Sears: If You Can't Sell 'Em Stuff, Make Intros And Get A Cut

Given that it has one of the oldest names in retail, it's impressive how Sears is repeatedly on the cutting edge of technology. ServiceLive, introduced this month, is another good example why. Instead of trying to sell products directly, it tries to connect homeowners with contractors and takes a cut of the action.

Here's how the Sears-described process 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 their 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.