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.
You 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!