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Amazon loses a PC-store partner

Online liquidator Overstock.com ends its partnership with the Seattle-based e-commerce site, just two weeks after Overstock's used computers became available at Amazon's new PC store.

Poor sales have prompted online liquidator Overstock.com to end its partnership with Amazon.com, just two weeks after Overstock's used computers became available at Amazon's new PC store, an executive said Monday.

Overstock will remove about 40 refurbished computers from Amazon's PC store and about 700 electronics products from Amazon's electronics department, according to Patrick Byrne, Overstock's chief executive.

"We're extremely disappointed with the sales numbers we've seen so far," Byrne said. "We've sold one $300 computer in 10 days."

Overstock executives said they faxed a letter to Amazon Sunday night ending their partnership, but Amazon spokeswoman Lizzie Allen said Monday that Amazon officials had not received any notice. Overstock said that all its computer offerings would be removed by Tuesday morning.

Allen added that, while no sales figures were available for release, they were "quite happy" with how the used computer sales were on the 12-day-old PC store.

Amazon has made much of its partnership deals since inking an agreement to develop a joint e-commerce site with Toys "R" Us last year. Analysts have praised the company for striking deals that allowed other merchants to sell goods on its site as well as handle shipping. Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Seattle-based Amazon, has said that such deals generated revenue and helped cut costs. Typically Amazon takes a percentage of the sales under these kinds of partnership agreements.

Overstock is one of several companies Amazon contracted with to provide used computers for its PC store.

Amazon became a minority investor in Overstock last October after Overstock bought Amazon-backed sporting goods site Gear.com.

Byrne declined to discuss financial terms of his company's deal with Amazon, as well as what expectations Overstock and Amazon had for the used computers.