By  on August 12, 2011

Sneakpeeq.com is out to turn shopping and the adrenaline rush of getting deals into a spectator sport.

The spectator aspect comes in when users “peeq” at daily offerings and look at what their friends viewed. In Sneakpeeq.com parlance, peeqing means turning over an item’s tag to reveal the price. Every time a user flips over a tag, the price drops. Shopping becomes a game when users must decide within 15 seconds whether to buy or not buy an item they peeqed at. Users won’t know how many units of a product are left until they flip the tag (the company says there usually are 100 to 250 units).

Henry Kim, co-founder and president of Sneakpeeq.com and his partner, Harish Abbott, co-founder and chief executive officer, are believers in the power of Facebook and the impact of peer pressure. Kim quotes statistics such as “25 percent of online time is spent on Facebook” and “the average Facebook user has 200 friends.”

“Friends help friends discover products,” Kim said. “You can share products with friends and see in real time what your friends are looking at. It’s the social proof we all need to move us from discovery to purchase.”

Sneakpeeq.com sells about 500 units a day, Kim said.

The shopping application keeps track of what users and their friends looked at in the past, allowing Sneakpeeq.com to curate daily offerings for them.

Sneakpeeq.com, which works with about 150 brands, buys current merchandise at wholesale prices. Kim said Sneakpeeq appeals to brands because it exposes qualified shoppers to their labels the same way advertising does, only the viral nature of the application makes it more appealing. Kate Spade gave Sneakpeeq.com users a first look at a collection that had yet to be released.

Sneakpeeq brand boutiques live for four days then go on hiatus before reappearing in four to six weeks. In terms of fulfilment, Kim said, “We can pick, pack and ship for them or they can do it themselves.” Sneakpeeq.com is also licensing its technology to retailers so that they can use it on their own Facebook pages.

“We help brands get fans in the process of selling their products,” said Kim. “We did a pilot for Forever 21 and started with 700,000 fans. Now the retailer has 5 million. We don’t take credit for all of their fans, but we helped.”

Sneakpeeq.com developed technology that allows users to make purchases without leaving Facebook.

Prior to launching Sneakpeeq.com, Kim worked for Ron Burkle, the billionaire investor who bought debt in Barneys New York from Dubai-based Istithmar, and invested $100 million in Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Sean John clothing line. Abbott worked at Amazon.com in the early days of the site, building and launching its distribution network through warehousing and drop-shipping in North America and Europe.

Sneakpeeq.com will unveil a redesign in October.

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