Name your price website offers new way to shop

September 4, 2013 7:09:23 PM PDT
Competition for your business has now reached a whole new level, thanks to a new name your own price website.

By now most people are familiar with Priceline, the airline and vacation website where you can name your own price. Well now, for the first time, you can name your price for many retail products. The site is called Greentoe, and we dipped our toe in to get a feel for what all about.

Max Fran Schwartz enjoys his new guitar. He says he found it online for $450 cheaper than for what he saw it for on Amazon.

"To find a site where you can save 400, 450 dollars off of the Amazon price to me is pretty mind blowing," he said.

He named his own price using Greentoe.com. With it you suggest your offer. The site tells you the likelihood your bid will be accepted. Greentoe includes a price comparison chart along with reviews of the products offered for sale. Once you submit an offer, it's sent to dozens of retailers.

"So the way it works is the first retailer that accepts that offer makes the sale, and then the retailer actually fulfills the offer," said Joe Marrapodi, CEO and founder of Greentoe.

If your offer is accepted, you must buy it.

However, if you aren't satisfied you have at least 14 days to return the product. Some retailers offer a more generous return policy.

Unlike Priceline, the decision on whether the offer is accepted is not immediate.

It's up to you to determine how many days your offer will be on the table before it is pulled.

"Part of it's just fun to find great deals," Schwartz said.

The catch is you aren't told what retailers will be bidding for your business. Only if the offer is accepted will the winning retailer be revealed.

"The retailers like to keep it kind of quiet that they're part of that lower price because they don't want all their consumers that are already shopping at their site to leave and go to our site," Marrapodi said.

Greentoe currently only has 35 retail partners. Each is authorized by the manufacturer to sell the product and the product comes with a warranty.

Greentoe says currently about 93 percent of the offers are accepted.

The retailers pay green toe a commission whenever they make a sale.

The offer you make includes all tax and shipping.

"So that was great to know there weren't going to be all these additional fees added on. The price you bid is the price you pay," Schwartz said.

Products for sale are limited to photography, electronics, appliances, baby and musical equipment.

But the list of categories will be expanded.

Greentoe estimates the average savings to consumers is 20 percent.

"Retailers have so much inventory and they need to get rid of them," Marrapodi said.

If you have a dispute with a retailer you should take it up directly with them, but Greentoe says it will step in and mediate if necessary.


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