solution-auctions-logoWhat is SolutionAuctions.com? It’s a new website which introduces a new way to get answers to any question. Anyone can post solutions to problems and sell. Anyone with a question can browse these solutions, or start a new auction by asking a question. A reputation system separates the wheat from the chaff. It’s a new way to get paid for what you know.

What the idea is all about

Have you ever searched for a solution to a problem that you had, but were frustrated with the results? Perhaps you wanted to learn how to keep your dog from peeing on the carpet, maybe you wondered why your plant leaves were turning yellow and what you could do about it, or maybe you wanted to add Bluetooth features to your car.

With the Internet, access to information is easier than ever before, but with the flood of information it can be hard to find just the right solution, amongst all of the noise.

The problem with web searches

When you look for a solution to a problem on the Internet today, you probably start out your search by using one of the major search engines. The problem with web searches is that the search engines are based on algorithms, and these algorithms can be manipulated and the search results can be misleading.

Try searching for a solution on how to refinish your floor, for example, and your first 10 search results might come from all sorts of different websites. Some of the information might be quite old, and some of the advice might be subpar.

With the search engines today, there is no easy way to determine the veracity and authenticity of the information that you’re viewing, and whether it can be relied on. You might have to do more searching to see if the website you’re visiting is reliable, and you might have to stumble a few times before you arrive at the correct solution. The search engines are very effective at helping you find information, but less effective at helping you verifying and validating it.

SolutionAuctions: The way forward

The site founder, Joey Liender, was frustrated by these very same issues when he searched for a way to add Bluetooth functionality to his car. He decided to invest significant resources and time into a better solution, and the result is SolutionAuctions.com.

How it works

Most people are looking for a specific answer to the problem that they are trying to solve. They don’t want to waste their time reading through 30 different solutions, only to find that most of them are out of date or don’t work. They want the solution to their problem now, so they can solve it, move on, and enjoy life.

SolutionAuctions.com helps you to save time by providing specific solutions to every problem. If the solution you are searching for doesn’t exist, you can create a solution auction and have problem-solvers bid to solve your problem for you. In order to separate the wheat from the chaff, there is a reputation-based system to separate the solutions that work from the ones that don’t.

Why it might not work

One potential roadblock to the idea of auctioning solutions is that an idea is not a scarce good. Patent laws notwithstanding, once an idea is out there, it is out there. It cannot be taken back. There are only so many ways that one can defragment their hard-drive or groom their pet, and as that knowledge spreads, it is less scarce, and thus, less valuable in economic terms.

There is also a lot of competition out there, and there are many competing question & answer services that do not charge anything for their services. For many people, the search engines are good enough. If I am trying to find out why my plants are turning yellow, I might just spend an hour or more searching on why. Even if I value my time at $25 an hour, I will not necessarily go out and spend $1 or $2 for a solution that would save me time, simply because I don’t directly feel the cost of the wasted time.

Why it can work

Although ideas are not scarce, good ideas can be scarce. There might be a hundred different ways to install a car stereo, but how do I know which ones will work for my model and which ones won’t? I don’t want to go through a bunch of different sites and spend many hours trying to figure it all out.

Time is also scarce, and as widespread as some ideas might become, the time to sift through them all will forever remain valuable. The greatest value in SolutionAuctions.com may be its ability to save you a lot of time by offering you solutions that have been voted to be good and reliable by the marketplace.

Personal experiences

I test-drove the site, and the site design is very clean and easy to navigate. There are already many solutions in the database; some of them very general such as “How to create a Website”, and some more specific such as “Where can I get the best teeth whitening product”.

I personally cannot fathom paying for something so general such as “How to create a website” when I don’t really know what I’m buying, but I could see myself paying for a piece of specific information such as “Where can I get the best teeth whitening product.” For the latter kind of canned solution, this is something that I don’t want to sift through 50 sites for, and undoubtedly many of those will be plastered with ads and trying to sell me something.

If I can see the reputation of the seller along with buyer feedback, I have a better idea on if I’m going to be getting good information or not, and this is where SolutionAuctions.com can help me out.

There are growing pains with the site. So far I have not been able to create my own auction, but I working with the founder of the site to resolve these issues. He has been very responsive so far, and I am impressed with that. I will update this post as things progress.

Ongoing promotions

There are three promotions that are happening right now for the first 200 people in each of the following:

  • Up to $30 for posting a new solution.
  • $1 for each referral.
  • $5 for completing a quick survey.

You can enter by heading over to SolutionAuctions.com, and you can find out more information on the promotions by sending an email to admin@solutionauctions.com.

Conclusion

You can learn more about the process and benefits of joining SolutionAuctions.com as an expert at http://www.solutionauctions.com/Overview_Video/. The site is verified with TRUSTe and it is accredited with the Better Business Bureau. If you are not satisfied with a solution, there is also a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

For the founder, there is only one message for SolutionAuctions.com: “We’re in the business of connecting people’s minds. We offer our users great opportunities to make money by helping others.” Head over to SolutionAuctions.com, and give it a try.

