If Wheedle was a horse, they’d shot it by now

The wannabe auction site Wheedle failed before it even started, but that doesn’t stop the people bankrolling it from thinking they can take a slice from the TradeMe pie.  After all, it worked for Vodafone, and again for 2Degrees.  Why can’t they just take a few percent of TradeMe’s business and get a toe-hold in the NZ auction market?

Wheedle boss Carl Rees says he is happy with how the online auction website is faring two weeks after its relaunch, even though it appears few bids are being placed.

At 2.30pm today there were 120 items listed for sale with an auction closing time between 2.36pm and 5.19pm, ranging from a bulk lot of 20 size D batteries ($10) to a 2006 Holden Commodore (starting bid $32,000).

But only two had attracted bids and only one, a Swiss Army watch for which bidding had reached $35, had met its reserve.

Wheedle has been bankrolled by Mainfreight co-founder and rich-lister Neil Graham and is being frequently advertised on television.

What is it with rich people that makes them think they can buy themselves success?  A tits idea is still a tits idea, even with lots of money behind it.

They are probably going on the gut feeling that there must be enough disaffected TradeMe customers that are looking for a new home, but they continue to battle the same problem:  Without things to sell, or people to buy them, you’re pouring money down the drain.

Some said they had sold goods through Wheedle, and one trader said they were listing products on Wheedle, which is currently free, at a 15 per cent discount on their Trade Me prices.

Others said they found the site slow and lacking in features.

Instead of pouring money into a useless development team and an ineffective national advertising campaign, the people with more money than sense need to study Internet success really, really hard.  The number of times “entrepreneurs” have come by with lots of cash and bought themselves a success are few and far between, especially when all they are doing is copying an existing success without offering a compelling reason for those users to shift their loyalties.

Wheedle will end up on the same scrap heap as Flying Pig (anyone remember them?).

The Internet doesn’t respond well to people that try to throw money at it without understand its psyche, and as a result we are treated to a very public display of idiots throwing good money after bad.

Here are this morning’s “Closing Soon” listings.  0 bids. 0 bids. 0 bids. 0 bids. 0 bids. 0 bids. 0 bids.

Wheedle, may you rest in peace.




Source:  Stuff


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  • fecnde

    buyers market? could be worth a look

    • Not really. Because of the lack of buyers, every auction is listed at the price the seller wants. So it’s not so much an auction site as a retail shop.

      • fecnde

        ah well

  • blokeintakapuna

    Ouch! But you’re right… Never visited once. Sorry…

  • mick le prick

    Cam in all fear ness Flying Pig was a head of its time due to the Telecom monopoly and dial up.

  • Anonymous4001

    They took away my ability to change the reserve price. That sux….

  • Harry Haircut

    Auction sites are a chicken and egg problem.

    That is a very hard problem to solve. It is virtually impossible to solve for Johnny come-latelys offering nothing new.

  • Mr_V4

    Can’t say I’ve used it, but surely anything that provides a bit of competition to the incumbent is a good thing? Even it it may take a while.
    What I am truly sick of is the media fawning over anything that gets listed on trademe. They wonder where their advertising revenue has gone, while at the same time providing free advertising by way of ‘news’ stories.

  • Blair Mulholland

    Amazon.com didn’t turn a profit for seven years. Not necesarily fatal to have modest beginnings for a company. Just depends how deep the investors’ pockets are.

  • Travis Poulson

    I see ‘Sella’ is still going, can’t think why though, most of the categories have 0 next to them. Interestingly it has a link to the herald at the top of the page, and looks like it is owned by APN. That seemed like a good investment….

  • Mediaan

    They need to try to be a specialised part of the market, niche market. Or get out.

    TradeMe has taken a strong Number 1 position.