Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Secrets for Selling to the Idle Rich
Ultimate Shopping Network is taking televised sales upscale by persuading wealthy viewers to open up their wallets for high-end products.
By Duff McDonald

(Business 2.0) – Say "televised home shopping" and many consumers think of tacky baubles and B-list celebrities hawking uninspired fashions. But in May 2003, entrepreneurs Michael Reinstein and Brian Kelly launched Ultimate Shopping Network, a boob-tube retail channel with a Neiman Marcus feel. Offering high-quality jewelry, one-of-a kind collectibles, premium watches, and lavish customer service, USN is carving out an upscale niche, with an average transaction amount of $811--vastly more than the $120 industry average. With a reach that extends to 30 million households and 2004 sales of $8 million, Los Angeles-based USN is still a tiny boutique compared with a $5 billion mass-market giant like QVC. But Kelly says USN expects to turn profitable during the first quarter of 2006, using these shrewd techniques to sell big-ticket items to high-income couch potatoes. -- DUFF MCDONALD