A website developer’s 12-year labour of love has just gone live and is taking on Trade Me.
Tim van Ameringen has spent more than 40,000 hours developing 4tradeit.co.nz, a new low-cost auction and classified website, from his Dairy Flat man cave in North Auckland.
Site looks good,but success is not down to site design.
But it has also meant he’s kept costs down to hundreds of thousands rather than tens of millions like failed auction sites Wheedle and Sella.
This means big wins for users, as most will use the website for free.
It’s free to sign up, free to list products with one photo, and there is no selling fee.
The trouble is most people are not worried about the 8% fee on Trade Me (and yes I’m one of those annoyed at the increase). They worry about getting the maximum price.
Sellers will go to the site where the most buyers are, as more buyers can mean 50%, 60% more for what you sell. And buyers will go to the sites where they can find what they are looking for – ie where the most sellers are.
First mover advantage is huge for auction sites.
His website offers all the same categories except for three; books, electronic media and tickets and memorabilia, which are too difficult to deal with, van Ameringen says.
Users may also be attracted to the site for its charity element.
Charitable trust Wings of Hope owns 45 per cent of 4tradeit and any profits will be spread back into the community to organisations such as Women’s Refuge.
Without promotion the site is already attracting 1000 users a day and 17 affiliated car dealers have around 1100 vehicles listed.
Van Ameringen is now hoping to attract more users and small businesses.
“If people find it can offer an alternative, then it has served its purpose,” he says.
2,500 people on there at the moment. I wish it well, but I’m doubtful it will gain meaningful market share.