Mashable, Jennifer Van Grove, June 20, 2011
Ecommerce startup Decide launches Monday and uses two straightforward words - "buy" or "wait" - to educate consumers on when it's best to buy their next laptop, television or camera.
On Decide, the experience is simple: Search for a product and get an immediate buy or wait recommendation, along with a machine-generated prediction on when to buy and a percentage indicating Decide's confidence in that prediction.
A quick Decide search for a particular Samsung Plasma HDTV, for instance, will yield a "wait" because the site predicts that prices for that model, with 87% confidence, are expected to drop $92 within two weeks.
Decide's purchase recommendations are generated using a combination of proprietary data and predictive algorithms. Decide takes into account 40 distinct price factors, historical data on model lineage releases and pricing, and relevant rumors on when the next iteration of a product is coming.
The problem, as Decide CEO Mike Fridgen sees it, is that the rapid rate at which technology evolves can often leave consumers with a feeling of buyer's remorse if they discover there's now a newer version of that laptop, TV or camera they just bought.
"We are, at the moment of purchase, the place to go to answer the 'when to buy' question," Fridgen says.
Decide has raised $8.5 million in pre-launch funding. The web- and mobile-friendly site earns referral fees for directing consumers to sellers' websites. Eventually, the startup will broaden its scope beyond TVs, cameras and laptops to offer recommendations on more products and gadgets.
Decide was started by Farecast founder Oren Etzioni.