MyStockStalker: Gareth Stacey
Free online system allowing you to select products from a list of supported websites and request to be emailed when the products drop in price
Tell us what your business does:
We allow our users to select products from over 100 major online retailers and then email them when the products drop in price. For each product they also have an option to enter a minimum price at which they would like to be emailed.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Me and my partner are always on the lookout for bargains and very rarely purchase goods at full price. We often like to wait to see if the price will drop but we were getting fed up of bookmarking each item and manually checking the current price. We thought it would be a great idea to make this automated.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Everybody loves a bargain and it seems that the majority of people these days do online shopping in some form so we knew there was large market potential.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was and still am a software engineer.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
During my time in university I would always come up with small business ideas to earn some extra cash. Unfortunately I may have lost more money than I made.
How did you raise the money?
Luckily we have not had to invest much cash initially as we have ensured our outgoings are as low as possible. However, we have had to dip into our own pockets to fund the company.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I face is finding time to develop the site. I am still employed full-time and until MyStockStalker pays the bills I will continue to stay employed. I spend most my evenings and the majority of weekends developing the site either responding to feedback from our users or adding new retailers for MyStockStalker to support.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We currently are non-profiting but at the rate we are growing we expect to be able to monetise the website with targeted advertising and charging retailers we support for stats regarding what products our users are ‘stalking’ and what price they are willing to pay.
What was your first big breakthrough?
I don’t believe we are yet to have our big breakthrough but we are currently in discussion with several newspapers and magazines and are hoping they will be running a story about the site very soon.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Believe in your business ideas and follow them through to the end.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
I hope that MyStockStalker is a well-known company and plan to have over 50,000 registered users.