Ah, if only instead of wasting time seeking out whatever item you wish to purchase, it would just come to you. And better yet, come to you from multiple sources seeking your business, so that you get the best price. Well, it was only a matter of time—because that’s the premise behind Pikaba.com, which characterizes itself as a sort of “reverse auction.” As their tagline goes, “all you have to do is ask.” Okay then.
Our Review: We like the concept, and while visually the site is a little overcrowded, it’s pretty easy to use—at the top of the home page it tells you exactly how Pikaba works and gives you a big orange “Make a Request” button. So posting a request is easy, and then you wait for offers to come to you.
Okay, simple enough, and if the site stopped there we would have been perfectly happy. But the thing we don’t like? Pikaba.com seems to be trying to be everything to everybody, which, in our most humble opinion, dilutes the whole shopping experience. Because not only can you put out a request for what you want to buy, the site also features items for sale, items for free, items for trade, calls for services, etc. There’s also the Pikaba community to join—which, in all fairness, does actually make sense on a site like this—and the Pikaba blog. This kind of all-inclusiveness isn’t necessarily bad, but in our experience, the best sites concentrate on one thing, and doing that one thing well.
The Verdict: On the fence. We like the “reverse auction” idea, but there’s a little too much going on here for our streamlined, time-conscious shopping tastes. But if you like the whole community trading of goods and services idea, and have the time to do a little delving, it might be worth a look.