Quote your price for tickets and more

Now, start-ups are adding reverse-auctioning platforms. Here are some apps that allow you to quote your own price


So far you’ve been able to book a hotel or a cab on apps—but you haven’t been able to bargain on the price. Now, start-ups are adding reverse-auctioning platforms. Here are some apps that allow you to quote your own price.

Find My Stay

Free

Android, iOS

The app lists hotels from more than 40 cities across India. Select the destination and travel dates and, then, the star category (from two- to five-star options). You then get the option to choose up to five hotels and state what you’re willing to pay—the average price for that category is mentioned to help users decide on a quote. The hotels which accept the quoted price offer a deal, which is valid for 48 hours.

If you are wondering why hotels would be willing to offer rooms at lower prices, the app explains that most of these hotels have 50-55% occupancy rates at certain times of the year and need to maintain their daily expenses.

Ixigo Cabs

Free

Android, iOS

This app brings together intercity and outstation cab aggregators and vendors such as Ola Cabs/Autos, Taxi For Sure, Meru Cabs, Easy Cabs (Carzonrent), Mega Cabs and Jugnoo Auto on one platform. So, the rider requests a cab service and Ixigo offers a list of taxi services, and their price charts, so the buyer can take his pick.

The app has a smooth interface; one can simply create an Ixigo account by registering via the Truecaller app, Facebook or Google. Users also have the option of merging their Ola account with the platform. Currently, the app provides service in Delhi, the National Capital Region (NCR), Jaipur, Agra, Chandigarh, Rishikesh and Dehradun. A future update of the app will get Uber on board.

Toast Central

Free

Android

One can avail of offers from restaurants, bars and adventure sports on this app. It has been designed like a game, with icons like “hammer” and “toast”. There is a list of items from which the user can shortlist products, using the hammer to reduce the price by way of bargaining. Once the price is acceptable to the buyer, it becomes the “toast” and he buys it. One can scroll though Toast’s list of deals and try to reduce the price of any deal, whether it’s a food item, beverage or ticket, by tapping the hammer. It gets even better if you share the link with friends on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram or email and ask them to help you reduce the price further.

For, the more your friends click on the link you have shared, the more points you earn, moving up the leader board. These points can be redeemed at the stores listed on the app with an m-coupon. The app is currently available in Chennai. It will soon be available in Bengaluru and Mumbai.

SmartShift

Free

Android

The app is a load-exchange platform for small commercial vehicles, with options to choose from a three-wheeler, a mini truck and a pick-up truck. The app provides a great platform to small businesses that wish to transport cargo. The pricing algorithm calculates suggested price range variables, including distance, time for travel, type of vehicle, etc. The businessman selects a price within the suggested range. At the appropriate time, the job is pulsed to suitable transporters in the vicinity.

The transporters have complete visibility of the job details, including the start point, drop point, type of goods, and the customer’s proposed price. If the transporter is comfortable with the proposed price, he can bid back the same amount proposed by the customer; if not, he can bid the “right” price.

The estimated time of arrival for all transporters who have bid is visible and a businessman can make an informed choice about which transporter he wants to go with. The app interface is available in Hindi as well. Services are currently available in Mumbai and Hyderabad. 

GoCharlie

Free

Android

This app is designed to book long-route taxis at the best price. The user needs to create a GoCharlie account, after which s/he can place a price bid at any level below a stated price by the registered operators. This price bid is seen on the app in real time by all the registered operators. Any of them can accept it. If no operator accepts the price bid, they can place a counter offer, while seeing the minimum price offered by other operators. The minimum counter offer is accepted by the GoCharlie algorithm.

The app currently caters to users in 10 northern cities, including the National Capital Region, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Agra, Shimla, Manali and Ludhiana.

There is scope for improvement—the app interface takes time to log in each time.

More From Livemint