Hoffman Estates, Ill., // PRNewswire // -- Sears Holdings today announced the beta launch of ServiceLive.com, the first online services marketplace where homeowners can name their price for home improvements and repairs. By combining the successful auction capabilities used by sites in other categories with proprietary ServiceLive technology and processes, the site was designed to improve the home services experience for both homeowners and service providers.
"ServiceLive.com is going to change the way people hire services for their homes," said George Coll, president of ServiceLive. "We have created a marketplace that puts the homeowner back in the driver's seat by allowing them to name the terms and manage the process completely online. It benefits service providers as well by creating job opportunities and enabling speedy payment."
Here's how it works: Users review and select pre-screened service providers in their area, and then describe a repair or improvement project in detail, including the price they want to pay and desired appointment time. The project is then routed to selected providers after the user uploads funds to his or her ServiceLive account. The first provider to accept the terms electronically wins the project. After a project is completed to satisfaction, the user pays and rates the provider online.
Taking care of a home and hiring service providers through traditional methods is a hassle for most homeowners. A new survey(i) of homeowners finds that more than seven in ten (71%) say that the upkeep, repair, maintenance and improvement of their homes are more frustrating than making their mortgage payments. Nearly nine in ten (89%) homeowners have homes that need work, but nearly half (44%) of this group haven't done this work because they don't think that they can afford it.
"In today's economy, everyone is keeping an eye on spending, so it's more important than ever to maintain your home to prevent future, more expensive repairs," said Coll. "ServiceLive.com offers users a way to take care of their homes at a price they can afford, while giving service providers a way to supplement their business."
Founded in 2007 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings, ServiceLive has spent the last year recruiting and conducting background checks on service providers across the country - from handymen and home electronics pros to plumbers and computer experts.
Now thousands of ServiceLive-Approved providers are available to hire through the online marketplace. A special launch promotion will waive the $10.00 posting fee for all orders through Feb. 28.
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer, with approximately $50 billion in annual revenues, and with approximately 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has Martha Stewart Everyday products, which are offered exclusively in the U.S. by Kmart. The Company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 13 million service calls made annually.
(i) The ServiceLive survey was conducted among 1,332 nationally representative homeowners by Wakefield between January 3 and January 12, 2009 using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. population of homeowners ages 18 and older.