I personally believe that the time/money equation may be the site’s biggest competitive advantage. For people with money but with no time, paying for a canned solution may make a lot of sense. What will be important going forward is that the reputation and feedback systems are accurate and can ensure that people are getting value for their money.

Reviews by other Yakezie members

So, readers, what do you think of the idea of a marketplace for ideas? Have you tried the website out, and if so, what did you think?

Disclaimer: I was compensated for the time it took to write this post.  I was not compensated to be biased, so what you see here is my own personal opinion. I think the idea is interesting, but it is too early to say if it will ultimately be successful or not. Please feel free to leave feedback about the service, positive or negative!

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About

Kevin has left the office, and he is currently fighting the rat race by working on his own business. He enjoys exploring unvisited places around the world and gaining new experiences. He believes that by properly managing our energy and time, we can learn to invest our lives wisely.

21 Comments Kevin on Oct 7th 2010

21 Responses to “Looking for a Solution to a Problem, but Can’t Find One? SolutionAuctions.com is Here to Help”

  1. Sounds like an interesting concept. We’ll see if this idea makes it in the marketplace.

    • Kevin says:

      I am curious, too. I think the time/money tradeoff is the most substantial angle and one that might work out well in their favor.

  2. Aloysa says:

    Seems that SoultionAuctions are going around and paying pf bloggers to do the reviews. I just read another review of them @ Budgeting In the Fun Stuff. :-)

    • Kevin says:

      Yes, should I put a disclaimer at the end? ;) (EDIT: I put the disclaimer in the end. It was a good idea.) I was compensated for the time it took to review the site, though I could have written a horrible review if I wanted to.

      The truth is that it’s too early to know if the idea is going to work out or not. It is interesting, and I’m curious to see how things progress.

  3. Jean says:

    After looking for several weeks for online jobs I could do from home, I found it harder than I thought to actually find legitimate opportunities that didn’t want to take my money up front or try to scam me in other ways. I was recommended to this site from a friend who had purchased a solution and been very happy with it. Honestly, I didn’t think I would find an auction about legitimate online jobs but lo an behold there it was an auction entitled Real Work-at-Home Jobs. No Fees! No Scam! I didn’t think it was much of a risk to buy it for $2, especially since the site offers a money back guarantee. I was very happy with my purchase. Every job listed was a legitimate opportunity. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised with this website. I have since listed a few auctions of my own. I think this is a great website for people like me who were struggling to find the answers they needed online. I think it will be very important for the quality of the solutions to remain high.

    • Kevin says:

      I also agree that it will be important for the quality of the solutions to remain high. There is a barrier in people’s minds to paying even 1c over getting something for free (they will prefer to spend time instead), so quality will have to be there in order to justify overcoming that barrier and spending some money on what is ultimately an intangible good.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Arjun Rudra and Kevin, Khaleef Crumbley. Khaleef Crumbley said: Looking for a Solution to a Problem, but Can’t Find One? Solution Auctions is Here to Help http://bit.ly/bGUaUj by @InvestItWisely #Yakezie [...]

  5. DIY Investor says:

    Interesting site. It got me to thinking about my post today. I’ll continue to watch it to see how it develops.

    • Kevin says:

      Interesting thoughts especially regarding home ownership. I sometimes have doubts, but on the bright side having a condo next to transit and a university is much easier to rent out. I definitely don’t want to be one of those that spent their whole lives stagnating in one spot!

  6. Cognoramus says:

    The concept is fantastic, and despite the fact that it’s a paid review, I think it’s pretty cool that they’re reaching out to bloggers.

    It seems to me that this would be a great way to market potential business ideas. Someone may have a problem they want to solve for a living, and effectively outsource their research department to this site. What a way to level the playing field!

    • Kevin says:

      Definitely cool that they’re reaching out to bloggers. The founder has been amazing in his response time in getting back to me regarding some technical issues I had in using the site.

      The time/money tradeoff is where this can work, and quality control will be important. I didn’t think of the possibility of outsourcing questions in the way that you mentioned, but that is a pretty neat possibility, too.

  7. I like the idea, just hope there is enough quality material to get it off of it’s feet!

    Thanks for linking to my review!

  8. Forest says:

    Very interesting concept. Not sure I would ever pay for a solution unless I got really stuck but am sure plenty of people would.

  9. Heimarbeit Serös says:

    Hi, I am Markus from Germany. I am along term reader but never left a comment! I use your blog to improve my english skills:) Next year I want to study in New York! I hope that works out and I will pass the test! So thanks again and keep up the good work

  10. angela says:

    i’m having a serious problem can i leave it over here?

  11. mymnIntelteby says:

    Hi to everyonw My name is mymnIntelteby and I’m just wondering how how alive this forum is . So, I justneed to know : how long should i wait before I’ll get an answer to my questions.
    Thanks