Qeemat.com has great potential

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A brand new startup Qeemat.com launched in Public Beta over the weekend, and they have a pretty promising idea that can grow into something very meaningful.

This is a community-powered service where people can fact-check market prices from each other. So lets say I’m buying a laptop from a store – I can ask the Qeemat.com community whether or not the price I am getting is fair, and maybe you could tell me if there’s a better price out there. Over time this could become an interesting reference site for prices.

Pretty original!

This is the type of service that uses the network effect – the more people in the community, the better it will be. So go quickly to their site and sign up and help build this community so that we can start helping each other out.

Now for the potential part – since they’re a new beta I’m sure they might have one or more of these things thought of, but here’s my initial thoughts:

I wont go into detail on their interface – again because of the beta – except to say that visitors should really feel like they’re a part of a bigger community… the right experience is crucial for adoption here.

One of the top-priority features for me would be to tie this into my phone – maybe integrating twitter with this, because I’ll remember this service only when I’m in a shop actually buying something. There’s a pretty low chance that I’d come back home, go online to a specialized site, ask for a price, wait for an answer etc… maybe not for the type of goods up on the website yet anyway. Getting an instant price-check from the community would be a pretty good feature to have.

Secondly, its important to choose the initial set of products for pricing carefully to set the community off in the right direction. E.g. I saw "Haleem" as a product there and I’m not sure if thats the right use for this – think of things where people might want a quick price-check… atleast initially anyway, and then let people decide where to take it from there.

Finally, just a thought on the apparent business model. My view is that advertising may not be the best thing to bank on for this venture, simply because activity on your site isnt related to advertiser interest. A better idea might be to use the data you’re getting from the market and see who finds that valueable (prices of used-goods in the market across different points in the city… surveys / statistics of retail shop pricing behavior and trends etc.)

Good luck! Let me know when you hit 1000 contributors.

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  • Thanks for your comments Osama. We’ll definitely look into your suggestions. And inshAllah you will find better service from Qeemat! =)

  • Very nice idea and I like its simplicity in implementation.
    I am sure you guys will not just stop over here.

    Best of luck

  • i was just about to come say the mobile experience thing is crucial in such a venture.

    in essense, i believe this service to be another “Answers” service, but specialized into one area (prices). One of the crucial aspects of an answers service is the availability of experts or rather guru’s in our case.

    who is qeemat’s expert? The community? peers? people ‘i’ know or people who have just signed up?

    the question to consider would be, who would i be more receptive in taking a price quote from? and then build that pipe to enable me.

  • But do you really need experts for pricing info? You just need people out there on the fringe

  • my meaning of ‘expert’ was anyone with the knowledge of the product, in this case, people who have already been involved in buying a similar product.

    also, i visited the site, and honestly, it seems like a giant rate card rather than a price comparision shop.

    for one thing, it gives a single price for each product?????? seriously?

    i know, as a buyer, that the same item can cost anywhere between a range of prices… where’s the support for that?

    secondly, and this is just a single case, do we really need to have the prices for each and every variant of a product? e.g. 10 types of hot-dogs?

    maybe i’m wrong here, but i was thinking more along the lines of “this is how much a regular fridge should cost” rather than “this is how much a > fridge with xyz product features costs from abc shop”….

    the first is helpful, because it helps me set a range, the second is useless unless i’m specifically going to buy from a specific shop, in which case, i’d probably be better off getting prices from them directly because then i’ll know the current day’s price.

  • @Mansoor – Thank you for your feedback. We’ll be launching many other features (like comparison, search, range, etc.) very soon. By the way, users can post multiple prices for every item.

  • Hello there.

    First of all I had the same idea in my mind but I am late :) but anyway I can always modify the existing one to make it mine hehe (no ofense plz that was a joke)

    Well. I think I liked the idea and the way you have started that seems ok but I feel that you have launched it a bit early. Its simple but its not of any real use at the moment so you might not lose interest from the user (as in my case, I requested for the price but didnt get any as yet (in an hours time!)

    The second thing is I didnt get much out of share a price idea! How would you use that infromation? How would you validate?

    But keep it up! and I have hell of suggestions and I would LOVE to give them to you! (as it was my idea :S) They are so many that I cant simply type them here :) now or ever! because that would require some direct communication. I dont know (as I hardly get interest in posting my views) whether its allowed to give such offer. Ignore if thats not allowed!

  • em: you’re welcome! anytime.

    idrees: i dont get why you think posting your views is not allowed? Could you please elaborate on that a bit?

