The Art of the Deal

Today I found myself looking for the best price on a Sony 32″ Bravia (Seems to be the most TV out there for the money, no?).  Fiddling with various search terms on Google, I tried just the serial number–KDL-32L4000–and came up with a link to a new and genuinely innovative site called Beat That! Describing itself as 100% community driven, the site actually pays members to find and post the best deal on a given item.  There are some limitations on the numbers of submissions and what sorts of deals qualify, so I would strongly recommend you read the page on How to Submit Deals to Beat That! if you are interested.  I believe they even pay via Paypal, which makes it quite convenient.

At any rate, I was all happy when I turned up a rate of $544.12 from Preferred Photo until I saw their merchant rating was only yellow when green was what I wanted to see.  As much as I was disappointed that my search for the right price continues, I like the way Beat That! works and I will for sure return to find deals if not to submit them.  This is a great model for doing business, because it rewards the best searchers with a powerful incentive to not only find the best prices but to identify reputable sellers.

It’s nice to see there is such a steady influx of innovative new Web communities, as I see Bonanzle has now grown to almost 12,000 users.  As usual some of this shiny new stuff will stick and some of it will float away, but with eBay having descended into a state of ever-worsening alienation and disgruntlement it’s just nice to see that someone still believes there is a better way.  Whether or not Beat That! will turn out to be a better way to find the best deals on the Web is yet to be seen, but I’m a great believer in the straightforward but surprisingly elusive principle of paying people to do what they do best.


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