TechCrunch today reported on Greentoe, a new e-commerce site that allows you to name your own price for purchases you'd like to make, directly from online retailers.
Greentoe founders created the site out of frustration: Finding deals online was difficult and time consuming.
"Founders Andrew Kurland and Joe Marrapodi created their e-commerce negotiation site, Greentoe, out of frustration," wrote TechCrunch's Sarah Buhr. The two were spending too much time trying to find the best deals online. That was proving time-consuming and difficult."
Because you can "name your price," Greentoe evokes Priceline comparisons. It also works like eBay, where you make a bid and if it works, you get the product you want.
I think that also seeing the average price and lowest price published is useful (see above screenshot). They seem to focus on high-ticket items people would be searching for the lowest price on, so this type of service (if done right) could be great.
Greentoe helpfully lists average/lowest price, as well as average/expert user reviews.
On a lot of their products, they also have the average user and expert user reviews which I would find very useful when researching products. The biggest benefit to Greentoe, of course, is saving time.
It's also great to buy from a reputable source. One of the biggest issues when buying on eBay is you're buying from private sellers, who may be sketchy. To that point, Greentoe guarantees its service, reducing the risk for new users.
But what about shipping? Wouldn't that vary from one vendor to the next? Well, it seems different products include shipping and for the ones that don’t, there's a shipping estimator tool included so you can factor that into your buying decision.
Like Priceline, you don't know which retailer you're buying from until your bid has been accepted.
“While Greentoe won’t reveal who the retailer is behind the wall, the founders swear they are all very reputable. You also get to find out who sold you the product only after the offer has been accepted.” This is also like PriceLine in that you won’t know which hotel you’re staying at until your bid is accepted.
Personally, I don’t really care what store I buy my camera from as long as I get the product I expected to get. I am not sure how they will deal with warranties though. Because Greentoe cuts the supplier out of the picture, how can the buyer deal directly with the manufacturer if necessary? I suppose as more and more people begin using the system, manufacturers will invariably develop warranty terms for Greentoe buyers.