Trademe thoroughly trouncing Zillion in the online auction stakes

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 1-Oct-2006 21:50

On the weekend I was invited to play Texas Hold 'Em Poker with some friends. I know basic poker rules & hands, but had not studied Texas Hold 'Em before.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and whats more, its REALLY easy... although I wont go into the rules here - there are plenty of other sites dedicated to that - just Google them (By the way - I am utterly disturbed at the average kiwis inability to Google things...).

I have been left keen for more, and so, decided to buy some poker chips online. First stop -, and lo and behold, of their 738,263 current listings, a search for "poker chips" lands 78 results. There is a reasonable selection, although good poker chips do cost money - I'm told that the 11.5gm ones are best.

Just for comparison, and for the first time in a long time, I headed off to Zillion, and typed "poker chips" into their quick search box. After finding only 2 listings for poker chips from a total pool of only 33,000 listings altogether (from only 34,600 members), I pretty much walked away.

Not hard to decide which site will continue to be my first (and indeed often my only) port of call.

Sorry Zillion - in my opinion, you have been called upon, and found seriously wanting. The online auction market was pwned some time ago by Sam and the team, and you continue to beat a dead horse with your hobby site. At least the other pretenders to the throne know where they stand...

Maybe I should have a squiz at Ferrit?

UPDATE: Tried Ferrit - their site is AWOL... no donkeys with German military helmets for me...

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Comment by portege, on 2-Oct-2006 12:42

A lot of things on Zillion are artificially created anyway. Have a look at how many listings GPStore has, now the owner of GPStore is a friend of Dylan Bland and is a developer of Zillion.

GPStore utilises Zillion as an alternative way to sell their products, and Zillion uses GPStore for the development of their site as well as trying to increase their listings.

The last time I checked, GPStore has 1881 out of 34,600, now this is the only store affiliated with Dylan, I am sure there are others. I wouldn't be surprised that he knows more of these "members" and give them free listings

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 2-Oct-2006 14:29

Thats a damning blow to Zillion then, with what, about 5 percent of listings coming from a friend.

If it is true that he gives away free/no fee accounts, then gawd knows how many listings are there only by the grace of no cost.

Zillion is a great idea, and looks to be pretty well implemented, but like I said in my article - Trademe got there first, and truly pwned the market.

Comment by alasta, on 2-Oct-2006 20:39

Trademe appears to be a natural monopoly. A potential competitor could only pose a threat if that competitor were backed by a large corporate, willing and able to invest huge dollars in marketing and run the service at a loss for a reasonable period of time. The fact that noone has done this yet would suggest that the market is currently too small to sustain more than one operator.

Fairfax would have been in a good position to establish their own service to compete with Trademe, and the fact that they instead opted to buy Trademe for $700m says a lot.

Comment by portege, on 3-Oct-2006 11:36

I think that it is a pretty good buy as the full benefits of TM are yet to come - both financial and non-financial.

It also completely solves FX's problem in establishing an online title, and the decrease in NSP advertising and an increase in online advertising. APN has done so by launching APN Online Media... while their "FindA" service is somewhat linked to their print footprint. I feel that it will never be as big as TM.

TM will have success in whatever it does, it is like a goldmine.

Comment by skyplonk, on 3-Oct-2006 16:35

Trademe have a monopoly, I am going to lobby hard to get Trademe unbundled.  I think if we unbundle Trademe, we can get some real competition in the online auction space.   Lower fees, and more flexiability. 

I am not too keen on going out and spending the money building and marketing my own online auction site.  Using someone else’s backend and systems is great. I will just put my own face on it.


Comment by Dylan Bland, on 18-Oct-2006 00:14

While it's true that a relationship exists between GPStore and Zillion (my co-founder is also a shareholder in GPStore) all members of Zillion are required to pay the same listing fees, including GPStore. Zillion is 100% committed to a level playing field, and that means equal opportunities for all sellers. Cheers :)

Comment by Online auctions, on 26-Nov-2006 17:41

It seems like your solution is in reverse auctions. No search neccessary - sellers will find you (plus give you the best price).

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