Austin Texas based PriceFight launched this morning. It’s a shopping search engine that offers a metric it calls “Peoples’ Choice” in addition to displaying which merchants sell an item at the lowest price. Merchants are rated on the fly based on the number and rating of anonymous shopper purchases plus other details in a proprietary algorithm.
The company says that “not all prices are equal” and that merchants also need to be evaluated in regards to customer service, hidden offers and other less tangible factors. Price Fight CEO Michael Griffin says the goal is to “pick up on trends like limited time offers or special rebates that are otherwise hidden on many price comparison engines.”
After performing a search, shoppers are shown a comparison between retailers by the two major metrics (lowest price and Peoples’ Choice) and a report card for the store. Report cards show ratings overall, for delivery speed, customer service and a summary of return, security, shipping, and tax policies.
The site currently searches over only twelve large merchants and is focused on consumer electronics, but the company says it aims to expand its reach quickly. The Peoples’ Choice feature and merchant ratings have been compiled over the past seven months.
I like the idea here, though it doesn’t seem like it would be very hard to duplicate. Perhaps the biggest challenge would be to populate a system meaningfully before you open the doors to the public so it provides immediate value. Perhaps too the mystery algorithm for Peoples’ Choice will prove particularly valuable over time. Price Fight has been well designed and has a good URL. It’s nice to be able to compare things like shipping and customer service.