Helping scared buyers

It’s a generality but buyers hate choice and are scared about making the wrong choice. Consequently things that reduce choices (brands) and allay our fears about choices are always going to generate some resonance.

Matt Marshall at Venture Beat reports on Oodle, which is a classifieds service with add-on tools to help you make better buying decisions. Take its car classifieds, for example. If you’re searching for a Honda Accord, Oodle gives you market price data, and availability — data that you can’t get at the other sites. If you’re looking for a 2003 Honda Accord with 40,000-50,000 miles, Oodle will show you that the market price for this car is between $12,000 and $17,000 (see screenshot below). The bar chart tells you (apologies, the font size is small) a few of these cars are going for $12,000, you’ve still got a great deal at $14,000. It gives you other features, such as an alert that tells you when Oodel gets a listing for this car priced at $12,000.

Another service I saw recently is about to launch something similar but with the added twist that it will monitor multiple types of market – stores, auctions and classified. Can’t say which one presently, but I was greatly impressed particular when it was possible to identify sizeable price discrepancies between these markets mechanisms. Shame there’s no easy way to arbitrage between them!

Comment posted by Faith
at 3/29/2007 2:07:00 AM
John,

I suppose knowledge is the the first step- or should I say- a prerequisite to arbitrage.

Thanks for tipping your hat to Oodle. We’ll keep working to make shopping less scary for buyers.

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