Amazon subsidiary Quidsi, which currently operates sites like Soap.com, Diapers.com and the newly launched eco site Vine.com to name a few, will launched two more sites this week, AfterSchool.com and Bookworm.com. Both sites are targeting families with children, the former featuring over 70,000 items for “children’s activities” and the latter offering 45,000 children’s books to start.
According to the news provided to The WSJ, both websites will go live on Thursday. For what it’s worth, AfterSchool.com’s homepage states that there are 50,000 products, “from baseball bats and soccer balls to ballet slippers and art supplies.”
Quidsi, though Amazon-owned, operates separately from its parent site, and offers easy-to-remember URLs that lead to narrow niches. The company launched with Diapers.com, which then became the biggest seller of diapers online. It has since expanded into drugstore items with Soap.com, pet supplies with Wag.com, toys with YoYo.com, beauty care with BeautyBar.com, and more.
Amazon bought Quidsi in November 2010 for north of $500 million, and it continues to operate independently from its corporate parent. It doesn’t offer the benefit of Amazon Prime free shipping, for example, but it does offer free two-day shipping on order over $49,
or $39 if buying items from two or more of its websites. [Update: the $39 offer ended yesterday, 10-17.] First-time shoppers can also take 30% off on their first item purchased.
The WSJ also points out that, because of Quidsi’s independence (it even has its own warehouses), its prices will not always be in line with what Amazon offers – in some cases, items cost more, at other times, less. The same holds true for the new kids’ verticals, they found.
Quidsi is also running a same-day shipping experiment, now only in New York City, though other U.S. cities may follow soon.