You would think that sites like Expedia and TripAdvisor had the online travel world more or less sewn up. But every now and again a new site pushes its head above the parapet and starts to carve out its own little niche.
Given the amount of coverage its received in The Washington Post, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal (amongst others) Packlate.com might just be one of the lucky few that does just that.
And like so many good ideas, PackLate is surprisingly simple.
Best described as a last minute vacation rental marketplace, Packlate works with vacation property managers to take their unsold vacation rental inventory (near the check-in date) and offer it to consumers at a hefty discount (sometimes 50% or more).
The site uses a dynamic pricing system, creating an effective game of chicken. As check-in dates approach, the price on the site drops accordingly until someone snaps up the deal. If you don’t grab a deal early enough, someone else might just snatch it out from under you.
Although it only launched officially in 2009, Packlate is based on a proven concept that has worked well in other industries and in other areas of the travel market. (In fact, it’s a wonder that a site like this hasn’t gained ground before. Let me know if you know any that have.)
What’s more, company founder Steve Barsh, has run the same concept with his own vacation rental property in Park City, Utah for over 10 years.
So two ideas in one here:
- How could you use dynamic pricing (and introduce a little competition) in your industry?
- What smart marketing methods do you see being used in one business that could be scaled up to suit an entire industry?