Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2016 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Is it all about marketing?

27 February 2013

It wasn't too long ago that several new players in the online auction marketplace rolled out (or tried to roll out) their TradeMe-killer sites.

Wheedle was stillborn, ListSellTrade has failed to fire, and even the best of this bunch - Bananas4Free seems to be unable to create any critical mass.

Will that change now that TradeMe seems to have suffered a serious melt-down affecting many power-sellers and professional traders?

Unlikely.

Despite the fact that so very many people are so willing to bitch and moan about TM's fees, lousy service and bugs -- few seem willing to take a punt on the pretenders to the crown.

How silly.

Right now, anyone considering launching a TM-killer website ought to be spending a lot of time examining why it is that, despite the oft-admitted "hate" so many of its customers express towards the company, they continue to accept all its faults and fees.

Is it just the "critical mass" issue?

Certainly that's one major factor -- but I wonder if there isn't something else going on. After all, critical mass is something you'd expect to come over time, so long as you wait long enough and have a top-quality product.

Of course the issue is that we're a nation seeking "instant gratification". If we list an item on those other sites and it doesn't sell then we tend to think "waste of time" and simply throw it up on TM.

Surely, if the traders who are complaining so vocally were true to their convictions, they'd set aside some of their products for listing exclusively on their chosen TM-killer site, perhaps even offering a lower reserve or buy-now price so as to recognise the lower (or lack of) success fees involved.

But they don't.

For the vast majority, this means they get the crappy service and pay the outrageous fees they deserve.

Maybe it's the traders who need to invest (by way of their patronage and discounted prices) in these TM-alternatives -- if they really want a viable option for their listings.

And, if I was trying to market one of these contender-sites, my ad-spend would be going into a campaign that enticed every man, woman and child to list just one item on my site. Imagine if you got just a 10% success rate -- you'd have 400,000 listings and that *would* create a critical mass of foot-traffic through your virtual auction-room doors.

The problem with the current marketing campaigns is that they seem to focus on attracting the foot-traffic first and that just doesn't work. All that happens is that people wander through an empty framework -- noting nothing other than the fact that there is nothing to buy and writing-off the site as a viable option to TM.

Get folk listing their treasures and unwanted junk first. If your shelves are filled with such things, everyone who wanders in the virtual door will be surprised by the selection and return again - probably after telling their friends and families to do the same.

Could it be that the real reason these auction sites are dead in the water is because they're all putting the cart before the horse and don't have a clue about how to properly promote them to an audience that would really *love* to walk away from TradeMe?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say on this...

PERMALINK to this column

Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Previous Columns

Crowdfunding, not just for startups
Traditionally, crowdfunding has been a method used by small companies or startups when they want to take a product from conception to commercial reality...

NZ goes back to the 1940s
Time to talk about a criminal welfare system...

An innocent victim of the war against drugs
Many years ago, I used to suffer badly from hay fever...

The final body-blow for SkyTV?
Now that Netflix and other streaming video services have arrived, Sky TV has become increasingly reliant on sports as its core content...

New Zealand, just like the USA?
Earlier this week I wrote about the case of a US citizen who the federal government wants to jail indefinitely because they refuse to hand over the decryption key for data stored on their laptop...

Youtube on shaky ground?
Google has announced that its new YouTube Red service is now available to Kiwis...

When a basic human right becomes a crime
You know the world has gone mad when what was once a basic, inalienable human right becomes a crime that could see offenders jailed for life...

Flash-back and Kodi
Google is taking the bold and laudable step of blocking Flash on all but ten sites to be found on the internet when viewed using its Chrome browser...

Could the IoT become Skynet?
The Internet of Things is predicted to become "a big thing" in the near future...

Forget the quality, feel the width!
I mentioned a while ago that I was considering a bit of a facelift for this website and I received some excellent feedback from readers...

And in the end...
From that great tome, the bible: (Isaiah 29:6) "You will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire"...