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Is New Zealand ready to topple the TradeMe King?

Is New Zealand ready to topple the TradeMe King?

Auckland, July 8th 2014 - If you are one of many sellersfrustrated by the high fees being charged by the TradeMe monopoly then you have to ask the question “Is New Zealand ready for a different auction website?” Another valid question is who is going to take on the New Zealand’s second most visited website next to Google? Many have tried and failed, although with the economy on the up and with current consumer sentiment the conditions are ripe for smart entrepreneurs to attempt to topple the country’s auction website king.

With the cost of web development having reduced dramatically over the past few years, there is a real likelihood that newcomers with unique selling points will be able to make some real gains in the near future. If TradeMe does have an Achilles heel then it’s going to be associated witha mix of reduced fees and much better targeting around matching buyers to sellers in specific areas. For example AutoTrader has seen great results by focusing solely on providing an enhanced serviceto motorists.Once a company gets to a certain size it can tend to forget how it got there and lose its core focus around servicing its customers. With the added pressure of looking after shareholder interests the tendency is to increase profit rather than provide a better service.

Mike McMinn a senior internet consultant from Auckland based web development company Digital Media Developments Ltd ( states that he’s seen a rise in the number of enquiries from potential TradeMe competitors in NZ over the past few months. This has led us to believe that sooner or later someone with the right set of ideas is going to find a way to topple the king. Once you start thinking about new approaches to enhance services provided to NZ consumers in each of the different auction categories, it doesn’t take long to come up with a list of requirements that can be relatively easily built.

It will be interesting to see if TradeMe has the vision and the appetite to continue growing in the current climate. In the past TradeMe could be viewed as being arrogant in response their competition. The thing is that if you don’t plan around the competition at this level then surely you are just asking for trouble. In this market there will always be hungrier players ready to take a slice of the TradeMe pie. The question is how small are the slices and how much marketing spend is required to get each venture off the ground.

Social media search may well offer some insight into how this will evolve through the better targeting and positioning of products using our own personal networks and likes. Google is another monopoly that many online marketing experts feel have lost sight of their original value proposition. Experts are keeping a close eye on the rise of social search which is a very real threat to Google’s current market dominance. Anyone who has followed the rise of the Internet closely will be able to tell you that there have been many casualties both large and small along the way. AltaVista was once the most popular search engine on the planet but it lost its foothold to Google in 2001. In this world of opportunity anything is still possible.


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