Wantboards Wants To Change The Way You Shop With A “Reverse eBay”
Los Angeles startup Wantboards wants to disrupt the traditional understanding of commerce by putting the pricing power into the hands of consumers. It’s doing this with a demand-based marketplace where users can post a “Wantboard,” along with the price, condition, and brand of a product they’re looking for. The team then finds sellers who have what they’re looking for, and—if things go well—the process ends with a sale.
“It all started with a little car shopping,” says Wantboards’ Shannon Lotka. “Rudy Marilla first came up with the idea for Wantboards while searching for an offroad SUV for his family. He knew what target price was a ‘good deal’ and questioned why there is no go-to medium for consumers to tell businesses what they want. Wantboards was founded to change the relationship between buyers and sellers, by enabling shoppers to tell businesses exactly what they want, in a completely demand-driven environment.”
What problem is Wantboards solving? “Simply put, everyone wants something and knows what they are willing to pay, but businesses hold the pricing power,” Lotka tells me. “They set prices for their products, and shoppers decide whether or not they want to pay that price. We want to help consumers skip the annoying process of visiting multiple stores or waiting for coupons/sales to get the best deal by letting them post on our platform so we can find them a better deal. We want to facilitate the shift from endless product searching to demand-based buying.”
This model follows the “name your price” and “price matching” trends that have become popular in recent years. But Wantboards takes things even further with a fully demand-driven marketplace that saves time and money for savvy shoppers.
“Sellers will be provided with an ongoing outlet for finding new customers and increasing their inventory turn, allowing them to compete with big-name retailers,” said Lotka. “Our existing buyers and sellers already believe that and we’re just making incremental steps to spread the word to the mass market.”
Some products sold on the platform include Michael Kors watches, Burberry watches, and a Macbook Air—all of which saved buyers between 10 and 48 percent off retail value.
As for the future, the company wants to expand into services and negotiate long-term partnerships with large corporations. “We’re hoping to hit that critical mass sooner than later but anticipate that in two year’s time, we will have expanded our platform to support that type of consumer demand,” says Lotka.