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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 03, 2012

Tool allows shoppers to estimate pricing for home projects

A new tool may change the way shoppers enter into renovation projects for their home. From Redbeacon, the tool allows potential home renovation customers to estimate the cost of a project before entering into an agreement with a contractor or supplier.

by Kristina Knight

Home renovation is a hot area for most consumers. From creating usable outdoor space to renovation an out-dated kitchen or bathroom, those DIY home project shows have a lot of consumers thinking about renovating their space. Some will go it alone, but many choose to work with contractors, and the new Redbeacon tool offers those consumers transparency when it comes to paying for the project.

From a contractor or supplier's point of view, the tool could make it simpler for in-market consumers to find local businesses for renovation projects.

"The home-services industry doesn't have much price transparency," said Anthony Rodio, CEO of Redbeacon. "For many home projects, consumers spend about two hours comparing prices and risk overpaying up to 77%. Our Price Estimator sorts data from more than 70,000 price quotes for matches in your area. Homeowners get comprehensive local price estimates to decide if their home plans can become a reality."

Here's how it works: a consumer selects a category, for example 'plumbing' and 'kitchen' if they want to replace a sink. The Redbeacon Price Estimator calculates average, high and low prices from local kitchen plumbing quotes and returns the results to the consumer. From there, the consumer requests a service to book an appointment; the prices can be shared with friends or family at this point, as well.

"Homeowners used to have to spend hours finding and contacting pros before being able to decide if they'll be able to move forward on a project," said Nate Gentner, director of product management at Redbeacon. "Now you can learn how much virtually any home service will cost in your area - quickly and for free."

Plans are in the works for an iPhone app, as well. The service is currently available in 13 US cities including Atlanta, Portland, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

Tags: ecommerce, home improvement, home repair, local advertising, local marketing, Redbeacon

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