Earny is the personal shopping assistant of your dreams
We’ve all been there…we do our research, make a purchase, and feel very satisfied until we find the same item on sale a week later. Or worse, a friend buys the same item from a different store for a lower price. It just doesn’t get much worse than realizing you’ve overpaid. And with rents in urban areas around the country only continuing to rise, we’ll take the opportunity wherever it comes to save a few bucks. After all, we work hard and can think of a million other productive uses for that money. Earny agrees and has been helping thousands of people around the U.S. save more of their hard earned money.
Earny was created in 2015 by Israeli entrepreneurs Oded Vakrat, Ilan Zerbib and Dori Yona. The “aha moment” came when Yona decided he needed a new blazer before a presentation. He paid $129 at Zara while co-founder, Oded Vakrat, borrowed a jacket. Two months later, Vakrat bought the same blazer at Zara.com, for $65 less than Yona had paid. As he taunted Yona for paying too much, they remembered that their credit card offered a price guarantee — they got the $65 difference refunded and realized they had a potential business on their hands.
“Most people either aren’t aware their credit cards or favorite retailers have price protection policies when products get discounted after purchase. What’s more, many people don’t want to bother with the hassle of filing claims” -Earny CEO, Oded Vakrat
Amen to that. The bad news, though, is that the refund process for the price difference can be cumbersome, requiring consumers to track the price of an item, fill out paperwork, and wait for the claim to be approved – and that’s assuming a consumer even bothers to track the price differences. According to Mastercard’s research, U.S. consumers walk away from more than $50 billion in price drops every year because they were either unaware of better offers or because the refund process can be lengthy, requiring tedious paperwork. Woof.
Thankfully, Earny covers over 30 major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Costco, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, and more and works with 90-day price protection for all credit cards from Visa, Chase, Citibank and Mastercards for Bank of America, US Bank, Capital One, Barclays, and First Premier Bank. If Earny detects a lower price for your item in any of these avenues, it will automatically get you the difference!
“Our goal to is to protect every customer’s purchases and give consumers the confidence to shop knowing they will never overpay for an item again.”
-Earny CEO, Oded Vakrat
Let’s take a look under the hood. Earny’s app syncs with your Gmail, Yahoo, or Microsoft inbox and identifies receipts. It then monitors prices at all participating retailers and price protected credit card companies. Earny will contact the retailers to ensure that the money goes back on your credit card, or arrives via a check. Earny takes a 25% commission for its efforts, BUT costs you nothing out of pocket. Since the app launched, Earny shoppers using price-protected credit cards get back an average of approximately 5 percent of what they spend online. Some Earny shoppers have gotten more than $2,200 back in a year and more than $800 back in a single refund!
User counts continue to surge. Thus far the company has relied mostly on a word of mouth advertising strategy. CEO Oded Vakrat commented, “Many customers love talking about Earny with their friends which is how we have obtained many new happy users. We also have a rewards program that has been very successful in gaining customers. When our users refer their friends, Earny gives them 5% of each of their friend’s refunds.” Not too shabby.
“We are now another step closer to fulfilling our mission of becoming the number one consumer advocate service in the world”
-CEO, Oded Vakrat
We know consumers are thrilled about Earny, but what about the companies who are shelling out refunds? Earny research has shown the importance of the post-purchase stage for both retailers and credit card companies. Because it’s a time when consumers solidify their opinions of whether to conduct further business, “Retailers and credit card companies want consumers to claim the difference, they want them to re-engage with their brands” Vakrat explained. Vakrat further claims that Earny “reduces item return rates because customers are more satisfied with their purchase” and believes they are “three times more likely to purchase again from the same retailer.” Sounds like a win-win to me!
“We are confident that Earny will become an essential tool in every shopper’s arsenal”
-Earny Investor, Rishi Garg
This win-win scenario for consumers and retailers alike has created tangible buzz from investors. In December 2017, Earny raised another $9 million (for a total of $11.5 million) in Series A funding led by Mayfield, Comcast Ventures, and Investor Science Inc. Rishi Garg, Mayfield partner and Earny board member stated, “We love how Earny’s application of proprietary technology seamlessly automates price protection for everyday shoppers, and we’re excited about their vision to enable more commerce by increasing consumer trust in every purchase.”
The most popular items for consumers to receive refunds are electronics and clothes. Earny currently does not track prices on perishables, jewelry, or automobiles. However, the Earny team is working hard to incorporate travel into their offering. Imagine a world where you could reserve a hotel room or a flight and not have to worry about the price going down! “I think we are beginning an age in which consumers understand the importance of pricing transparency,” Vakrat expressed earlier this year. “There’s definitely a need for products like Earny to protect your purchases and give you the confidence to shop.”
Saving is as easy as Earny
This Untold Business story highlights the importance of helping people feel most satisfied with their purchases. How many coupon apps are out there these days? The beauty of Earny is that it only notifies you when it has saved you money. The rest is entirely hands-off, saving people both time and money. Earny’s founders took the sour lemon of overpaying and turned it into lemonade that we can all enjoy! If you like shopping and saving money, you can download Earny from the app store and give it a shot. How much money can Earny save you?? There’s only one way to find out!
June 26, 2018| By TJ Malman- Untold Business Writer