Back in 2003 a man named Rajesh Navar – former eBay employee – saw an opportunity in the fact that eBay misses out to address well the market of goods sold locally. Those would be large items like cars, furniture that usually require a local pickup. CraigsList on the other hand was good for these but was not very business/entrepreneur oriented. It served well as online newspaper but lacked the conveniences eBay provided for pro-sellers.
And so LiveDeal was born featuring a mix of functionality that the two sites provide. Similar to CraigsList LiveDeal doesn’t charge anything for listing, selling or buying an item. Yet it utilizes seller feedback based rating (the feature that made eBay very popular) and has advanced listing features. Transaction wise – LiveDeal leaves it up to the buyer and seller to settle it. To that extend LiveDeal acts more like an on-line classified ads source. Here is a short summary comparing the three web sites.
|Fees||Multiple fees: Insertion, Listing Enhancements, Transaction, Premium Accounts||No fees||No fees to list up to 10 items. Fees for Premium Accounts. Listing Enhancement fees|
|Sales Type||Price is defined via limited time open auction||Up to the buyer and seller to settle the price||Up to the buyer and seller to settle the price|
|Listing Enhancements||Advanced features: Featured, Highlighted, Sub-title, Bold, Pictures, Gallery, Reserved Price, Buy Now, etc||Pictures||Some features: Home page & Category featured, Highlighted, Pictures, Buy Now|
|Pro-seller support||Store Fronts, Batch Submissions||None||Store Fronts, Batch Submissions|
|Listing Duration||1-10 days||Major US Cities: 7 days for classifieds, 30 days for resumes;
Other Cities: 45 days.
|up to 30 days|
|Buyer Convenience||Advanced search & sorting functionality, email alerts||Search by city, category, price||Search by ZIP-code, category, price, email alerts|
|Countries Serviced||Multiple||Multiple||US, Canada|
|Banner ads||Few to no ads||No ads||A lot of ads|
It will be fair to note that due to the fact that eBay controls the sales transaction itself it can provide extended user interface features which the other two web sites cannot. For example eBay allows you to search past/completed auctions – a very convenient feature if you want to see what similar items sold for in the past.
eBay have learnt their lesson and is aggressively moving into the local markets. They improved eBay autos to make a better accent to the seller location. They are adding classifieds to eBay listings. They purchased 25% stake in CraigsList and launched an international classified brand: kijiji.com
Will LiveDeal present any serious threat to either eBay or CraigsList? I doubt. It is now 3 years since it launched and according to this Alexa chart it barely made any dent in the other two web sites popularity.
eBay has practically monopolized the market. Buyers are happy with the advanced features the web site offers and don’t see the numerous fees eBay charges sellers. Sellers see a potential in the huge buyers base eBay offers. I don’t think the picture is going to change anytime soon.
Read more about LiveDeal here.