LocalPrice: ‘Comparison Shopping for Services’

picture-31I spoke last week with Rob Shields the founder of new home services site LocalPrice.com. The site is only active in Atlanta right now but has broader geographic ambitions. It uses a product comparison shopping metaphor and  seeks to provide detailed side-by-side comparison data to consumers.

Here’s an example comparison for granite countertop providers:

picture-30

These detailed data come directly from the businesses themselves. LocalPrice is thus going against conventional thinking somewhat in relying on local businesses to provide considerable amounts of information to the site. Shields said there was really no other way to get this information reliably. 

Previously, on the old Dex site, users were able to check boxes beside business listings and see a similar side-by-side grid display. That feature has been eliminated with the redesign and relaunch. I also remember the feature on a previous version of Superpages, although it’s not available today. It may exist on other services or home improvement sites, but I’m  unaware of it. 

LocalPrice currently has no vendor/provider reviews or consumer ratings. Shields told me this is the most requested feature by those using the new site and that they will be working on adding them, in the future, either directly or via links to third party sites. 

LocalPrice hopes to bring a great deal more information than is customarily available on service providers online, including and especially price, to the surface and enable better “apples to apples” comparisons between them. 

I didn’t anticipate writing two back-to-back posts about new home improvement sites that use price as central feature and marketing angle to consumers. ServiceLive uses a quasi reverse auction model and LocalPrice simply tries to offer more transparency to consumers around pricing. 

Shields has introduced LocalPrice at a challenging time for startups, but he’s doing something valuable and fairly different in the services segment. The site isn’t gimmicky and tries to deliver real information about the cost of services. And price is definitely the right angle for the times.

5 Responses to “LocalPrice: ‘Comparison Shopping for Services’”

  1. Donna Says:

    My son sent me this article. At the present time I live in Myrtle Beach, SC. I move around a lot. It would be great to have this in different cities. Everytime I move I always need pricing information for various businesses and stores. This would be very helpful for people like me.

  2. KB Xiong Says:

    What’s it going to take for the concept to jump to the next level?

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Funding.

  4. Rob Shields: LocalPrice Founder Says:

    You said it, Greg.

    I am not familiar with previous versions of Dex/Superpages sites, but I would suggest that comparisons may be of limited use without pricing. For instance, if folks are comparing local movers A & B and only A is licensed, carries cargo insurance and accepts credit cards, A is the clear choice. But this an unrealistic comparison if it does not include the relative prices of A & B. When folks find that A is $90/hour and B is $70/hour, they must decide whether they are willing to pay for A’s premium service.

    To your point that conventional wisdom suggests avoiding collecting extensive information from businesses, many sites do request that businesses create profiles, e.g. Google, Yahoo, Yelp, SuperPages. The difference with LocalPrice is the type of information we require for listings. It is more tailored to each category, focused on objective details and designed to enable side by side comparisons with other providers.

    Thanks for the write up, Greg! We really appreciate you giving new guys like us the level of exposure your blog brings.

  5. HelpHive Aims to be ‘Yelp for Home Services’ « Screenwerk Says:

    […] there have also been two recent site launches that I’m aware of: ServiceLive (from Sears) and LocalPrice, which is in Atlanta only. And now […]

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