Wednesday, September 2, 2009

SevenSnap: A New Take on Entertainment Shopping

SevenSnap is a new take on entertainment shopping, and no it's not a penny auction site, marking a refreshing change of pace for this blogger who is getting pretty tired of new penny auction sites popping up every day claiming to be the industry leader or exciting and new, when really they're just copying what's already out there.

Not so with SevenSnap, a truly innovative take on entertainment shopping. SevenSnap is an iPhone app (with plans to produce a web-based version later) where users purchase time credits and then use those credits to enter a virtual room with a featured product, such as a MacBook Pro, and other bidders. The price of the item starts falling as soon as someone enters the room (starting at retail) and the speed of decline depends on the number of people in the room - as fast as $100 a minute if the room has many users. The first person to buy gets the item at that price and then the price resets for everyone else in the room.

SevenSnap is a pure price discrimination model where the person with the highest willingness to pay in the room gets the product at whatever their threshold price is. This price must certainly be less than the retail price of the item or else people would just go to their favorite store to buy. I expect there could be some decent deals on SevenSnap but that really depends on the type of people in the room and all it takes is one person who is willing to buy at close to retail to ruin it for everyone else.

The SevenSnap app is not in the app store yet which has led some people to speculate on whether Apple would even approve the program. Apple has been notoriously cloistered about its approval process and created a firestorm of controversy this summer with its decision to block certain Google-developed apps as well as for its re-engineering of iTunes to block the Palm Pre from accessing that platform. I expect SevenSnap looked into the likelihood of Apple approving its app before it went to the trouble of developing it, but with the app store nothing is for certain.

SevenSnap has a cool video demonstration that you should probably watch once or twice.

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