There’s a new site called SolutionAuctions.com which smartly allows people with questions to buy solutions and sellers to sell their solutions. The site is very well designed and easy to use. One of the main draws for sellers is that you can sell your solutions over and over again, earning a passive income stream for life. Sounds great! The real question is, will people go there to pay for answers?
The main thing the site lacks is credibility of the sellers. It’s one thing to take advice online without having to pay for it. It’s another thing to actually spend money for advice. A brief glance shows that solutions are being sold for anywhere between $2 to $10. That’s not a lot, but it’s $2 to $10 more than what many people will pay thanks to the invention of Google, Bing and other search engines out there.
LURE & DILEMMA
In order for buyers to spend money on the site, they need to see the profiles of the sellers and their credentials. Here lies the chicken and the egg dilemma. If you are a seller of solutions and are asking just $2 bucks a pop, perhaps your solution isn’t very unique? As such, you will have competition from other sellers who will provide “better” solutions at perhaps a lower price.
You really can’t just rest on your solution, as the world is a competitive place. The only time you will have out-sized gains on your solution is if there aren’t a lot of sellers because not many people go to SolutionAuctions.com. But, if there isn’t much activity, you won’t be making much anyway!
Also, if you are busy spending time trying to sell something for $2 dollars, maybe you are not the authority you claim to be? There is a perception out there that the price of something corresponds to the value of something. Hence, you might want to price at a higher price to increase your perceived solution value. But then again, given the competitive nature of markets, you will quickly be undercut by your selling rivals.
I agree with Solution Auction’s thesis that everybody is an expert in something, so why not sell it in a market place with buyers? The trick is to convince people with lots of questions and problems to come to Solution Auction and sell them. Solution Auction needs some to get some foremost experts in their respective fields to sign on – the expert plumber, auto mechanic, electrician, public policy expert and so forth. The sellers can’t be any Joe Schmo.
There is a great company out there called The Gerson Lehrman Group, which basically hires true experts in their fields (Professors, Scientists, Consultants, Advisers, etc), and puts these experts in touch with investment groups. The reason why Gerson Lehrman Group works is because their sellers are at the top of their game, and they charge an incredible amount. Their network is huge, and as a result they generate a tremendous return.
When people turn to the Internet for advice, their problems are either not too serious, or too embarrassing to ask someone off-line. Most people generally ask their friends, family, acquaintances, and then Google before going to a site to buy solutions. Hence, Solution Auctions needs to find some way to convince their answers are better. Solution Auctions will work if it has enough volume and credibility. Here’s wishing them the best!
Readers, what do you think? Will people pay for solutions online?
What are the suggestions and hurdles you can think of for this company?