Elliot Moskow formed Pricefalls, LLC in June 2008, where he serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Elliot conceptualized Pricefalls to address the growing frustration with existing markets, which he was witnessing among his peers. He is responsible for business strategy and development as well as asset management and investor relations.
Pricefalls is an online marketplace offering consumers great deals and the ability to efficiently set budgets while shopping online. For businesses, Pricefalls offers a number of services including nation-wide Marketplace Listings and Sales, Business Branding and Logo Generation, Social Media Marketing, and e-commerce channel distribution.
MO: What is the concept behind a ‘Dutch Auction’ and why did you incorporate it into your business model?
Elliot: The Pricefalls Marketplace launched in Beta in September 2009 with a straightforward concept – to provide online shoppers the best deals by allowing prominent e-retailers to sell without the burden of excessive commissions. The Pricefalls platform has been built in house from the ground up and strives to offer an entertaining shopping experience and to provide a more business friendly alternative to Amazon and eBay.
Pricefalls has adopted a “descending price” (Dutch) auction model, and modified it to meet the demands of the online auction market. We call it “Gravity Shopping”. Here, product prices fall over time until the product is purchased, reaches someone’s bid, or falls to the lowest offering price (the “Price Floor”), at which point the product is taken off the market. During the auction shoppers are free to purchase items at the current offering price (the “Catch it Now” price), or bid on items by setting an “If it Hits” price, which automatically finalizes the transaction if the offering falls to that price.
Although the name “Pricefalls” refers to the descending price as the basis for the business model, recently the Company has expanded the platform to allow for a substantial amount of fixed price listings. This transition was made in order to provide an alternative for merchants who like selling in the traditional format and to account for customers who prefer to purchase products at flat prices. The ratio of Dutch auctions to fixed price listings is always changing and is determined by the merchants selling products on the platform.
MO: What was your biggest challenge during the development phase of Pricefalls?
Elliot: In my opinion, the most difficult challenge to overcome during development was figuring out a way to get eyes on our products. One mistake that we made was our early decision to contract a P.R. agency for our public relations and marketing needs. Although the utilization of P.R. firms may work well for large corporations, it was not the best approach for Pricefalls as a young start-up. Not only was the consulting extremely costly, the return on investment was minimal. It became very clear, very quickly, that contracting out our marketing and public relations was not the most efficient avenue of stimulating brand awareness and it was critical for us to find a new approach.
We decided to cut the P.R. firm we were working with and have since transitioned to an in-house marketing approach. Not only have we managed to save a ton of money, we have seen returns well over and above that which was produced by the agency we were previously working with. With the growth of the Internet, it has become increasingly easier to contact both new and existing users, as well as media personnel, on a one on one basis. Rather than paying a company to do our outreach for us, we decided to utilize the numerous free resources on the web in order to communicate directly with the people we want to reach out to. We have found this to be a much more effective technique for establishing the Pricefalls.com brand and attaining press coverage.
MO: How have you built the network of retailers who want to be associated with Pricefalls?
Elliot: We do most of our outreach on a one on one basis. We call the businesses directly and explain the benefits of using Pricefalls. Aside from the affordable commissions, one primary reason businesses come on board is because we make it easy.
We understand that in order to recruit businesses to sell with Pricefalls, the process needs to be simple. On Pricefalls, there’s no need to task your tech team with crazy integration protocols like category mapping and feed creation. We make it painless for businesses to list and maintain products. We can accept any of the product feeds that the business already generates for its other marketing channels and our systems can do the rest.
MO: How does your personal shopping service work?
Elliot: We make this simple too. Customers can call us at (866) 503-9799 with information about a product they are looking for. A Pricefalls representative will then find the best possible price for the customer. If the product is not listed on Pricefalls, we will direct the customer to a great deal from a different reputable retailer that offers the product.
MO: Why is it so important for you to offer a level of one-on-one service and how have your customers responded to such personalized service so far?
Elliot: Focusing on personal customer interaction and stressing communication between merchants and consumers are two key objectives at Pricefalls. We pride ourselves on offering personal customer support, and provide not only an email address, but also live phone support and real-time Live Chat to our customers. Unlike other marketplaces, Pricefalls allows shoppers to communicate freely with the businesses that list on the marketplace. Our objective is to unite an online marketplace with a social media outlet and to make it easier for customers to get the answers they really want. We provide multiple site features that allow customers to contact sellers directly and even provide seller phone numbers and direct email addresses. Customers have often praised these ideals and enjoy the convenience of being able to quickly reach knowledgeable people that can assist them with their inquiries.
MO: How you plan to keep innovating Pricefalls to correspond with consumers ever changing needs?
Elliot: With the Internet changing so quickly, we’re constantly building out new applications in order to satisfy customer needs. We have already developed a marketplace that comprises of both Top 500 Internet Retailers as well as smaller independently owned retail businesses, and we can provide shoppers with some of the best deals on the web.
Our company culture is growing stronger every day, as it is shaped by interactions with our user base, mixed in with every unique perspective that our diverse bunch of employees brings to the table. We will continue to develop Pricefalls with the best interest of our merchants and customers in mind, while shaping an educational and exciting work environment.
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