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Nifti gives consumers the data to move beyond price alerts to price transparency

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We all know that the prices on items for sale online can change dramatically over time, and a number of startups have attempted to provide consumers with simple ways to get price alerts when items they like go on sale. But most of these sites just email you when your item drops in price — they might not give you the full data on how that price has changed.

Nifti, a new company launching on Thursday, allows consumers to get alerts on prices, but what’s maybe even more interesting is that it lets you check out the price history for a ton of differet items across the web. Consumers can just add the Nifti bookmark to a page, and then track the price of that item from their Nifti dashboard, where you can see just how crazy pricing really is.

For example, here’s a shirt that someone saved that’s fluctuated widly in price over the past month. The red line shows the price the person wants to purchase the shirt for, and the green shows how the price has actually changed:

Nifti price tracking

The company’s co-founders said originally they just planned to create a site with traditional price alerts, but they found that consumers kept coming back to check how certain items were doing — they actually wanted to track items over time. So they added charts and graphs to show this data, letting you set the price you want to purchase the item for, and then seeing how it fluctuates. Setting a price alert is as simple as adding the Nifti bookmark to your browser, and adding an item when you see it on the web.

“They kept coming back just because they were curious how things were behaving,” co-founder Nathan Sharp told me.

They said customers are primarily using the site to track big ticket items like furniture or home improvement items, since tracking a price over time lends itself to something you don’t need immediately (in other words, it’s not the place for impulse shopping.) Even if you’re not interested in tracking your own items, it’s kind of entertaining to check out the company’s “browse” page, where you can see some of the wildest shifts.

Users can also purchase the items from Nifti, which makes money through an affiliate model on some of its partner sites. The company has $800,000 in seed funding from investors including Google Ventures.

“The team at Nifti has created a platform to bring consumers and merchants together in a way that makes the most of this increase in pricing awareness,” the Boston-based Rich Miner of Google Ventures said in a press release regarding the also Boston-based team.

6 Responses to “Nifti gives consumers the data to move beyond price alerts to price transparency”

  1. Cheryl

    I like that you can browse existing items that have reduced in price, making Nifti a great initial search ttool. I think this will be great for big purchases.

  2. Wow that is so cool, it will make it so much easier than checking all the sites daily for the best prices. I can just tag what I have on my wish list and then wait the price to drop. Everyone is in to trying to save some money if they can wait a week or so for the price to drop even on a different shop. Hopefully they have a way to add the cost of shipping for the different sites.

  3. breenies

    I LOVE this site. As an avid shopper who’s not that adept with technology, I feel the site is super easy to use and totally helpful. I used it to track a couple of things for my apartment and saved tons of time and money. I even get a weekly update that shows how the prices I’m eyeing has fluctuated in price. I think anyone in the market for anything should check it out!

  4. DYI-er34

    Wow, what a great website. Unlike other shopping websites it is so easy to use and manage. I also love the layout. I already have it bookmarked and can tell I will be using it all the time! What a time saver, instead of checking on prices everyday on items I love, it tracks it for me! I have already received an e-mail from them tracking a dress I found today! YESSS

  5. defendingpandora

    Interesting concept, similar to how you can track the price of plane tickets on Kayak. I wonder if the company would consider a comparison tracking report. For example, if I were trying to decide between two similar sofas, I might be more likely to buy the one that suddenly drops in price compared to the other.

    I can also see this being a valuable service to company marketing departments. The data given could show how long the consideration time is from initial track request to purchase or tracking shut off. There’s a lot of valuable data here–if Nifti’s goal is transparency, would they be willing to share this info with retailers for a mutual gain (sales for companies, better prices for consumers)?

    • Hi, DefendingPandora! Nathan, co-founder of Nifti here.

      Thanks for your suggestions and considerations. We’re definitely working on a user-friendly way to compare products across stores, one of the most requested features that we have in the works. Anything to make it easier for you to make the very best decision in buying something.

      As for the data we’re collecting, we think that there’s a ton of potential for win-win arrangements between shoppers and merchants, but we’re also committed to sharing only the data that you the shopper want to release. Right now on Nifti, your data is used by one company in one way: by Nifti to alert you when a product drops to your desired price. As the Nifti platform evolves, we’ll offer shoppers new ways to share their preference profiles with merchants for mutual gain, but always with the ability to keep personal information private and always in the complete control of the shopper.