4 months ago I quit my job.
2 months after that,
I put all of my stuff into a storage unit in New Jersey.
and then last month,
I drove 3,100 miles across the country
(camping along the way).
(I was with my significant-other, Atul... and truth be told, he did most of the driving.)
And we've set up shop in beautiful San Francisco.
And this was all because of an idea that we had 8 months prior...
The idea has been in the back of my head for quite some time now. Because, over the years I've evolved into quite the thrifty shopper ...Mostly because I wind up ruining (and/or) losing everything of mine that’s expensive. (Like when I nicked my white leather Coach purse with a blue ballpoint pen... or when I lost my Ralph Lauren sunglasses in the ocean at Myrtle Beach... or even YESTERDAY when I melted my brand new silk-ish blouse with an iron that was turned up too high... the fate of expensive purchases is generally pretty bleak when they are in my hands.) And it's this inability of mine (to take care of the stuff that I love) that has lead to the development of my “super-hero-esque” ability to bargain-shop.
Buying things on sale is mostly a waiting game. For example, that cool RETRO-JADE winter coat (see below) that I like from J.Crew is $325 right now ...But if I wait until February, that sucker will most likely be mine for the low price of around 150 bucks.
I've found the key to successful deal-hunting... is keeping my options open. I generally try to watch three different versions of the same type of item... (In the example below, I'm watching 3 cool trench coats.)
And as soon as one of them drops within my price range,>
I’ll pounce on it.
Because if I wait too long (after it goes on sale)...
my size will be long since gone.
the remaining colors will be something gross:
(see example below)
Over the years I’ve refined my DEAL-HUNTING technique.
And it is as follows:
But in all seriousness...
The entire process is a super big pain in the butt.
So, as the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention...
Let me give you the back-story to all of this... It began about 8 months ago when Atul, was starting to get bored with his day job. He was a computer scientist at NEC labs working on data center networks & cloud computing (whatever the heck that is)... so it’s easy to see how the boredom set in. :) Anyway, after he came to terms with the fact that he needed to move on to something more interesting, he quit his job and began brainstorming about the next big idea that would change the world.
Right around the time that Atul began his quest for an epiphany... I was embarking on a quest of my own. And that was to buy a new watch. I had my sites set on a Nooka watch that was originally $300. Well... after a few diligent weeks of watching this item... the prices dropped and I bought that puppy for 75 bucks!
Can you believe it??
Yeah, neither could I. It was some of my best work yet.
These three events happened to coincide.
- My annoyance with the roundabout, multi-step, time-consuming “deal-hunting-process”
- My excitement over my brand new watch (that I saved a whopping 225 bucks on) and
- Atul’s quest for the answer to life, the universe, and everything... *42*
And it was this combination of events... that led to our big idea.
Essentially, we’ve built an online service
that will simplify all of the chores of online shopping...
And here's what we're doing.
Imagine using this for Christmas shopping... you can bookmark all of your gift ideas in one place! You can also set up price notifications for these gifts (at the prices you're wanting to pay for them), If the price drops to the level you want, we'll let you know right when it happens! It's also a great place for you to compare items ACROSS stores.
There are LOTS of possibilities... and we can guarantee that you'll save both money AND time with your holiday shopping this year.
So... where are we in our quest for better shopping? We've built Shelf, and we support 12 stores (Express, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, J.Crew, Abercrombie, New York and Company, Ann Taylor, The Loft... just to name a few). We're adding 2-3 stores every week, so not to worry if you don't see your store.
Today, is the first day that we're opening up the doors to Shelf and I would like to personally invite you all to try it! You'll be the very first set of users on a product that will hopefully go down in shopping history. :)
And, as promised... there's a pretty hefty give-away here... There are two ways that you can win one of the THREE $75 gift certificates to the Fat Quarter Shop...
1. We would like for you all to try out the site, beta-getshelf.herokuapp.com/... If Shelf sounds like something you'd like to use, now is your chance to help us shape it into a product you'd love. Tell us the stores that you want us to add next... send us a list of features that you want to see added. Tell us what confused you... and what parts you loved. We want to hear everything! So, go over to the site and sign up as a new user, then, just play around with it. When you get done, stop back here and drop us a quick comment about what you think!
2. IF YOU'RE NOT A SHOPPER, don't worry, you can still win one of the gift certificates! I'm sure that you know some people who like to shop online... Please tell them about Shelf and try your hardest to get them to sign up. You could also post about it on your Facebook wall maybe? :) When you're done, just drop us a quick comment to say that you've done your best to help out the shoppers of the world.
And... you never know... this little website app might get passed around... from quilter to quilter... and take off like the next Facebook! Ha! Well, I can dream, right?
We'll announce the winners on the 15th! And we'll be taking comments up through the 14th. So tell your friends!
This entry is already WAY too long, sorry about that, but let me finish by thanking you for stopping by! My mission is to make Shelf an amazingly useful product, and I sincerely feel that if you try it out, you're going to love it!!
If you missed the link to Shelf... Click here. You can also "Like" Shelf on Facebook here (because we'll be offering MANY more free-fabric-incentives in the weeks to come!)
P.S. Shelf doesn't work on iPad yet. This is next on our to-do list.
P.P.S. Some of you have said that when you sign up through Facebook, it pops up a message about logging you into "Simple-Journey-2558". We're not sure how to change this! Ha! But that is in fact Shelf.
P.P.P.S. You'll need to click on the Sign Up button no matter what, if its your first time on Shelf. If you've already signed up, then click on Login.