DENVER -- Wouldn't it be nice if you could just name the price for your next television, microwave or pair of shoes?
That's the idea behind a Denver-based website and app that promises to save consumers 10 to 30 percent off the lowest online price.
When Broomfield resident Rick Willard shops online ("Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist.") he looks for the best deals on big-ticket buys.
So, when he checked out a website called Greentoe that promises to let consumers name their price, he was actually a little bummed.
"Little did I realize the exact microwave I had bought the week before was on the site for about 20 percent less right from the start," said Willard. "So, I guess that was my lesson, so to speak."
The idea behind the Greentoe app and site is simple: Enter the price you want to pay for the product. They send that offer to their partner retailers. If a retailer likes the offer you made, they sell you the product and ship it to your door with free shipping.
Joe Marrapodi, Greentoe's co-founder and CEO, said that often retailers are not allowed to advertise prices below a certain amount. However, they are willing and able to sell the product below that amount.
Greentoe's price meter lets customers set their price, but truth: you're probably not going to get anything in the red zone.
On average, though, Marrapodi said that customers save about 15 percent off the lowest online price, but the savings increase on more expensive items, such as TVs, cameras and appliances.
"If you're buying something for $20, Amazon has captured that market, but they aren't doing a good job at actually selling products that are a little bit more expensive," said Marrapodi. "Last year, during Black Friday, we beat Amazon out about 96 percent of the time because we're able to get the customer a better price."
A pair of leather shoes got Rick Willard to put Greentoe to the test. The lowest online price was listed at $90, so he bid $45.
"Somebody countered me at $75, and I kind of inched up a little bit closer, and they inched down a little bit further, and eventually it was kind of meet in the middle," said Willard.
After a couple of days of counteroffers, he paid $60 for those shoes, saving 30 percent and feeling inspired. He is planning to remodel his basement soon and can already imagine the savings on a home theater system.
Greentoe launched five years ago and moved to Denver from San Francisco this year. The company has more than a hundred partner retailers.
Right now, the company only offers 10 categories of goods, such as cameras and appliances, but it is planning to expand to 20 categories next year and eventually expand to services.