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There's a new way to check out products in person without setting foot in a showroom thanks to SF-based startup Gorilly. The process begins with a search through the platform's database for a product you may want to buy. If something captures your interest, you make a date to connect with a "Product Gorilly"— a local who owns that very item.
When you meet, you can check out the item for yourself and hear your PG's impressions of it. If you decide to go through with the purchase, your PG provides a special code for you to use with your online order. You get a discount on a new thing and your PG earns a commission on the sale.
Currently, there are only a select number of products available on Gorilly from three brands—DODOcase, Topo Designs, and The BoomCase—to keep the platform's beta-testing concise. USA Today describes the in-person interaction with both product and user as "taking a Yelp or Amazon review to the next level." The drawbacks? There's more more legwork for both sides in each transaction, and you have to keep in mind that the PG's opinions could be influenced by that prospective commission.
The platform may not excite very many shoppers at this stage, given the limited products available and the little money on offer for those showing their products. (One PG tells USA Today that she has yet to make any money after two meetings). But Gorilly could get more interesting with the addition of hard-to-find products.
For example, this Mansur Gavriel bucket bag in rosa is impossible to find in stores. But a local meeting with an owner—to feel the leather and see the shape against your body—would be helpful before throwing down $625 to make the purchase online. It's a leap, for sure. On the bright side, this kind of shopping means you can leave your shopping bags at home.
· Startup Gorilly is 'showrooming' without the showroom [USA Today]
· Startups [Racked SF]