  • @Idress – Yup, we really need to build up a good initial product set so as to attract users, as stated by Osama too. You may post your views here or feel free to drop us a note at: support@qeemat.com =)

  • Mansoor:

    I just meant that inviting someone for personal discussion might not be allowed on this forum! other than that I am a bit lazy in typying all the stuff (please trust me on this) I hardly post anywhere its just that one of my friend whom I had discussed my idea, sent me this post today so I felt like replying today.


    I dont know how much time would I get to discuss this but if I plan to work on something similar, may be we can think of dividing the work and have it implemented together or so…

    but since I said I have many ideas (which infact are not more than 4-5 :)) I would like to say that you should think on this ground that people should be able to know the price of their own goods along with the goods that are available in the market! I am talking about second hand goods information or ‘evaluation’. Similarly you should talk to some hafeez center dealer to provide you the stamp that whatever quote you will tell people for mobiles for example, would be atleast verified or coming from one reasonable shop. Think of this way if you can let the user to see and compare prices from various shops, that would add great value to the service you are giving to my understandin..

  • Hmm, I’ll definitely discuss it with my team. Current version is very simple, we have planned many new features with time. You may drop an email on my addy so that I can get back to you if we plan to do something together =)

  • idrees: well, in that case! i think its a great start that you’ve decided to contribute to the green and white platform. welcome!

    the thing about having an informal discussion and whether its allowed (osama correct me if im wrong) is that as long as it pertains to the topic of the post, its allowed. you can be as informal as you’d like, no problems. infact, its sometimes these informal discussions that breed the best of ideas.

    here’s hoping your ideas either 1)make qeemat better, or 2)get you and em together on this venture!

  • Interesting idea, I can see the potential in this.

    I used your site for good 15 mins (you will never get any user looking at your site for more than 1 min in its current state) ..

    From UI perspective here are my thoughts:
    – Why don’t I see any products right on the front page of qeemat.com?
    – I don’t like digging for information, your site doesn’t make me stick around and browse around.
    – Do I really need to register? Can I submit my contributions without registration? And If i register what benefits do I get?
    – Oh your logo.. a better typeface would do wonders for you 😉

    Overall you will need to tweak your UI so that anyone can feeel comfy around it. I am sure you guys have already thought about it but as I said earlier I see potential in this idea, if executed well. Just my 2cents.

    If you need more info on my experience feel free to contact me, I will be glad to provide any feedback.

  • 15 mins? well I have to admit that I could only stay there for 20 mins :)

    UI? I think its pretty obvious that it has to be drastically changed. I think UI is not that big issue for now as compared to the business model. You should have a business model that looks so simple that anyone would start thinking to implement but should be so difficult that only you can implement that. This would require some good minds who really understand the local users psychology.

  • @ob – I totally agree with you over the layout issue. We were waiting for few sections to be filled up before we could put up things on the front and I must say, so far the response has been more than what we expected. Anyway, we’ll be tweaking the layout very soon =)

  • Idrees: IMHO no matter how awesome your business model is if your application/service is not usable then it all goes to waste.

    EM: also you should work on aggregation technology. So that you can aggregate data from other sites that are doing ecommerce in Pak.. 😉

  • ob:

    I didnt mean the UI is not imporant but I assuemed that atleast one should be able to work on that and make it such that atleast it assures that the idea wont just go wasted!

  • ok, you guys had patience, i couldn’t stay on for more than a minute :$ and the first thing which struck me too was.. why is it so hard to find information here! plus, they wrote a search feature was implemented, but in the couple of seconds i looked around the site, it skipped my glance…

    aggregation technology would make it more of a price ‘comparision’ instead of a price ‘advisory’ service no?

    btw, em… which one is it? comparision or advisory??

  • Wonderful Mussu! I love the site and I wish you and the team all the best for it!

  • Osama, you are underestimating the number of people who are looking for “the” place to find good Haleem. More conversations in Lahore revolve around Haleem than the new Mac for example. Haleem is the way to go, seriously.

  • i think try to get pics attached for the products..some people aren’t sure which one to buy or hvn’t exactly”seen” the product..makes it much easier..for me atleast..difficult i know.. but not impossible im sure..

  • ordinary effort!
    it would be interesting to see some products features comparisons as well as user reviews on the product, i could see a demand for such system.

  • I didn’t read all comments so my suggestions can overlap others’ too!

    * I prefer no Ads on home page or at least first preview of site

    * people are interested in magic .. even they know there is no magic! So add magic into your site.

    * are you not facing H&E problem? try to find a solution for this….

  • i am confident if they managed it well it will make many $$…..

    and yeah you should use the functionality of approving user’s review on products… so no wrongs prices or spam will be there or even self marketing

  • Starting an idea is easy but it is really difficult to run it properly. Let us see how i will manage this idea so i request you all to pray for me so that i can run this idea in a good manner.

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