Online auction site fails to take off

Last updated 05:00 11/12/2012
Daniel Manson
BUSINESS SLOW-TRAIN: AuctionMe, and Temuka Taxis owner Daniel Manson is not concerned by competition.

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Temuka's Daniel Manson envisioned he would be the owner of a successful business when he bought an auction website, AuctionMe, in 2004, but it remains static.

He faces competition with a recently launched local site Bananas4free which has high hopes of cornering the market with not only online auction but classified advertising and social networking.

But Mr Manson said he was not concerned. "I haven't given it much thought."

Mr Manson was working at Fonterra until 2006 when he took voluntary redundancy and looked for further investment. "It seemed like an opportunity for a good business," he said.

But when he was approached about a $25,000 advertising package to launch the site in the public arena Mr Manson got cold feet and instead bought a taxi company. "The taxi business is more reliable." Perhaps as a result of this decision the site has not grown, there has only been "a wee bit of traffic" since.

"I had planned to take on Trade Me."

His original strategy was to build up regular Temuka customers and then to branch out into other districts.

There were only a few other auction sites when he started and he hoped word of mouth would be his best promotion.

It is completely free to users, Mr Manson pays to host the site and use software naming rights.

Unfortunately his enthusiasm has waned as the numbers continue to remain small.

"I've thought about selling it." He is in two minds as what to do for the best to make a profit he needs volume, but he hasn't lost all hope yet.

"If by a miracle 100,000 people start using it I'll go from there."

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- The Timaru Herald

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