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NZ Owned Marketplace Backs Outrage At Trade Me

NZ Owned Marketplace Backs Users Outraged By Trade Me Decision

22/11/2006

New online marketplace Dizzle says it sympathises with members outraged by Trade Me's decision to carry ads that compete with the listings of its users. "It is appalling behaviour and Trade Me is only fuelling its growing reputation as a soulless money making machine. The Trade Me of today is clearly no longer Sam's little baby that we all loved but is being transformed into an operation that chooses to ignore the concerns of its users" says Damien Bateman, the web entrepreneur behind Dizzle - a site he describes as an alternative sales channel for online sellers.

"The issue is not advertising on the Trade Me site in general - it is the placement of paid advertisements on the auction detail pages that detract from the item being sold. For example, a Trade Me seller advertising a DVD for sale now has to put up with an advertisement for a movie rental business placed conspicuously amongst the description of their DVD - a business that is easily construed as being direct competition for that seller" Mr Bateman continues.

"Do you see publishers of magazines and newspapers placing an advertisement for a competitor within your paid advertisement? That would be outrageous. This is no different."

A visit to the Trade Me General thread on the community forums (http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Threads.aspx?topic=10) quickly reveals the distaste users have for recent changes to the Trade Me site. Trade Me recently opened a preview version of its redesigned site to its users and invited feedback from the community. Many users were immediately suspicious and speculated that the changes could only be part of a revenue drive. Their fears were soon confirmed when the new advertisements appeared on the auction details pages, drawing an immediate barrage of posts to the forums from Trade Me users demanding that the advertisements be withdrawn and for Trade Me staff to address their concerns. To date, Trade Me has not responded to the requests and the advertisements remain.

Mr Bateman encouraged Trade Me users to vote with their mice and support New Zealand owned alternatives, saying "Trade Me users have a choice - if they are unhappy with the service they receive from Trade Me then they can begin to go elsewhere. We invite them to come to Dizzle - www.dizzle.co.nz - where they can sell for free and experience the novelty of having an opinion that matters. We will never offend our valued users by placing advertisements for competing businesses on their listing detail pages."

ENDS

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