Jun 5 2011
I’m always a sucker for a site taking on Craigslist. There are so many of them- it’s fun to watch them make their attempts at enticing people away from the world wide leader in online classifieds. Craigslist, in a mark of brilliance and abject sloth, has succeeded by making few updates and changes since their initial launch. OK, they have user accounts with an automated phone verification system now, but it pales in comparison to what they could be. Their ads are largely the same as they have been for years.
So when I came across Pricetack I was doubly enthralled. They’re not only sticking their neck out against Craigslist but Amazon as well. It even has a bit of Ebay in there too. They’re an online store where you can purchase items from individuals around the world.
Pricetack is actually very simple. If you’re a buyer you can search for items you’re interested in and then purchase them. It utilizes PayPal for checkout which adds a level of security and protection for buyers. Pricetack throws a wrinkle in the process though. The listed price is time sensitive, dropping a time goes on. As many sellers will be individuals there will often only be just one ‘in stock.’ In this case ‘in stock’ means in the person’s living room or garage. Whenever you pull the trigger your price is locked in and the item will be shipped.
Dropping prices is a common tactic that’s been used by stores for centuries. Fortunately Pricetack breaks with tradition and posts the dates the price will be dropped. This may or may not be an advantage to the buyer though, as competing buyers will have access to the same information. If you aren’t ready to buy yet you can add items to your watch list for future consideration. That way you can check in as the price drops. I know the dog wig posted below was the first thing added to mine.
For sellers the interface is almost as simple. You have two options. First is to sell individual items. You can include a title, description, picture, category, shipping cost and method, and then the price drop information. The category is important as it helps users browsing through items to locate yours. The second option is to have an online store where all items you’ve listed to sell will be displayed. This is actually configured upon registration or in your profile later on. You can elect to have one or not. If so then all items you list to sell will automatically be included in your store profile. A helpful feature of the Pricetack personal stores is it lets you add your own header information. This allows you to display your own branding if you like.
Pricetack has picked a fight. They’re an online classifieds that takes aim at Craigslist. But they provide purchase and shipping utilities similar to Ebay. And at the end of the day, they’re a store that you can purchase items from as you would from Amazon. Amazon and Ebay have successful grown and developed their products over time so we don’t unnecessarily root against them. Craigslist however has done nothing of the sort. And for that we herald Pricetack in their entry into battle against that stubborn inveterate of a website.