You are standing in line at the store waiting to pay for the latest hot toy to hit the market when a stranger taps you on the shoulder.
"You can get that for $19.95 across the street"
"Oh really", you say.
Thanking the stranger, you hustle across the street to find the toy and save yourself ten dollars.
Not the sort of situation one find's oneself in every day. But it might be one day soon, if the stranger has his way.
It turns out the stranger's name is Yossi Vardi. Vardi is part owner of R U Sure, an Israeli company that promises to revolutionize the way you shop online.
Vardi is perhaps best known in the United States for his role in taking tiny Mirabalis software all the way to the top with a previously unknown program called ICQ chat.
Today ICQ (pronounced I-seek-you) is among the most popular applications on the Net, used by millions for instant communication and hailed by experts as one of the most important developments since the creation of email.
The sale of ICQ to America Online made Vardi a wealthy man and something of a celebrity in his native Israel. His bearish face graces the covers of magazines. His views on the Internet are popular, and widely discussed among the young Israeli entrepreneurs who form the backbone of the Israeli Internet scene.
When a man like Vardi throws his weight behind a project, the buzz is considerable.
Which is already clearly the case with RU Sure, another free download with the potential to become a fixture on Internet user's desktops.
How does it work?
Think of R U Sure as a digital shopping companion, a handy little app that goes where you go, lurking quietly in the background as you surf the Net.
Let's say you're shopping for a popular DVD like The Blair Witch Project.
It doesn't take much time to find the title online at Reel.com. (In the case of a popular title and format like DVD you have plenty of options. You could probably find the movie in stock at least two hundred sites.)
You note the price Reel is asking - $19.99 and click through to the checkout.
This is where R U Sure comes in. As you pause before finalizing your transaction, the R U Sure Agent queries Reel.com's competitor's. In little under a minute you have a list of alternatives, including five sites that offer the DVD at a price much lower than Reel.com's.
Not only does the R U Sure Agent provide you with a list of alternatives, it also calculates shipping and handling charges as well, a significant feature when you consider how widely such charges vary across the Net.
This is a field that is already beginning to fill with competitors, including web sites like Pricewatch and DealTime. It's worth noting that RU Sure is the only one that works while you shop instead of forcing a trip to the company web site, a convenience consumers will appreciate.
Nothing's perfect (especially when it comes to software), but R U Sure does a pretty good impression.
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