If you want to get a deal on a tech product, there are dozens of good sites to help you find the best price for it. These sites have clear business models: Take a cut of the sales, via affiliate fees, or get some advertising dollars. But now Gazaro, traditionally another deal finder and tracker, is offering a service to help consumers save money after they purchase an item, by making it easier to use the price-protection guarantees that some stores have.
Just as Yapta and some other travels sites do for airfares, Gazaro Protect will do for your Best Buy purchases. You e-mail the service your receipts (for online purchases) or paste a URL or scan a barcode with the Gazaro iPhone app (for in-store purchases), and if the price of the product goes down post-purchase during the guarantee period, you get an e-mail alert.
It's (for now) still up to you to deal with the store to get your refund, but at least with Gazaro Protect you'll be reminded that your money is sitting on the table, so you don't leave it there.
Gazaro CEO Alexander Rink tells me he's looking forward to working with more stores in the future, and also with credit card issuers whose programs offer price protection. (For those of you wondering, Amazon doesn't offer price protection guarantees.)
Best Buy doesn't officially endorse or support Gazaro Protect, but through its BBY Open interface, Rink says, it was easy enough to build the product. But Best Buy should love the product anyway. Protect helps retailers extend the relationship with consumers for a very limited expense. Sure, it'll cost Best Buy a few bucks every time a customer redeems a price protection refund, but in exchange for that, the store gets to interact with the customer again, and reinforce the relationship, and probably sell them more stuff. It's a cheap form of customer re-acquisition. After looking at Gazaro Protect, I have to wonder why retailers aren't more aggressive about their price guarantee programs.