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Buymeby -update 10/15/16 new screens + team video

Just in time grocery shopping.

Photo of Carlos de Santiago
16 11

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Buymeby is a live marketplace that helps food vendors apply dynamic pricing to their existing inventory in order to influence their traffic + sales on a last minute basis.

Vendors upload their inventory to Buymeby (manually or automatically) and include a time/date by which it needs to be sold. We then show these items to nearby shoppers and alter prices as items become at risk of being thrown away, making sure nothing goes unsold or ends up in the trash.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Get together with food vendors at farmers markets and run around the area with bright discount signs to help them drive traffic + sales.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Give us your feedback! Is this something you'd like to see in your city?

We would love to chat with: Developers, Students and people with Tech/Startup/Food Industry experience that would be interested in helping out!

If you want to sell food on Buymeby. Lets make it happen! Message me here or go to, scroll down and leave us a message there!
If you want to buy food on Buymeby. Test our beta, go to and leave us your email address!

Tell us about your work experience:

I grew up around farming in Mexico. Currently: CoFounder at Buymeby. Organizer of Food Rescue NYC, a community for people that rescue food after it has been discarded by local businesses. Previously: Founded Maintained puppets/costumes backstage at various Broadway shows & for HBO/Warner Bros.
Former Elementary school science instructor, Competitive hip-hop dancer, Fashion designer/stylist, Patent draftsman(technical drawings), Waiter, Haunted house actor(undead priest).

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

How far along is your idea?

  • It was in the works before this challenge – it’s existed for 2-6 months

How would you describe this idea to your grandmother?

We help food vendors attract customers with discounts to make sure nothing goes to waste! (Translated from Spanish.)

How is your idea unique to the space?

We help intercept food waste before it happens. Buymeby turns inventory which would normally be thrown away into opportunities for food vendors to form new bonds with shoppers. Independent food vendors have had a hard time staying afloat in NYC, especially as of late, Buymeby is a sustainable solution aimed at helping those independent food vendors stay in business.

Who needs to play a role in your idea in order to make it successful?

Farmer's markets, organizations like GrowNYC, and independent food vendors with storefronts big and small.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

By analyzing participating vendor's unsold food rates before/after Buymeby.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

We didn't know there was a cash price, even now, we don't know whether we'll win or not. So we've started putting together a crowdfunding campaign. We plan to release our beta to our backers and use the funds raised to help cover the costs of tweaking/fixing our product on a short timeline.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Anamika Sharma

Hi Carlos, Am working on slightly similar idea in Chicago. Would love to hear the feedback that you received from openIdea team.
What is the best way to reach out to you.
- Anamika

Photo of Carlos de Santiago

Great to hear that! Happy to help any way I can :)
You can reach me at

Photo of Jessie Dong

Hi Carlos, I really like this idea. I believe it will create a win-win situation for both suppliers and consumers. It will be good if you can build a regular client and supplier database to match the demand and supplier. 

Photo of Carlos de Santiago

We completely agree with ya Jessie! Thanks for the words of support and wisdom!

Photo of Danièle Mottier

Hi Carlos! 

I really love this idea and am currently working on an app that I think would resonate with you. I would love to chat and hear more about your project! What is the best way to get ahold of you?

Great job! This will make a huge difference!

-Daniele (

Photo of Carlos de Santiago

Hi Daniele!

Thanks for the kind words. I'll shoot you an email at the address you left on here. Happy to email back n forth or chat via phone.

<3 Carlos

Photo of OpenIDEO

Welcome to the Refinement phase Carlos! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit:

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 09/28" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi Carlos, we updated the link to the Refinement Toolkit. Please use this new link instead:

Photo of Amber Matthews

Dope idea, have folks been using the app to buy and sell?

Photo of Carlos de Santiago

Thanks Amber! Not quite yet, we're working to release a closed Beta soon and are looking for folks who would be interested in helping us test the app :)

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Carlos!

Congratulations on being one of the forty ideas in the refinement phase. 

How do supermarkets or small grocery stores currently keep track of the expiry dates of their stock on the shop floor? How is this monitored in warehouses and distribution centers?

I really like the idea I do wonder which of the following options is best:

1. An app that alerts people to discounts on items in their grocery basket in shops in the area. 
2. An instore app that can scan the use by dates of items in a grocery basket and offer a discount. 
3. An option to do this all online for home delivery of items i.e. the consumer selects items they want to buy and compares prices and availability across online stores. I do a lot of online grocery shopping and often  delivered food is close to the expiry date. I would happily pay more for an expiration date further in the future or less for items that expire that day. 

Photo of Carlos de Santiago

Hi Kate!

Thank you! Excited to be participating in the refinement phase :)
Live expiration date tracking has not been adopted in most Grocery Stores, so we see alot of them setting up scheduled checkups on their inventory based on when inventory arrives at the store. Warehouses/Distribution centers have better access to expiration dates, but i think they vary greatly in how they use them to make decisions, no solid answer here as i've only toured 1 or 2 distribution centers!

Some personal thoughts on the ideas:
1. My favorite. Being a pleasant surprise in people's day, one that helps reduce food waste, feels beautiful to me :)
2. This is up and running in the Finland
3. On top of being able to pay extra for newer items, the cool part about this one, IMO, is that things can be more easily white labeled.  Which means price-sensitive store/product brands would be more likely to participate. (some stores/products don't want to be associated with lowered prices.)

<3 Carlos

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Carlos! Thank you for your post. You win the award for the most impressive CV/resume I have ever seen!

I can see this working well here in the UK. It reminds me of Too Good To Go - Is this the sort of user journey / experience you had in mind?

I am interested in the opinion of Tojin Eapen on this idea. He submitted an idea on dynamic pricing through QR codes on products - 

I think there might be a good connection between these two ideas - an online/offline model!

Photo of Carlos de Santiago

Thanks Kate! I wish more employers felt the same way haha.

Ah TGTG is awesoommmeeee! Our User Journey will be somewhat similar starting out while we iron out the mathematical magic behind our dynamic pricing. 

 Tojin Eapen  awesome idea! We're definitely pursuing similar paths, happy to collab! I stopped buying bread because I can reliably find day old bread if I wait for a business to take out its day's trash (not for everybody).  Its one of the most wasted items we find! 

Kate Rushton thanks for getting the conversation started ^__^

Photo of Aaryaman Singhal

Hi Carlos, 

This is a very cool idea. I am happy to see a few ideas to bring food to people in a "just-in-time" way.  

Where is your pilot running? Is it available in Dallas, TX?

Photo of Carlos de Santiago

Hey Aaryaman,

Thanks for the kind words! We'll be running the pilot in NYC(soon!), but would love to let other food vendors test it in their own communities. No plans for Dallas yet, think Dallas would be interested in us?