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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Wheedle shmeedle

Hilarity has abounded all day in the twittershpere and elsewhere online:
NZ Herald:
New auction website Wheedle will shut down indefinitely after having a hole in its security systems pointed out online.
The online marketplace has been plagued with problems since it launched yesterday and was "down for maintenance" for part of this morning.
Its managing director Carl Rees this afternoon announced the site will close while a "comprehensive audit" is carried out on its systems.
The shutdown comes after technology blogger Ben Gracewood tweeted instructions on how to change reserve prices on other people's Wheedle auctions.
It was even possible for a person who did not set up an auction to set a "buy now" price.

The problem with these auction sites is that TradeMe has it in spades - first, biggest, the most - it has a critical mass that none of their erstwhile competitors wil ever be able to attain. The only way a competitor can go is niche and that means it won't be a general site. TradeMe is it - that's why Fairfax paid a fortune for it. But the mythic lure of the internet version of King Solomon's mines-cum-El Derado is still producing these pathetic wannabes:
Another new online marketplace - called List Sell Trade is due to launch on Thursday.


Give up now before you blow the lot. Their business models are rooted: they have to spend millions on advertising just to get a few thousand traders. Trying to save money on the back end doesn't work either by the looks of what has happened to Wheedle.

And no - why bother linking to something that doesn't exist.


At 2/10/12 5:30 pm, Blogger Shackleford Hurtmore said...

I had a tongue-in-cheek idea of a Unique Selling Point for Wheedle: http://shacklemore.blogspot.co.nz/2012/10/wheedle.html

Of course, any business model only works if their code is secure, and webservers stay up.

At 2/10/12 7:11 pm, Blogger Nitrium said...

Don't count competition in ANY internet space out too soon. Recent example: Facebook's TOTAL domination over MySpace (that itself destroyed Friendster). Internet users are remarkably fickle and very fad based. TradeMe is not the ultimate immoveable rock you make it out to be. It may or may not pass the test of time.
Incidentally, Google today surpassed Microsoft in market cap - who 1 0 years ago would have ever thought that possible?

At 2/10/12 9:44 pm, Blogger peterpeasant said...

So! In your universe monopolies rule?

At 3/10/12 8:49 am, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

I'm not in favour of these big monopolies, just acknowledging that they do rule and that to displace them will need certain conditions that do not exist in TradeMe's situation.


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