One relatively young startup, Shangby, has been receiving national coverage this holiday season. Rachel Ray’s cooking show covered the Austin based company before we got our hands on it. The site is like an online Home Shopping Network for goods made in Shanghai.
On most nights they host a live video exhibition from 6PM PST / 8 PM CST. During the broadcasts, viewers can call in to 1-866-212-0875 to ask questions about the products and even haggle over prices. You can also buy items on the site based off of a recorded cast.Live video really captures the look and feel of a good in context, where thumbnails and galleries can be misleading.
Although the company started with Shanghai because of the low prices (price comparisons), specifically around the pearl business, you could imagine the concept working for other locales with low prices, but where shops don’t have an online export business. Mix this idea with a Justin.tv-style head cam and you could have an army of personal shoppers.