New trading website Wheedle will launch next week, hoping to take on Trade Me in the estimated $1 billion Kiwi online market.
Launching October 1, locally owned Wheedle says it provides a new online website for individuals and businesses to showcase their products and services.
In a move to rival Trade Me, price has become a key consideration for the start-up firm as the company hopes to attract businesses looking reduce their online advertising spend.
“Wheedle is different from the established model in that we don’t charge commissions or success fees – we think they are unfair," says Carl Rees, Wheedle MD.
"We also don’t have any hidden costs such as set-up fees and monthly charge.
“Everything else is designed to be much, much cheaper on Wheedle – something the market will really appreciate.”
Wheedle says the site will have a strong focus on attracting established online businesses, including importers, retailers, manufacturers, vehicle dealers, real estate agents, travel agents and recruitment agents, who are encouraged to sign-up and advertise free of charge until November 29.
“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," Rees says.
“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.”
Initially established by Rees along with software developer Ranjith Sivaraman, Wheedle has been more than two years in development.
Based in Christchurch, the company employs local talent while also drawing on a wide range of international expertise which Rees hopes will enable Wheedle to carve out a substantial share of the fast growing online market.
“This is an expanding market with many new opportunities," he says.
"Kiwis will soon discover that Wheedle offers more-for-less, which should encourage a new stream of buyers and sellers to the online market.
“A key point of difference though, has been the focus we have put into the smartphone market.
"I believe we are the first online marketplace to be built from the ground up in the smartphone age; we’ve taken good advantage of that to make ‘wheedling’ a mobile optimised activity.”
“Being locally owned and operated allows us to keep Wheedle competitive; we don’t have to report to a large corporate base, nor do we have large shareholders demanding high returns on their investment.”
Wheedle will be launching to the public with a nationwide TV, radio and online advertising campaign on September 30.