We’ve seen a lot of group buying services cross the home page here at TechCrunch, and almost all of them have one thing in common: they sell you the stuff that has been marked down, and couldn’t be sold at the time intended. But a new startup called Plukka, an e-commerce site focused on high-end designer jewelry, is going in an entirely different direction when it comes to group buying.
I had the opportunity to sit down with founder Joanne Ooi, who stressed that the most important part of the Plukka equation is something she refers to as “just-in-time” manufacturing.
Here’s how it works:
You hop on over to Plukka.com and browse through their listings of various jewelry items. When you’ve found what you want, you add the item to your cart and even though your credit card is blocked for the original amount, the transaction only goes through after the final amount has been calculated.
See, prices on the jewelry at Plukka slowly go down as more and more people want to buy it. It becomes available on the site for one or two days, and if even one person wants to buy it, Plukka will make it. The time period also extends to allow for more potential buyers, and the more people who purchase, the more the price drops. At the end of the event, the final low price is the same for everyone, whether you were the first to buy or the last.
Right now the service is run on an event-by-event basis, but in April Plukka is introducing an entire product catalog so that new customers will have more variety to choose from.
I know it can be a bit confusing, but a really helpful explanation can be found in the video below.