customer
    Total revenue by end customer.
    Total revenue by geographical location.
    Total revenue by sales class of items.
    Total revenue by payment method-charge card
    companies.
    Total revenue by vendor class.
    Total revenue by 3rd party auction locations.
    Total revenue by sales item.
    Total revenue by vendor/customer sales location.
    Auction Location Auction location sales-by sales item/vendor/sales
    Reports class/geographical location, payment method, etc.
    Auction location sales by sales item inventory
    value.
    Auction location sales by inventory resale turn-
    over and turnover ratio.
    Information Resale Data analysis by race/gender.
    Reports Data analysis by income group.
    Data analysis by age group-1, 2, 3, 4 (these are
    the traditional age group numeric designations
    in a variety of areas such as voter registration
    etc.)
    Data analysis by geographic location.
    Data analysis by single, married, married with
    children etc.
    Data analysis by payment method-charge card
    type.
    Data analysis by occupation (usually coded by an
    occupation code).
    Data analysis by country phone code, telephone
    area code/exchange.
    Data analysis by sales vendor/item/sales class
    designations.
    Sales taxes paid by bank deposit into the
    respective bank accounts by vendor, by
    geographical location, by sales item, by location
    code etc.
    Sales Taxes Paid Sales taxes paid by taxing jurisdiction-country,
    Reports state/province, county, township/borough, city.
    Sales taxes paid by vendor/customer.
    Sales taxes paid by sales item.
    Sales taxes paid by bank account wire trans-
    fer and/or deposited into. Also, sales taxes paid
    by check printing run.
    Sales taxes paid by vendor/customer sales
    locations.
    Sales taxes collected/paid by reconciliation
    information.
    Sales taxes paid by end customer.
    Sales taxes paid by time period-day, week,
    month, quarter, year, day-to-day, week-to-week,
    month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year.
    Sales taxes paid by auction location.
    Sales taxes paid/credited (for returned sales)
    reconciliation reports.
    Misc. Reports Leasing fee reports by vendor/customer sales
    locations.
    Transaction fee reports by end
    customer/customer/payment method/dales items/
    sales item class/geographical location etc.
    Total revenue report by end customer.
    Total revenue report by customer.
    Total revenue report by customer sales location.
    Total revenue report by sales item(s).
    Total sales report by customer.
    Total sales report by end customer.
    Total sales report by geographical location.
    Total sales/revenue reports by sales tax
    lurisdiction/auction locations/item sales
    class/credits-returned items etc.
    Net sales tax money due and readily available for
    investment.
    Sales tax anticipation payment schedules by sales
    tax jurisdiction/customer/customer sales
    locations/auction locations etc.
    Managed float report on all foundation commerce
    corporation short term investments using net sales
    tax due money balances.
  • [0048]
    While embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is not intended that these embodiments illustrate and describe all possible forms of the invention. Rather, the words used in the specification are words of description rather than limitation, and it is understood that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (24)

What is claimed is:
1. A method for centrally hosting online point of sale activities, the method comprising: (i) receiving input from a customer specifying two or more vendors having vendor web sites from which to purchase goods or services during an online shopping session; (ii) receiving input from the two or more vendors indicating that the customer has purchased goods or services at the two or more vendor web sites during the online shopping session; and (iii) outputting a single online receipt to the customer reflecting all goods or services purchased at the two or more vendor web sites during the online shopping session.
2. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising collecting tax from the customer for goods or services purchased during the online shopping session and disbursing the collected tax to one or more tax authorities.
3. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising collecting and disbursing payment for the goods or services purchased during the online shopping session.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein the payment is disbursed to the two or more vendors.
5. The method of claim 3 wherein the payment is electronically disbursed to a vendor banking institution.
6. The method of claim 3 wherein the payment includes a transactional fee.
7. The method of claim 3 additionally comprising disbursing a credit for one or more purchased goods or services.
8. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising electronically obtaining payment authorization from the customer's credit card company for goods or services to be purchased at the two or more vendor sites.
9. The method of claim 1 wherein the customer or vendors are located in different countries.
10. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising presenting the customer with an online table of contents including a plurality of hyperlinks to different vendor web sites.
11. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising generating one or more reports based on a plurality of data collected during the transaction of the point-of-sale activities.
12. The method of claim 1 wherein one or more of the vendor web sites are online auction sites.
13. A system for centrally hosting online point of sale activities, the system comprising one or more networked computers operably programmed and configured to: (i) receive input from a customer specifying two or more vendors having vendor web sites from which to purchase goods or services during an online shopping session; (ii) receive input from the two or more vendors indicating that the customer has purchased goods or services at the two or more vendor web sites during the online shopping session; and (iii) output a single online receipt to the customer reflecting all goods or services purchased at the two or more vendor web sites during the online shopping session.
14. The system of claim 13 wherein the one or more networked computers are additionally programmed and configured to collect sales tax from the customer for goods or services purchased during the online shopping session and electronically disburse the collected sales tax to one or more tax authorities.
15. The system of claim 13 wherein the one or more networked computers are additionally programmed and configured to collect and electronically disburse payment for the goods or services purchased during the online shopping session.
16. The system of claim 15 wherein the payment is electronically disbursed to the two or more vendors.
17. The system of claim 15 wherein the payment is electronically disbursed to a vendor banking institution.
18. The system of claim 15 wherein the payment includes a transactional fee.
19. The system of claim 15 wherein the one or more networked computers are additionally programmed and configured disburse a credit for one or more purchased goods or services.
20. The system of claim 11 wherein the one or more networked computers are additionally programmed and configured to electronically obtain payment authorization from the customer's credit card company for goods or services to be purchased at the two or more vendor sites.
21. The system of claim 11 wherein the customer or vendors are located in different countries.
22. The system of claim 11 wherein the one or more networked computers are additionally programmed and configured to present the customer with an online table of contents including a plurality of hyperlinks to different vendor web sites.
23. The system of claim 1 wherein the one or more networked computers are additionally programmed and configured to generate one or more reports based on a plurality of data collected during the transaction of the point-of-sale activities.
24. The system of claim 13 wherein one or more of the vendor web sites are online auction sites.
US10386886 2002-03-12 2003-03-12 Method and system for hosting centralized online point-of-sale activities for a plurality of distributed customers and vendors Abandoned US20030216981A1 (en)

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US11823573 US7801773B2 (en) 2002-03-12 2007-06-28 Method, system, and computer readable storage medium for conducting an online shopping session between a customer and one or more vendors through a central host
US13041524 USRE43220E1 (en) 2002-03-12 2011-03-07 Method, system, and computer readable storage medium for conducting an online shopping session between a customer and one or more vendors through a central host

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US7801773B2 (en) 2010-09-21 grant
US20070255629A1 (en) 2007-11-01 application

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