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JellyFish launches Smack Friday 24 hour auctions

JellyFish is a relatively new startup that makes its way in the busy comparison shopping niche competing with the behemoths like Shopping.com, Shopzilla and PriceGrabber. The revenue model they use is not unique however is quite different from most of the other guys and in general works in favor of consumers.

Smack FridayYou might have already heard about Smack Deals that JellyFish is doing every day at 1pm Eastern time. They sell a limited number of items at a full reverse price auction. So far the auctions have been a great disappointment for me. I have missed every single one! The time falls on 12pm here in Chicago area and that is the time I usually spend with my friends eating out.

Well guess what... they heard my prayers. Next Friday, November 24, JellyFish is launching Smack Friday 24 hour auctions. Starting 6am and for the next 24 hours they will sell one product every 2 hours in their usual reverse price auction format. To spice up the event they are even throwing a special Playstation 3 offer that day. That just sounds awesome!!! I already speculated if I should spend Black Friday at home in my previous post. Now I have an extra excuse to do so!

Not so fast cowboy. Let's get my left part of the brain involved into decision making. Are the deals JellyFish catering us really worth looking into? Let's examine their past deals archive (you need to sign up to see it). Sony Hard Drive camcorder was the one I really got upset about when I learned I missed it. Let us see if I should be.

According to, huh, JellyFish - the price comparison engine that is - there are currently 23 stores offering the product with the lowest price being $474 (before the cash back). According to PriceGrabber and Shopzilla the lowest price is $449 (huh?). If I bought the camera on November 9 then I would have paid $480 (the lowest JellyFish price back then) and my cash back (which averaged around $175 that day) would be locked out for the next 2 months (that is their policy to prevent cashing out and returning the item). Meanwhile 2-3 months later the prices for Sony would fall down and though the levels would likely stay above $305 (the final price after cash back) they may well reach $370-$380 as the new camcorder models roll out.

So how much could I have saved? It is not the whopping $175-$195 they advertise on this page but a more modest $65-$75. Not to say it is very bad but this is a kind of discount that you can generally find if you read forums like FatWallet or SlickDeals.

Another point to consider. As the auctions make more and more buzz on the Internet the deals like free iPOD Nano's they had during the first day will be non existent. In fact the average Smack Deal cash back will likely gradually reduce as more and more people get into the game.

Oh well, let's give JellyFish a credit. The team built an awesome web site with a very stylish user interface and now badly needs new customers. The latest PR stunt is doing just that. Now, should you go and shop out next Friday or should you stay in and enjoy the bit of entertainment that the auctions offer is totally up to you. I am here to help you discover bargains and make educated shopping decisions. So stick around!

One Deal a Day Web Sites Roundup

The “fame and glory” radiated by Woot isn’t going unnoticed. Others have picked up the tab and there are probably more Daily Deal web sites today than there are traditional ones. Here is a brief list of those that I am aware of. Post a comment if you know a web site that I missed.

Dedicated One Deal a Day web sites:

  • Woot is probably the best known one. Their blog is fun to read even if you don’t participate in the auctions. They recently launched a wine section
  • Yugster is another very popular and well designed web site. They offer Second Chance Offer when the original item is sold out.
  • Stootsi lures customers by offering a full refund to the first person to buy a new product that they launch every day at noon (dead as of 06/02/10)
  • WaitYourPrice which I reviewed earlier offers a full Dutch auction with the price going to zero until the items are sold out (dead as of 03/22/07)
  • AtomicShopping is another reverse price auction offering a wide range of items for sale
  • Tanga offers daily deals and games
  • LunarLoot offers a daily offer on electronics
  • SteepAndCheap specializes in outdoor equipment
  • BFIZ offers fine jewelry daily
  • MidnightBox is more a game than a typical deal site. You have to guess what is offered for sale before you know what you are buying. The first person to guess gets a prize.
  • GamesDuJour just launched in December 2006. They sell one downloadable PC game a day at a deep discount
  • BitsDuJour features software for PC, PDA and smartphones. They don’t sell but rather arrange a discount and link you to the vendor
  • MacZot offers software for Apple Mac
  • GoingToday offers gear for musicians
  • Shnoop offers daily deals in general merchandise
  • Dealko offers daily deals on a wide range of products. You get perks like a prize if you guess the “sold out” time. Today every 20th sale was free.
  • ChickChock is another deal of the day site. Their slogan is: One Day. One Chance. One Choice (dead as of 02/15/09)
  • RadCru is a daily deal site for wine lovers
  • DealDotCom with the help of their minions are selling one internet marketing product a day. Useful for people with online presence, blog owners and webmasters

Around the Globe:

  • iBOOD offers an online offer daily and covers most of the Europe
  • Zazz is the oldest Australian One Deal a Day web site
  • CatchOfTheDay has recently joined them with a very similar front page design

Also worth mentioning:

If you feel overwhelmed, here is a helping hand:

  • DODTracker lists a ton of Daily Deal sites and shows details on the current deal for each. With over 50 deals listed it looks like a real time saver

Last updated: 03/11/2008

Reverse Price (Dutch) Auctions

You must have already heard about Smack Deal events that JellyFish is carrying out to lure visitors to their shopping portal. TechCrunch was all over it last Monday. A very cool idea and a neat marketing trick. Bravo JellyFish! Let us look at a couple more web sites that use a similar concept.

WaitForYourPriceWaitYourPrice lunched in July this year by Joshua James — an entrepreneur from North Carolina. It sells a limited quantity of the same items at a price that drops throughout the sale until the inventory is depleted. The items for sale are usually electronics and gadgets. Today’s sale was a Seagate Barracuda SATA 320GB hard drive and the last one sold for $83.68.

Shipping is at flat-rate, free, or calculated with the charges displayed before finalization of the order. WaitYourPrice also has forums where you can discuss current or check out past deals.

The web site looks pretty plain and the forums are not busy at all. It almost seems like Joshua is the only one running the operation.

zeeDivezeeDive sells not one but multiple items with the prices going down as you shop. Most items have a reserved price which limits how low it can go — but some don’t. As I am writing this a 4-Shelf LCD/Audio Cabinet retailed at $349.95 has gone to $0 with no buyer in the view (s/h was $50).

You can buy the item right away or you can set a price and if it falls low enough and no-one buys it before you then the item is yours. Shipping charges are displayed at the item details page.

In general zeeDive looks like a very neat web site with a lot of AJAX and Javascript around the pages. A great idea as well however the prices on electronics (which I was mainly looking at) are not low enough to catch my eye. Need certainly to work on that.




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