We have always believed in buying world class products, however what we have paid for them are Chinese prices
. This means buying Levi’s Red loops for Rs 1000/= Puma shoes for 800/= a Nintendo Wii for 11,500/= or
Hi Design leather jacket for Rs 1400/= . The habit has got ingrained continued in the start up WiC . Bootstrapping demands that money be spent even more wisely now.
1. Fixing the budget :We assume that most start ups begin with little fund and not like Abhishek Bachchan whose Dad is an ATM . The startups are normally done by people who are far more smarter, braver and clever people. The expectations then always remain:very good or excellent products. The founder, in search for best prices google it, ask friends, visit shops/markets, seek information from those who already bought similar product,… there are so many ways to employ to find the-best product price fit. When founders finally, find such sellers we are relieved and ecstatic. When some one asks about it , they proudly tell how they could find a price which was absolutely a steal. They however cannot be we sure that this product was not available for still lower price.
The problems : The information is not that easily available or searchable. If it is searchable, then
many a times it is not complete. If its complete, then it difficult to locate the sellers. Also, the information is available to a closed group of people in a network. If we are able to do a union of all these price information, the world becomes a much happier place to look for prices.
2. Selection of product :While for selecting adorable products there is an applicationhttp://svpply.com/ or http://pinterest.com. Here people chose the products which they find fascinating. The adorable products are handpicked and liked by community so that you dont have to scan 1000s of products which are banal.Similarly, there are consumer review sites like http://www10.epinions.com/ which help you see the product reviewed by end user. Also, there is http://www.cnet.com/ preferred by most geeks for techtoys.Closer home this was replicated by http://www.mouthshut.com/ a platform for posting consumer reviews.Referring them, one can select a product and eliminating the marketing noise ( The kind of noise a monkey in Bollywood does ” I am the Best, I am the Best.. I am the best God shit, n I stink ” ). Jokes apart, the amount of work done in eliminating marketer noise is evident. However the effort for eliminating sales noise is less effective .
3. Selecting the seller :There are delusional sales, prices suffixed with “*” , starting price and final price etc and very little to help us on what we can realize.4 ex Microsoft guys developed wishabi which is a consumer driven price discovery framework for Canadians.Also there is :http://www.shopwiki.com/ which works on Web 2.0 principle.What was found missing in all these sites is a sense of hyperlocal and also the directions to reachthe Star sellers. The prices given are seller contributed and are aimed to maximize margins. What is actually needed is a guidance to purchaser as to what was the initial price seller quoted and after a hard or wise bargain what was the price at which sale got consummated.Closer home in India http://www.naaptol.com/ did a great job replicating the ebay model . They tiedup with many sellers and showed the best prices. This somehow didnt last long and they started importingcheap fakes ( Gadgets- Black Verry, Roy Ben, Iped, ifone etc ) and started selling them on their site.In India crap sells big time, so they had large number of transactions and hence a good valuation. Its something similar to Big bajaar (The Indian walmart ) selling its own brands in place of Unilever or P&G products
4. There exists a gap : Something is missing in this space . There is a need for a tool which not only allows people to share the products worthy of buying but also prices which can save and are minimum possible. The efforts saved on survey can then be priceless.If you can find such tool which allows you to share your purchases or check the prices at which others have bought, this can really create a difference. Please post comments if you know one or can help create one