Well, the online New Zealand online auction site business just got a bit more crowded, with the addition of Knomee.
Initial reactions? I’m not overly impressed.
What needs work?
- Listing fees – too high. Not much different than trademe. (The lowest fee is 40 cents, compared to 50 cents for trademe.) Their justification is that this stops people from listing junk. I think it is just a profit earner. I would prefer a zero cost listing fee, but then a success fee, instead of an upfront fee, followed by no success fee, because as an online seller, it is in my best interest to list multiple items, but that costs too much if they are not selling (and knomee does not have the volume/traffic to ensure much exposure and sales.)
- Disorganised – trying to sell an iphone cover last night, the option was to list it under: Phones > iPhone. On trademe, that would be: Mobile phones > Accessories > Cases & covers > iPhone.
- Navigation – notice in my previous point that the trademe “breadcrumb” (the list of where you are) has links that you can click on to move up categories. Knomee does not have links in their breadcrumbs, hard to move from one category to another.
- Layout – I do not find the web page layout very well designed. Some parts take up way too much space (the badges, endorsements, contact details and offer boxes take up 1.3 of the page. Make that stuff much smaller, and give more room to the product I am looking at).
- Listing details – limited information for a product listing. I like trademe’s selling features such as shipping details, automated payment instructions, and product management (automatic reselling, inventory control, etc). This may be something they can add over time.
But I think the biggest hurdle for Knomee will be getting sales volume. Until they get customers, sellers will not want to risk paying for product listings. But unless they have sellers (and products to sell) customers will not want to visit. It is the classic chicken and egg problem.