Priceonomics, “The Price Guide For Everything”

April 10, 2012

9:51 am

“It seems strange to us that people pay dramatically different prices for the exact same products, and we think we can fix that.”

Although a seemingly simple problem, the solution seems far from easy.  That is unless you talk with Priceonomics‘ CEO and co-founder, Michael Flaxman.

With the aspiration to become “the price guide for everything,” Priceonomics is out to end all online pricing inefficiencies.  Inspired by his quest to help his brother sell his forty year old car, Flaxman created an app that pulled in prices from various websites to more accurately gauge prices. “It was amazingly useful,” Flaxman said. “Then we thought, ‘What if we indexed lots of sites and kept historical info for everything that had sold in the last month or year?'”  And thus Priceonomics was born.

The concept is basic: input the item you’re looking to buy or sell (e.g. Beats by Dr. Dre Studio) and the Priceonomics price guide will output  an acceptable price range, the corresponding price bell curve, price over time, and direct links to the sellers of the queried product.

The $300 headphones are the rare "sucker" edition

Priceonomics has not yet (publicly) laid forth a monetization strategy, although, in Flaxman’s point of view, the Priceonomics future looks bright (see: green):

“What’s amazing about the people who use our site is that they’re looking to buy stuff, which is just about the best user you could have on the Internet. Right now we’re focused on delivering a great pricing experience, but there’s lots of ways we can monetize all that purchase intent.”

Priceonomics is backed by Y Combinator and one of the featured startups at the recent Demo Day 2012.  Easter Egg Bonus Fun Points: search “Priceonomics” from the Priceonomics homepage.  

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When Zach Davis isn’t getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail’s Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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