There’s no shortage of ambition when you talk to Michael Langer, chief executive of startup StuffBuff. Langer said his big mission to replace existing e-commerce giants like eBay. To do that, the company is taking a more decentralized, social approach to commerce, as shown by two new features.
Both features offer variations on the New York City company’s initial widget, LiveHaggle, where sellers and buyers participate in a live chatroom as part of the auction. Like LiveHaggle, the new widgets can be embedded on personal blogs and other websites, and they also offer integration with Facebook and Twitter.
The first, Blink, went live today. It inverts the traditional auction, where more buyers drive the cost up, and is also a twist on the social shopping concept used by companies like Groupon, where users sign up for deals that are only activated if enough shoppers agree to participate. With Blink, buyers are competing with each other, but they actually watching the price drop as more buyers sign-in to the auction, until the product or products get snatched up.
StuffBuff also plans to demonstrate another widget at the New York Tech Meetup next week, and it should go up right after the demo. It’s called a Tag Sale, and the Langer said it’s basically gives shoppers the ability to “buy it now”.
Getting publishers on-board is a key step toward realizing Langer’s vision of auction widgets everywhere. There’s already serious interest from sellers and publishers, he said, and the company is working hard on the “juggling act” of matching the right products with the right Web content. StuffBuff will unveil an official affiliate product soon, but for now it’s collecting data on how the program should be structured.
Langer has invested $250,000 in StuffBuff.