After Hours

Rate this Site!: Name your own price at Priceline

Priceline's Web site allows you to call the shots when paying for travel deals—and now groceries. Kelly McKnight reviews their site, and we give you a chance to rate it for yourself.

Enterprises are launching "corporate portals," gateway sites that act as an entryway to both a company's Web presence and its intranet. In this column, Web consultant Kelly McKnight gives his opinion on a corporate portal, highlighting strengths and weaknesses that may translate to your company's Web presence. The following index provides an objective look at the site’s features.
Kelly’s thoughts on the Priceline Web site
Priceline.com isn’t just a travel site; you can bid on all kind of things there. Besides deals on airline tickets, car rentals, and hotel rooms, you can bid on home financing, leasing or buying a car, even buying groceries!
This is part 2 in a new series, “Around The World,” in which we will review travel-booking sites, including Expedia and Travelocity. Fasten your seatbelts folks, and let’s take off.
Previously, I’ve had some successful and unsuccessful bid attempts here. A couple of months ago, I saved $200 using Priceline for a round-trip ticket to New York City. I had to land in Newark, so I Iost an additional $50 on cab fare. All in all, it was a pretty good deal.

But I also bid on my trip to Ireland on Priceline—and didn’t save a penny. The moral of this story is sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. If you have time, it’s worth it to take a shot at the jackpot.

Priceline is easy to use. Just enter the date and place you want to go, give them a few options like alternate dates and airports, set the price you’re willing to pay, and they will e-mail you within 24 hours if you have a deal. During the bidding process, you will be solicited with some consumer offers to save on your fare. But still, the whole process takes about five minutes and could save you some serious cash.

The site is fast, but it does have a few speed bumps. For example, I’ve had problems when I was submitting alternate airports. I found that instead of using the prompt, it’s easier to resubmit your bid.

On my latest visit to Priceline, the grocery buying intrigued me, so I went for a whirl. As a new shopper, they gave me some saving tokens, and I ended up buying some NT strips and pork chops. It was really a hoot! A friend called me and just did a week’s shopping, saving $30 on a $45 purchase. Not bad.

Kelly’s verdict
Here’s the deal with Priceline: If you have the time, you can save a dime. If you have to leave tomorrow, forget about it. This holds true for airfare—or steaks. Bon voyage and bon appetit.

Kelly McKnight is a principal of Via Internet Studio , a consulting firm that specializes in corporate Web site design, Internet marketing, and e-commerce.

Now it’s your turn to review the Priceline Web site. Just click on the Rate this Site! button, and you can help separate the good from the bad from the ugly. It only takes a minute or two to complete your rating, so don’t waste any more time—rate this site now! For Kelly's rating, scroll below.


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