A website developer’s 12-year labour of love has just gone live and is taking on Trade Me.
Tim van Ameringen has spent more than 40,000 hours developing 4tradeit.co.nz – a new low-cost auction and classified website – from his Dairy Flat man cave in North Auckland.
‘If I knew what I was getting into when I started I probably wouldn’t have done it. It’s a very complicated piece of software’ he says.
‘There were days when I thought I’d never get there’ he says.
But it has also meant he’s kept costs down to hundreds of thousands rather than tens of millions like failed auction sites Wheedle and Sella.This means big wins for users as most will use the website for free.
It’s free to sign up – free to list products with one photo and there is no selling fee.
Businesses can also set up online shops and list for free and auctions last 90 days – compared to 14 on Trade Me.
‘It’s all about making it easier and more friendly’ van Ameringen says.
He hopes his low cost site becomes an alternative online community to Trade Me and is hoping to pick up people from there after it announced changes to its pricing structure from February 1.
‘I thought it was a sad day when Wheedle closed down as it offered a counter balance’ van Ameringen says.
He believes Wheedle – bank-rolled by Mainfreight co-founder and rich-lister Neil Graham – launched too fast in 2012.
It shut down for maintenance the day after its launch after it was plagued by problems and security issues.
The software is so complex it doesn’t take much to create a bug van Ameringen says.
He has spent the past year rebuilding some areas and fine tuning the site after a ‘soft launch’ 12 months ago to the community to find out what wasn’t working well.
‘So as of now it’s working very well – without bugs’ he says.
Van Ameringen also believes he has created a world first for auction sites with his website.
His use of responsive design means the site automatically configures to mobile devices – making it extremely user friendly without the need to download an app.