Internet Auctions - the Competition Hots Up
Scoop Reader Opinion By Brian Jones
While Trade Me is the undisputed champion of New Zealand internet auctions, a social movement that has outstripped all
expectations, the competition is mounting with a number of copy-cat sites springing up.
There has been significant dissatisfaction with Trade Me increasing its fees particularly after its purchase by Fairfax
media. Has it lost its heart and original intent? Is it now just a money making machine captured by a media oligopoly?
The sale of Trade Me to Fairfax elevated Sam Morgan to god like status and he is now a must for the business conference
circuit. He represents the most visible of a new breed of young, upwardly mobile, internet and computer savvy, Bill
Gates equivalents of New Zealand. A few billion to go before he reaches heady money heights of Bill though, who was
recently once again nominated by Forbes magazine as still the worlds richest person.
Some of the newbie auction sites are following a range of approaches to get more clients, but it is hard work against
such established sites like Trade Me. One recent site is set up as a charity auction site only. Sell your goods and all
or some of the returns can go to the charity of your choice. Others sell into niche markets while some sell any goods to
the world. One site, SuperBuy, has hit upon the idea of a one million dollar give away. The first 1000 new customers
that list an item get $1000 free site credit. The features of these sites are also changing. Now you don't need to be
next to your computer to know what is going on. You can get your auction site activity text messaged to you on your
What Trade Me has done is shown up the trader/ bargainer / scrooge in a lot of New Zealanders. It has also probably done
more to get the general population computer literate and push internet growth than any other programme.
Trade Me is an economic phenomenon as well. It has started many small home businesses in New Zealand including people of
all ages, and has provided a major new national outlet for the big operators. More cars are now sold through Trade Me
that any other single source.
The trading world has changed New Zealand forever, since Trade Me came on the scene. However, New Zealanders have always
been good traders, every since the first settlers arrived, and highlighted by the trading prowess of Maori. This desire
has continued and has been manifested by the modern version: electronic trading, best show by Trade Me.
So how do you join the race and become a successful netpreneur and powerseller. Most importantly, always try to be fair
with other users who deal with you and never be intimidated by the competition.