“Inquirex is really a very simple system” says Eric McCabe, Marketing Director at Inquirex. “Sellers list their business free of charge on our database — in up to 10 business categories and as many geographic areas as they like. When a buyer makes a request for a product or service in a category and location covered by the seller, Inquirex emails the full details to the seller at no charge. If the seller wants to respond to this sales lead it costs them less than £1 to do so — if they don’t want to respond it costs them absolutely nothing. It only takes a couple of minutes to list your business — you only need to provide basic contact details — and these will never be passed to anyone other than those you respond to.”
In their request buyers provide details of what they want, specify a timescale for responses (which can be from 4 hours to 2 weeks) and specify the maximum number of responses they want. They are told how many sellers their request is being sent to but don’t see who it’s going to. Therefore it won’t reflect badly on a seller who doesn’t respond because buyers never know who received the request in the first place.
Inquirex is particularly suited to small businesses with limited marketing budgets because it costs them nothing until they receive a lead that they want to respond to.
McCabe explains “The biggest companies have the biggest adverts and invariably appear at the top of search engine results. It’s very difficult to get your business noticed — even if you’re the best supplier. Even with a big advert or a high listing on Google you still rely
on the buyer contacting you instead of your competitors. With Inquirex there is no way of ‘buying’ priority. Every appropriate seller is emailed the request at the same time and if the buyer wants 5 responses only the first 5 sellers to respond will be able to do so.”
As well as the obvious benefits to sellers, Inquirex has huge benefits for buyers as well. When sourcing one-off or ‘difficult to find’ products or services people often spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find suppliers and eventually settle for the ‘best of a bad bunch’. Inquirex saves them that time — it takes just a couple of minute to submit a request which is then sent to potentially hundreds of suppliers. Those who can best meet their needs are the most likely to respond which also means that they’re more likely to end up with the best possible supplier — whether that is based on cost, proximity, delivery timescales or some other factor.
Inquirex has been up and running for just over 3 months and already has over 20,000 registered users. Businesses and consumers are making wide ranging requests — from a woman looking for a female gas engineer to a company wanting to hire 10 hot air balloons for a day. Inquirex plans to extend its coverage internationally over the next 12-24 months which will allow UK businesses to offer their products and services in other countries with no additional marketing cost.