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Overstock flies into airfares

The company, known for selling discounted goods from dead or dying dot-coms, is setting its sites on the Web's travel sector.

Overstock.com, known for selling discounted goods from dead or dying dot-coms, is setting its sites on the Web's travel sector, company executives said Tuesday.

Privately held Overstock will offer discounted domestic and international airfares and hotel rooms. Chief Executive Patrick Byrne said that the company has more than 6 million discounted tickets obtained from unidentified New York airfare consolidation companies.

Travel is only the latest retail sector that Overstock has marched into in recent months. From electronics, to computers and garden tools, sports gear to baby products, Overstock is engaging in a strategy to sell the same brand-named goods as most e-tailers but at a deep discount.

Overstock is now entering the cutthroat online travel business, going up against the likes of such heavy hitters as Priceline.com, Travelocity.com and Microsoft's Expedia.com, the three top online travel sites that also advertise low prices.

Byrne said he has obtained rights to unpublished fares from various airlines on the condition that their names not be disclosed until a consumer buys a ticket. Asked whether Overstock draws the type of customer that flies internationally, Byrne said he doesn't worry about whether his customers are jet-setters.

"The idea that you have to be either a Nordstrom's or a Wal-Mart is outdated," Byrne said. "A lot of people from different demographics are interested in saving money."