martes, 25 de marzo de 2014

Compare Local Service Prices With Centzy

The Spark of Genius Series is made possible by MicrosoftBizSpark. Each post highlights a unique feature of a startup. If you'd like your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: Centzy

Quick Pitch: Centzy is an online platform that provides rates for local services.

Genius Idea: By showing specific price-points alongside reviews, Centzy saves you the trouble of calling around to find the best rate.

Choosing a hair salon or dry cleaning service based on quality is easy — with the amount of user reviews available online, you never have to chance a bad visit to a new business. Finding actual rates online, however, proves a bit more challenging. After all, "$" and "$$" aren't very specific.

That's where Centzy comes in. The new price comparison site allows you to see prices for local services alongside reviews from Yelp, Citysearch and more. The site is the first local search site that shows both prices and reviews.

"Less than 10% of local service businesses post their prices online, so consumers who want to compare prices have to call around or ask friends to figure it out," CEO Jay Shek tells Mashable. "We've built a proprietary workforce of phone agents who call every business for you and collect prices and store hours over the phone."

In other words, Centzy does the dirty work for you. Save yourself the hassel of calling around for quotes on an oil change and instead pop over to Centzy, which will tell you who's the cheapest, as well as the most efficient.

The company originated when Shek and co-founder Jeremy Clemenson began to wonder why it was so difficult to track down prices for the services they use in real life, on a regular basis. The two set out to create a site that made comparing rates for local services just as easy as finding flight rates on Kayak, or book prices on Amazon.

"[Our users] are savvy consumers who care about finding great values in their city and appreciate how new websites like Centzy can help them do that," says Shek.

They're also on the move. The site is currently web-based only, but based on the amount of mobile traffic it's received, a native mobile app is likely to be introduced in the near future.

Would you use Centzy to compare service prices? Let us know in the comments.

Series presented by Microsoft BizSpark
Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible byMicrosoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives software startups three-year access to Microsoft software development tools, marketing visibility to help promote their business and a connection to the BizSpark ecosystem, giving them access to investors, advisors and mentors. There is no cost to join, so if your startup is privately owned, less than three years old and generates less than U.S. $1M in annual revenue, sign up today.

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