Trade Me founder Sam Morgan regrets "blunt" comments branding rival company Wheedle a "joke" but believes they face an uphill task in their quest for a share of the industry.
Morgan's comments come as new trading website Wheedle announced its launch this week, hoping to take on Trade Me in the estimated $1 billion Kiwi online market.
After initially dismissing their credibility as a competitor, Morgan backtracked to stress the difficulties challengers to his website will face.
Branding Wheedle founders "brave souls", Morgan said he couldn't think of a harder industry for a start-up firm to try and crack.
"When Trade Me was nowhere near as strong as we are now, we saw off eBay, Zillion, Sella and Trade & Exchange," Morgan says.
His view was backed up by Trade Me marketplace head Craig Jordan, who wished Wheedle luck but pointed out other firms have also tried and failed in their quest to topple Trade Me.
But the locally owned site, scheduled for launch on October 1, promise to provide cheaper rates than Trade Me, creating a new online website for individuals and businesses to showcase their products and services.
“New Zealand’s online market is currently dominated by a single, Australian owned entity and with the launch of Wheedle, Kiwis will really benefit from the increased competition,” said Carl Rees, Wheedle MD.
“As we’ve seen in the telecommunications market, the entry of another major player can both simulate growth and make pricing much more affordable for Kiwi consumers.”
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