Ruslan Kogan likes stirring up trouble and doing online retail slightly differently. His latest trick? Letting people buy gadgets cheaper if they order them before they’ve been produced, then pushing the price up as the release date gets closer.
The new LivePrice option was launched via a press conference in London this morning. The Kogan argument is that letting people order early ensures that the cost of financing production is lower, which in turns means consumers don’t have to pay as much. In an example on the UK Kogan site, a 32-inch LED TV is £330.16 if you order it now, but will be £399 when it finally gets shipped in late January.
Discounts for pre-orders aren’t new as such — Amazon has had them for years — but a sliding price depending on when you order and before the goods are built is a bit different to saving a couple of bucks on a new-release novel.
How is that price calculated? Kogan didn’t want to say. “We’re not revealing the algorithm behind LivePrice because that would be like KFC revealing its secret herbs and spices or Google revealing its search algorithms,” he said.
Right now, the LivePrice option is only available on the UK Kogan site (which doesn’t offer the full range of gear), but it will apparently appear on the Australian site soon. Do you fancy ordering gear early for a discount, or would you rather wait until it’s clear that it’s worth buying? Share your thoughts in the comments.