Innovation That Matters

Diving for deals: reverse auctions


zeeDive is a reverse auction e-tailer. “The longer you wait, the more you save.” The company doesn’t hold stock. Like eBay, it facilitates auctions between individual buyers and sellers, and the website displays articles for sale in a large variety of categories. If a shopper sees something they want, there are two ways to get it. Or in zeeDive’s lingo, to catch the dive. They can click the ‘Catch it now’ button to catch a dive instantly, at its current price. Or, for an altogether more entertaining experience, they can set a catch price, the amount they would be willing to pay for an item. If the dive goes low enough, the catch is theirs. The interface cleverly plays up the sense of excitement: an orange line travels down the dive bar, showing real-time price changes. The visuals are especially lively for ‘flash dives’: hot items that are only on sale for a few hours, and whose prices drop every second. While so-called Dutch auctions are routinely used to sell flowers and US treasury notes, they’re a novel approach to buying and selling online. Fun, feverish bargain-hunting, errr… diving… could make them as appealing to consumers as regular online auctions. ZeeDive is currently in limited private beta (only available for invitees), but set to be fully accessible by November – just in time for the holiday season.



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