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New website to change the way you shop

New website set to change the way you shop for services.

When young entrepreneur David White launched his online business from the kitchen of his Hamilton home earlier this year, he had a goal of having 100 Hamilton businesses onboard by October 2006. He has more then exceeded his own expectations. QuoteIt now has over 22,000 business listings and is already New Zealand wide.

White describes QuoteIt as "a business directory on steroids". QuoteIt is a website that allows members to send out free and anonymous quotes to a wide range of service providers. White explains "if you are after business cards for example, simply visit our site and fill out an online quote request form. This is sent to all the suppliers in your region who will then reply with their best price. You have your own personal page in the site where you can view all of your quotes received. Here you can compare prices and review feedback from prior QuoteIt users before getting in touch with your preferred supplier. QuoteIt does all your pre shopping for you."

The site is free for buyers and generates revenue by charging a small fee for each quote that a supplier chooses to answer. "Businesses love QuoteIt because the leads come to them. It is a great tool for all businesses, big and small, as they all have the same opportunity to quote for a job”.

With over 180 categories, there are a wide range of services available. You can find an accountant, price up your next DIY job, or even plan your wedding.

Online shopping is growing at a rapid rate in New Zealand. Telecom is pouring millions into online store Ferrit who are focusing on selling new products. White believes that there is an untapped market when it comes to pre-shopping for services, as people are getting frustrated with the lack of relevant results via search engines. "When you do your pre-shopping via a search engine you still have to make contact with each business to get info on prices and you have to do a lot of searching to find what you’re looking for. QuoteIt gives you one central point for doing it all; you just fill in one form and wait for the replies”.

The website itself took over 12 months to develop and a number of major updates are being released soon. White said he knew QuoteIt was a good idea once other people started to copy his site. "We have already placed a court injunction against one company who were blatantly copying our site, and another similar site is being launched this month. There isn’t too much you can do about it but the important thing is that we were first to market and it will be a lot harder for another player coming in. With the internet it is all about being original”.

The biggest frustration has been having limited resources and trying to single handedly answer the streams of emails that come in daily. "I am in the process of taking on three full time staff members and relocating to offices in the Hamilton CBD. The long term plan is to launch an Australian version of the site and to try to tap into their larger population base. If the site continues to grow at its current rate this could be as early as next year”.


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