AllGoods, a new online marketplace offering a 100% free platform for regular users to buy and sell, announced on Saturday that they were ready to tackle the online giant Trade Me. After 2 years of preparation and testing, and an extremely successful pre-launch they said they were ready to transition into their marketing phase and were thrilled to see a steady stream of users coming onto the (allgoods.co.nz) site already.
Founder and CEO of AllGoods, Levi Fawcett, who also oversees Rocket Lab’s rocket simulator, explained that the dream was to create an innovative and modern online marketplace for New Zealanders to buy and sell without it costing them an arm and a leg.
AllGoods only allows products to be shipped from within New Zealand, usually sent within 24 hours. This means fast easy shipping for buyers, and gives local Kiwi businesses the level platform they have been lacking for many years.
In-line with their vision, the platform also allows normal users to list and sell auctions completely for free.
International sellers make up a large proportion of sellers on Trade Me. All Goods co-founder Caleb Honiss found that almost three quarters of Trade Me’s top 50 stores were having their products shipped from overseas.
“This creates a massive disadvantage for New Zealand based sellers since the international stores have thousands of low-quality items flooding the site, often making it quite difficult for those wanting to support NZ.” he said.
Levi added, “I find it outrageous that Trade Me abuse their power to take advantage of Kiwis. They have also allowed their site to become flooded with non-GST paying overseas sellers, a greedy move that hurts the average Kiwi.”
New Zealand’s outdated tax laws also allow these international stores to sell on websites such as Trade Me without having to pay GST which gives them quite an edge over their NZ based competitors. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11810553)
The AllGoods website was founded by a group of five with a range of diverse backgrounds — the majority of whom are graduates of the University of Canterbury.
“We have always believed that it should be completely free for New Zealanders to list and sell their second-hand items. Profit should be made from businesses, not your average Joe Bloggs who is just trying get rid of his couch.” said Levi.
Kiwi stores can also sign up and sell products for a small success fee.
The energetic young CEO was an integral part of Rocket Lab’s successful launches late last year and early this year, building and maintaining a hardware and software simulation of the entire rocket. AllGoods was also responsible for developing the website and tracker used for the Humanity Star, a revolving geodesic sphere that was in space, visible from Earth.
“These skills have translated well into the development of our website. We committed to using nothing but the latest frameworks right from the outset which has enabled us to create a modern and secure website which, to be frank, really leaves the Trade Me dinosaur in the dust.” said Levi.
AllGoods ran a two week soft launch in which they invited a select group of stores to list on the site.
“The response we got was phenomenal. We had over 160 stores sign up and collectively list over 10,000 products, all within just a 2 week window. We believe that this, coupled with the sheer number of people that have tried listing on second-rate alternatives, really shows that there is a demand for the platform we are offering.” said Levi.
AllGoods has an in-site chat system which allows stores and customers to interact directly on the site. All stores also receive their own customisable storefront and inventory management system. Stores have found it to be a great replacement to their own websites with some of them even redirecting their own websites to their AllGoods storefront instead.
“Many of our stores have even voluntarily opted to lower their prices by 5–10% thanks to the savings they are making with our low success fees. This is great for the average Kiwi who is keen on cheaper prices!” said Caleb Honiss, a company co-founder.
“Trade Me is absolutely not an NZ company! Their directors are mostly Australians who live in Australia, and the shares are mostly Australian owned as well.” Levi said.
AllGoods believes that they will be filling a gap in the marketplace for a truly Kiwi owned and operated e-commerce platform. They say that publicly listed figures show that Trade Me is not as Kiwi as their logo portrays them to be. Only two members on their board of directors are from New Zealand,the rest being made up by Australians. Likewise the shareholder list shows that 44.9% of Trade Me is owned by Australians, 30.2% is owned by New Zealanders, and the remaining 24.9% is not publicly available. This makes it extremely likely that Trade Me is a majority Australian owned company.
When Levi was asked if they were worried about Trade Me’s monopoly power he responded quickly, “When Trade Me started focusing on their financial goals and overseas shareholders, not their customers, they lost sight of their Kiwi vision. We promise not to make this mistake. I believe that the New Zealand market will respond well to this, so are we worried about Trade Me’s monopoly? Nah, all goods mate!”
**This article was provided through a newswire and does not express the views or opinions of 61-Bit.
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