Zeitprice grew out of a bad experience. I took my car to my trusted auto shop. They told me that the rattle I had been hearing was caused by a bad pulley and quoted me $200 to fix it. I took my car home and did a little research about the work they were proposing and it seemed incredibly easy. I bought the part for $20 and called another auto shop to ask how much they would charge to put the pulley in. They did it for 30 bucks.
So how does a $200 repair turn into a $50 repair? Auto repair is rife with price obscurity, that is, customers don’t know what repairs typically cost because they are so unfamiliar with the market. Worse, there is no database of published prices as there are for almost any consumer product.
If you think about it, many services work this way. You rarely know how much you will pay for a haircut or to have your nails done until you are in the salon. Sometimes you don’t know until you are done. You’ve already received the service before you know what you will pay.
Price obscurity is bad for consumers, but some businesses thrive on it. Consider that shop where I took my car. I had been taking my car there for years without realizing I was likely getting hosed every time. Their business counted on consumers being clueless about pricing.
So what is the answer to price obscurity? Price sharing. Customers have the power to share what they pay for services and help future customers. By sharing, what they pay, customers bring out the prices and help everyone get the best price.
Consider another scenario: many people pay full price on Internet service, yet many companies are happy to give a discount if you ask. Most people do not realize they could be paying less because they have no idea what everyone else is paying. This is another case of obscured pricing costing customers. In the case of Internet service, the costs are every month for years.
Zeitprice is committed to saving you money by telling you what your neighbors are paying for services like haircuts, childcare, and auto repairs. We are growing every day to include new services and more prices. As we grow, we hope to serve you better. The end product, we hope is more consumer power, better service, and lower prices.
Join us by contributing what you pay. Our service is totally free, and it depends on real people contributing to our database by filling out a simple form.