Black Friday Sucks. We’re Here to Help.

Black Friday Sucks. We’re Here to Help.

When I was younger, every Thanksgiving my extended family would rent a big house in Lake Tahoe and we would all spend Thanksgiving together. One of my favorite times during those vacations was getting up early in the morning the Friday after Thanksgiving, pouring myself a big cup of coffee, sitting in the biggest most comfortable chair in the house, and watching the news. Call it schadenfreude but there was something I loved about being warm, enjoying a big cup of coffee, and watching crowds of people braving the cold to save a few bucks on a TV.

I know. Its messed up. Mind you this is not a judgement call, its totally up to you how you spend your holidays. I knew a girl in college who said that her favorite part of the Thanksgiving weekend was going shopping with her mom on Black Friday.

But to me, Black Friday sucks. Its not just the cold, the employees forced to work on Thanksgiving, the people who get injured by fellow shoppers, or the actually not so great deals. Black Friday sucks because it represents a huge economic inefficiency.

When LG drops the price of a TV from $2499 to $1899 for Black Friday they sell a ton of TVs, but they also loose out on $600 with each TV they sell. Because they know that a wide range of other electronics companies will be selling their goods at a discount as well, LG is forced to mark down their TVs to even lower levels to compete, pushing prices down to artificially low levels. While that might seem like a good thing for consumers, items priced below what the market at large will pay result in supply shortages and people who don’t want  TVs purchasing them to later sell online when TVs aren’t on sale or are sold out. (For the record, this is exactly how sites like G2A make money)

So what if instead of the mad Black Friday rush, the manager of the electronics store came out and said “Alright everybody here’s the deal, take a sheet of paper and write down what your wiling to pay for this TV.” The customers do so and give the manager their sheets of paper, in a few minutes he comes back and says, “Alright, half of you over here, your offers were accepted head on over to the cash registers to pick up your TV at the price you offered. Everybody else, here is the average of what all those other folks paid. You can either pay that or come back again later.”

Now if that sale was happening once a year you might say “Meh, I’ll take my chances with Black Friday.” But what if that sale was happening everyday? And not just in the morning before the shop opens, but every second, of every day. If prices were constantly being compiled and computed with up to the second accuracy based on the demand of consumers all around the world?

What if you could get a great deal on whatever you want, when you want it? No more waiting for Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, or Singles Day, or whatever.  Just you, paying what you want, for the things you want.

That is crowdpricing, and it has the potential to save us all tons of cash, make companies more profitable, and radically change the way we think about prices.

So what do you think? Why not give it shot?

Happy Offering!

-Alex