Fair enough. Competition is good.
Both failed badly.
In fact, they fell at the first hurdle. While observers rightly pointed out the difficulties anyone would have challenging a dominant player like TradeMe, the two newcomers each fell victim to their crappy, cheapskate technology long before running up against the invisible hands of market forces.
The sites were plagued by bad security, poor design and appalling usability. They also had server problems.
This shows the owners skimped on development. They may have got away with cheapskate development when TradeMe started in 1999, not in 2012.
Wheedle outsourced some development to India. This may, or may not, be the problem. What it tells us is the company tried to do its development on the cheap. It got what it paid for.
And the server problems are pathetic. Cloud services mean today’s companies can buy scalable computing capacity on demand. That may or not be the best long-term option for a busy auction site, but a good start-up strategy.
Wheedle and Listselltrade promise to return. Maybe they will. One thing is clear, TradeMe’s investors won’t lose any sleep.