ajobbins:reven: what i would consider
1. 10 free listings a month for regular users, if you just want to sell the odd thing or two, you shouldnt be charged
Think of the long tail. Trade Me probably make 20-30% of their profit from the big sellers, and the rest from the hunderds of thousands of people only selling a few things at a time.
im talking about how to get new users, this could be reduced in the future, but to get people coming this would be a good feature. and theres still a lot of money to be made off stores and advertising
ajobbins:reven:2. advanced search, searching on trademe is a pita at times, sella is way worse
To do this well you really need to start using attributes, and with the many categories it can become very hard to do. Agree this could be done better tho.
not that hard, would be very helpful for a few things. like i was looking to buy a house, i wanted at least 200m2 flooor area and 500m2 land, couldnt search for that. i wanted to list all games less than $20. i want to see things with free shipping (that would encourage free shipping).
ajobbins:reven:3. some really high profile auctions, oodles of them, you need to get people going there, you will spend lots of money but you have to get people going to your site and signing up (login with facebook is a good idea)
You need a critical mass for this to work. Trying to get big names to run high profile auctions will only happen if you have the punters there.
this is an idea how to get people going to the site, but it requires a large investment from the site. my overall theme == needs lots of money to pull this off.
ajobbins:reven:4. iphone/android/wp app
TM have mobile apps. It's kind of a have to have nowadays, rather than a bonus.
just saying it was a requirement, i dont think wheedle or listselltrade have an app ready.
ajobbins:reven:5. emails with suggested auctions you might like (has to be done well, but hopefully keep people coming back), eg if you loose an auction, send an email with similar auctions (handy for games etc)
Trade Me have this (The Buzzy Bee) on the site - people don't like lots of emails.
no people dont like lots of emails that are spam, but many people do like emails with stuff they actually want to buy. im signed up to dse daily deals, nzgameshop offers. stuff i want, i want to hear about. and i can always opt out of them. but these keep me going to their sites.
ajobbins:reven:6. nz owned and operated is good
Does anyone really care that much? Selling to Fairfax didn't seem to do any harm to Trade Me.
agreed its a small thing, but still a bit of a bonus, i rather give my money to a local company than an overseas one. as long as the prices are fair.
ajobbins:reven:7. provide pay by credit card for free (trademe charge you for this)
Who will may the merchant fees then? Trade Me simply pass on the charges that they wear from their bank for processing a card.
once again something to start off with, to get people using the site, you wont be making money from this site for the next few years.
ajobbins:reven:8. use paypal as an option
Problem with this is they don't control it. It works for eBay because they are linked. If you have a dispute, you can take it up with PayPal and they can work with eBay. I suspect they would have little interest in working with someone like Trade me.
as a unknown startup, i dont really want to give them my credit card details, i dont know what their security is like, personally having paypal as an option would improve trust. its very easy to get funds back from a seller on paypal, ive done this a couple of times in the past without any problems.
ajobbins:reven: 9. give away random prizes at first for those who list items to sell.
Everyone does this.
never seen trademe do anything like this. most ive seen, is list it as "featured" for a week for free.. not really a prize, i could be wrong but havent seen it. if they made this big and loud, 10 ipads to give away by listing an auction it could get people listing. once again, they would need to buy the prizes and send them out == more startup money.
ajobbins:reven:i hate trademe, their fees are crazy, the 0900 support number is crazy, they make crap loads of money and arent kept in line. selling a laptop on trademe costs about $100 in success fees.
The 0900 support number is a good idea. If they went with a local number, or a toll free number they would probably have to increase the size of their call centre 10 fold. At least. Seriously.
seriously no its not a good idea. people often complain about it, trademe is not a "liked" company its a good website, its a good product, its easy to use, its good in that regard, but its not "liked".
ajobbins:reven:im a developer and could fairly easily make a trademe like site, but it wouldnt succeed because i dont have the money to back it. you need a lot of money. saying "hey this is easy, i can do this in a week" is all well and good, but its more than just the programming.
If you had seen the inner working of Trade Me you wouldn't say that. It's not just a pretty web interface, the back end systems behind it are huge and complex. The web UI you interact with is just the tip of the iceberg.
ive developed huge web applications, tens of thousands of lines of code, i know its complex and more than a GUI, theres backend apis, theres reporting, their services in the background, theres stuff to control load balancing, etc. but its not insanely difficult, its work, its a lot of work, but its not hard work. especially now days with azure, you can get scaling pretty easily and cheaply.