Boba Fett + CSE = Bountii

April 28, 2008

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Bountii
I’m always a sucker for attention-getting Star Wars references.

But Bountii’s co-founder John Puskarich also caught my attention and this CSE is worthy of yours.  The site has some key differentiators:

  • For certain products, Bountii will pay people to find lower prices. There is a set bounty for specific products, and users can make as much cash as the number of deals they find.
  • They display “Click to See” and “Add to Cart” prices that are often left out of the feeds sellers send to shopping engines.
  • Products that have coupons and rebates have these deals reflected in the price, instead of being handpicked and possibly subjected to bias.
  • Pricing information is always displayed, no matter what the seller pays Bountii. Further, the number of stores is intentionally limited to reputable sellers delivering a quality experience.  (One example is Costco — Bountii is the only CSE on which their results are displayed).

I’m impressed with the site’s design approach — clean, simple and direct.  There isn’t much to distract a visitor from their core purpose — finding the lowest price.  John tells me that they’ve gotten a lot of feedback saying exactly this.

One challenge I see, though, is visibility and driving enough traffic to make this material.  John told me that they’ve experienced healthy traffic growth from their widgets, which allows people on eBay and Craigslist to emphasize the quality of their price.  This particular widget shows real-time price updates, pulling from Bountii’s product listings.  Repeat visitor traffic is also growing steadily, he said.

Bountii is based upon an affiliate model.  John was quick to point out that no stores get preferential product placement in search results. Pricing information is obtained from merchants’ sites and complemented with data from product feeds.

 

The company is a Y Combinator (an early-stage startup fund founded by Viaweb / Yahoo! Stores creator Paul Graham) startup based in Boston and led John and co-founder Samir Meghani.

written by Scott Hurff — scott.hurff at channeladvisor