Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 21st 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

Recent Columns

Are we moving too fast?
Guess what? I'm getting a brand new washing machine, for free!...

We told you so music industry
When computers started featuring CD burners and the internet began to be a thing, the music industry went ape...

HP sabotage their own customers?
We all know how the manufacturers of inkjet printers have created a fascinating business model that effectively gives away the hardware then rapes you on the consumables front...

The evil of the VC industry
I think most readers of this column will recall at least a few horror stories related to the world of startups and venture capitalists (VCs)...

No EV from Apple?
The Daily Telegraph reports today that Apple has abandoned its attempts to create an electric vehicle...

Forget literacy, what about oracy?
We have grown used to hearing about how the level of literacy right across our education system has been falling in recent decades...

PayPal... where's the money?
A few months ago I wrote about the issue I was having with Paypal...

Copyright corruption
A week or so ago I read a rather funny story on the news wires...

The 5-second rule? What the?
News wires around the world are reporting that the five-second rule is hokum...

What's next, no mood medication?
As someone who relies heavily on the ready availability of lithium-based battery technology, I've been pretty annoyed at the way these batteries have become vilified by the transport industry...

Augmented reality kills
Yesterday I received a secret, pre-release product from a Chinese company which I initially had problems understanding...