There’s an interesting article over at eBay strategies, which talks about how eBay lost the market for classifieds and mentions that Amazon is taking out the top end. (If you work at Trade Me then you should have eBay Strategies in your RSS reader)
I’ve mentioned it here before, and it bears repeating: Trade Me is different.
Trade Me has captured the Motors market, is well ahead of the incumbent in Property traffic and just behind the incumbent in Jobs. They are also in flats ( and have been for years) and rental property.
Meanwhile Trade Me’s free listings and simple localization meant that they have always been in the local classifieds game – things like sofas and so forth that require a face to face transaction.
The overall effect was a business that left no space for the well executed Zillion and Finda to get traction.
So well done Trade Me, but the threat will always be there – screw up and someone will take big chunks of the business. This will happen, for example, if Trade Me attempts to increase fees too much or if usability is lost in a host of features. If so then Craigslist, Gumtree or say Zillion will be right there to pick up the volume.
Sadly for the competitive threat Trade Me is still following the path to usability, and while I’d like to see lower fees in tough times they are probably at the right level for now.
It’s the same at the top end for eBay with higher quality product sellers moving across to Amazon.
Indeed while a substantial percentage (say 40%) of Trade Me’s listings are new, there does remain a bit of a gap in the market for direct selling of quality new products. It’s the one Ferrit was so hapless at finding, and I’ve mentioned how you can take advantage before. The gap is pretty tiny, but between New Zealand and Australia (where eBay is also screwing up) there is plenty of scope.
I’m saddened at just how eBay have managed to lose the plot, but respect Trade Me and how they are still showing the way after 10 years.