It's a safe bet that no one thinks "fresh produce" when they hear the name "Overstock." Nevertheless, the online retailer cut the ribbon on a digital farmers market this month. Unlike competing services from Amazon or Google, however, Overstock's grocery offering isn't meant to take care of all of your shopping needs. Instead, the retailer is connecting shoppers with local farmers and CSAs — community-supported agriculture plans that offer a type of subscription for fresh produce.
What that means is that you can't search Overstock for broccoli and have it delivered alongside a box of diapers and a new flat-screen TV. Through the Famers Market section of the site you can find local farmers in your area and see what types of products they offer. The farmers themselves — not Overstock— handle delivery, and like most CSAs, it's safe to bet that many farmers will use weekly delivery schemes to bring a selection of goods directly from the farm.
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne wants the service to cover 70 percent of the US population by years' end — up from 20 percent today. That's awfully optimistic, but since the service is primarily building off of pre-existing CSAs it could be possible. Farmers pay no fee to join the service, though an unexplained "revenue sharing model" is used to divvy up proceeds. In exchange, Overstock handles customer service and billing, of course. If you're interested in trying it out, there's no sign-up fee or subscription required.