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Got A Problem You Need Solved? Got a Solution To Sell?

October 8, 2010 · 12 comments

in Commentary, Personal Finance

Have you ever searched the internet endlessly to find an answer to a problem, only to find out you wasted hours of your time, and all you had to show for it was a bunch of conflicting advice?

Did you ever feel like you had answers that could help a lot of people, but didn’t know how to find an audience?

Well, if either or both of the above statements are true for you, then you may be interested in a new website called Solution Auctions.

Solution Auctions is an interesting concept.  It kind of combines Ebay and Amazon, except instead of purchasing a tangible item, it is information that is traded for a price.  There is a variety of ways you can use the website, depending on your intentions:

Selling:

For example, say you are an expert in growing strawberries.  You can sell your knowledge at a fixed price over and over again using Solution Auctions.  What you would do is write a solution, say ‘Growing Strawberries in the Midwest’, and name a price.  This price is based on what you feel the value is in terms of how long it would take  a person to research this information on their own.  (Suggested guideline is $1.50 per 10 minutes of research.)  Assuming you think it would take the average person 1 hour to come up with the perfect way to grow strawberries in the Midwest, you would price your solution at $9.00.  You would write a solution and submit it on the website. If a blooming strawberry cultivator searches the site and finds the description of your solution, they can pay the fixed price to you.   (Less a fee of 13.2 percent to Solution Auctions along with any Paypal fees/Google Check Out fees.)   Once the payment is made, the solution is then provided to the buyer.   This solution could sell over and over again, and you then have a passive stream of income all the sudden.

Here is some examples of solutions that currently exist on the website:

  • Apple Ipod touch, and Iphone jailbreak useful information ($3.00)
  • Hard Drive Recovery :  199 Solutions to access your dead hard drive ($5.00) (I can totally see where this one would be worth the price)

Solutions are also provided with a description and some background about the solution provider.

Buying:

On the flip side, say you just bought an acre of property that you want to devote to growing strawberries.  You can post your problem stating ‘Need detailed instructions on how to grow strawberries in Ohio’, and set a ‘reward’ price.  A seller can either ‘win it now’ and provide a solution at the price you requested, which then closes the auction.  Or, a seller can bid on the solution if they feel their knowledge is worth more than what the buyer is offering, and usually the low bidder wins the auction.

Another option is you could browse the solutions and see if there is a solution already available to purchase that would teach you how to grow strawberries in Ohio.

Here are some examples of problems seeking solutions that currently exist on the website:

  • The steering wheel volume control on my Acura is not working anymore!  (Solutions can be sold immediately for $10.00, or a seller can bid to offer their solution.  This bid starts at $15.00.)
  • Help me find a replacement for my aquarium lamp.  ($10.00)

In synopsis, sellers can either make money buy reselling a fixed solution, or by winning an auction where a buyer was looking for a solution.  It is actually quite simple.

My impressions:

First , I would like to disclose that I was paid to review this website.  However, I was told to give a completely honest review; payment was not dependent on a positive review.

Overall, I found the website to be very user friendly, and an absolutely fascinating idea.  It was easy to post a solution, and it appeared to be easy to post a problem.  One of my main concerns was the integrity of the solution- what if the solution was useless?  Well, solutions come with a 100 percent money back guarantee.  In addition, both buyers and sellers receive ratings much like Ebay and Amazon sellers.

On the downside, I have concerns about the viability of a product that provides information that may be readily available on the internet.  Only time will tell if there is a market for this product, although I will say I saw a few solutions I would have paid money for to save time.  In addition, I think the help page should be more obvious.

I will be keeping a close eye on this website and am excited to hopefully watch it grow.  What do you think?  Could you see yourself using Solution Auctions?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

The Biz of Life October 8, 2010 at 9:12 am

I love the concept. It will succeed if the answers they are selling are quality answers, and provide solutions that are useful to the customers.

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Kris October 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Biz – I have contemplated buying a solution just to see how detailed it is, but maybe I will just wait until there is something I am really curious about and see if it was worth it.

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Money Reasons October 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

I’m pretty good at finding what I need to find on the internet, but if I had a hard time with something that is worth alot, I think it would be worth it!

This is a fallback solution when you need it 🙂

So yes, I think it’s a great idea and if the need arose, I would use it!

Reply

Kris October 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

MR- The solution like fixing the hard drive would be incredibly valuable to me, since two of my computer died this year. I will have to think of a solution and post it and see if it gets any buyers. Maybe I will post ‘world peace’ as a solution and see what it gets me!

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Slava October 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm

That’s an interesting idea, however lacks the karma or something like that. I don’t know what I’m going to be buying – would it really be a great advice or just some random stuff. I can definitely see this filling up with things like “How to get 10000 visitors to your site in one hour” or something like that with content copied from EzineArticles.

The bad experience I’ve had comes from using those new bred “gig sites” (sorry, forgot the names), where people publish stuff they would do for $5, $10 or $15. Buy were those bad… I’ve ordered services for about $50.. “Dissatisfied” doesn’t even start to explain how bad that experience was. They did their job, but really badly…..

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Kris October 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Slava, I believe the solutions have to be ‘accepted’, so it would be just useless drivel, and there is a money back guarantee. Also, the ‘solver’ does provide a description of the solution (without giving it all away of course), so you should get an idea of what you are buying.

Time will tell I suppose. Thanks for commenting!

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc October 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Kris,

I think that it may have a difficult model. I will say that people are in the mindset of obtaining stuff (especially information) online for free. I wonder about launching this type of business model even though it sounds intriguing.

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Kris October 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Hey Roshawn! I agree that MOST of the information is out there for free. However, it can be hard to sift through all the information. As I mentioned before, I would have easily paid for that solution to get data off the hard drive, that would have saved me hundreds of dollars if the solution worked.

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Practical Parsimony October 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm

What might be valuable and apt for one person may be over the head of another person. If a computer tech uses computerese, the newbie may have to look up so many terms that the whole solution is inaccessible. Anyone who bought an acre of land for strawberries should have checked with the County Agent to see if the land was suitable or what ammendments would be needed. Buying land and then wanting to know about how to grow strawberries on it is the backwards way of doing things.

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