PriceBaba, a shopping intelligence engine, announced the launch of its services, albeit in beta. PriceBaba aims to provide the best (read lowest) prices, deals and availability to help shoppers make an informed purchase decision.
As of launch, Pricebaba features 400 mobiles phones from 26 manufacturers and the site will first be targeted to shoppers in Mumbai. With its Mumbai launch, PriceBaba lists 110 locations from where consumers can buy, sell and exchange mobile devices. PriceBaba provides customers with the least price from offline retailers so that customers can make intelligent decision to make the purchase. Currently, it provides customers the ability to search the nearest shop in their locality where they might be able to pick up the device and ask for price of the device displayed on the PriceBaba website. It also tracks the price drop in the handset and displays it in a fancy chart. Apart from that, users can search for handset, check out whether it’s available in the market, and check out the specs of the handset.
PriceBaba.com was founded by Annkur Agarwal and Tirthesh Ganatra. With more than 10 years of experience in retail business, Agarwal says he was the best person around for many (customers) to get a cellphone. “I literally sold thousands of phones in my retail career”, Agarwal told us. However, he got swayed by yet another idea, creating an online destination for technology. Thus OnlyGizmos happened. Yet, years after leaving his full-time retail business, the calls kept coming in from customers for suggestions to buy mobile phones. Agarwal initially had plans to integrate it with his existing business — Onlygizmos. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out well. “It had to be a larger thing and Steve Jobs lessons on focus inspired me. Next thing, I decided to quit OnlyGizmos in December and from 1st Jan I was full time on PriceBaba”, Agarwal tells us. While both, Agarwal and Ganatra, have been working together since August 2011, Agarwal insists, that he didn’t quit his previous startup — Onlygizmos.com, a gadget blog, overnight to start Pricebaba. “That gives a wrong inspiration to entrepreneurs. It was planned. Not that I had very solid foundation or lot of cash, but it was still planned”, says Agarwal. PriceBaba is currently bootstrapped.
When asked whether he thinks whether offline retailers are able to give better pricing Agarwal strongly points out that it is. In fact, he also points out that we will notice that even with 7.5% extra VAT in Maharashtra, prices on PriceBaba are often lower than online. Although there are surplus ecommerce sites growing in India, Agarwal thinks that there are some ecommerce sites that are still discounting products, the larger ones, of course, aren’t doing that as it seems, but they might be burning in delivery costs / Cash on delivery (COD). “With the onset of e-commerce boom, consumers find it easy to search prices from online stores. However, most of them still end up buying mobile phones locally. We provide unique intelligence about the offline market to the consumers. With over 230 million mobiles phones expected to be sold in India this year alone, we have a large market at hand”, he added.