Spinzo links merchants with bargain shoppers

A New Brunswick company is trying to harness the power of viral marketing by bringing together bargain hunters and merchants.

A New Brunswick company is trying to harness the power of viral marketing by bringing together bargain hunters and merchants.

Spinzo Corp., which is based in Saint John and Toronto, is designed to rely on the buzz of social networking to put buyers and sellers together.

Emmanuel Elmajian, the chief executive officer of Spinzo Corp, said his company works like an auction in reverse, where the lowest price wins.

The more people who agree to purchase a product on the site, the lower the price is expected to go.

"If they were to join in on the deal, they would actually knock the price down," he said.

"So no one's being duped. No one is paying a higher price and lower price. Everyone gets it for the same low price,"  he added.

Elmajian said the service also allows people to sign up for a product if it hits a certain price.

"Alternatively, they can actually choose their own price. So if you're not an avid skiier, you could say, I'm not an avid skier, but I'd take this lift ticket if you get it for $20 or less."

This process could mean new customers for small retailers, such as baker Greg Pringle.

He makes oatcakes from the recipie his Cape Breton grandmother used, with some updates which make them low-calorie and vegan.

It's a niche product, which so far has been marketed by word of mouth.  Now he's going to try marketing it with Spinzo.

"Well, they're going to allow me to pre-sell a large amount of orders, rather than just making a whole bunch and hoping that I can sell. I will know that I have like 20, 30, 40 dozen already pre-sold for a particular day and it's win-win," Pringle said.

Spinzo is set to launch in trial markets over the next few weeks with merchants in Saint John and the University of Toronto area.

Outside investment

Elmajian is nearly 27 and has already worked at top technology companies such as Google.

He has raised more than $100,000 for Spinzo from private investors and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.

His company also received funding last week when GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund invested $1.75 million in three emerging technology companies in Saint John.

GrowthWorks-managed funds provides investment capital for Canadian companies and tax-advanced investment opportunities for Canadian investors.

Elmajian said the $400,000 from GrowthWorks will allow his company to help merchants sell products online and lead the shift toward social e-commerce.