12 Comments

Summary:

When it comes to online auctions I’m far more likely to be on the selling than the buying end. I am just not that into stuff. So I’m probably not the right person to evaluate a startup like Wigix, which launches its public beta today. The […]

When it comes to online auctions I’m far more likely to be on the selling than the buying end. I am just not that into stuff. So I’m probably not the right person to evaluate a startup like Wigix, which launches its public beta today. The one-year-old business, which has raised $5.3 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson positions itself as a stock market for stuff.

That’s a stretch. The company allows members to list their stuff (cars, electronics and ladies accessories are the most popular items so far), and see what other people might be willing to pay for it. For example, if I have a Nintendo Wii listed, I could set an “ask” price of $400 for it. If anyone meets that price then Wigix would automatically generate the transaction. If I merely listed my Wii I could see that others on the site are “bidding” $400 for them and set a price.

Thus, members can view their stuff as a “portfolio” of goods and see what the market value is. It’s a concept similar to iTaggit, which allows collectors to list their collections online, but is based on generating an eventual transaction. Unfortunately, the value in any sort of market depends on the market having liquidity, primarily through getting a lot of users selling and buying the same items. While the Nintendo Wii is a liquid asset, I’m less sure how liquid the market for a Prada bag would be.

So for Wigix to make it as an eBay killer (or even as a successful market) it needs to combine its transparency with liquidity– by gathering a lot of users and selling goods that a lot of people want to buy and sell. In contrast, eBay made its claim to fame by finding a market for items that few people wanted (like vintage beer signs) and then became a liquid market over time. I’m not sure Wigix can duplicate such a feat, but I admire it for trying.

By Stacey Higginbotham

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. So being an uninformed consumer quickly browsing the site all I see a site that is catering to the sellers. No fees, no fees… One of the big reasons why Ebay is so sucessful from a consumer view is that it provides a giant garage sale. What makes a garage sale appealing? 1) Illusion or reality of saving money. 2) Ability to buy unique items 3) To top it off it’s fairly organized. This site is just a plain vanilla auction site with no personality. Insert category, product then price then a generic picture. Repeat 100x. Plus where are the auctions? All I see is an option to buy.

    Share
  2. Stacey Higginbotham Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Craig, it’s not designed as an auction site exactly, but more like a market. As a buyer you can submit a bid price for an item, and if anyone takes you up on it, complete the transaction.

    Share
  3. [...] Stacey from GigaOm seems to agree with me that calling Wigix a "stock market" is a mistake. Mark Hendrickson suggests that Wigix will bring order to online trading. [...]

    Share
  4. [...] Stacey from GigaOm seems to agree with me that calling Wigix a "stock market" is a mistake. Mark Hendrickson suggests that Wigix will bring order to online trading. [...]

    Share
  5. The site looks promising, and I registered. However, I hit a very troublesome roadblock in the verification process.

    The site asks for your PayPal account information, email address and PASSWORD! The site also wants your eBay member ID and PASSWORD!

    This coming from a new site that has no trust built up. Additionally, NONE of the pages are secure. Not registration, not login, nothing. NO security, no encryption.

    So, at least until I hear that SSL is implemented, I won’t be going back. The request for my PayPal and eBay passwords is the most disturbing part. Do the folks that run this site actually believe that the masses will entrust this sensitive data to them?

    I will not.

    -sciencefare

    Share
  6. In email exchanges I’ve had with a Mr. Bill Burnham (who is associated with Wigix in some manner), I have learned that Wigix has now implemented SSL for the registration portion of the site.

    I have checked this, and found that registration at Wigix IS now secure.

    Mr. Burnham has indicated that further changes are forthcoming.

    -sciencefare

    Share
  7. Sciencefare

    thanks for keeping us posted and being on top of the security issue.

    appreciate it.

    Share
  8. Hmmm, not going to take over eBay but a novel idea. Not sure if it will succeed though. eBay could easily include this sort of “valuation” service into their existing framework thereby killing Wigix.

    Share
  9. If this is going to be an Anti-Ebay or Ebay Killer…. then why are they promoting the use of Paypal?

    You can’t be an Ebay Killer is you promote Paypal because it is Paypal that gives Ebay its profits.

    To be an Ebay killer, you have to promote another International Payment sytem like http://www.moneybookers.com (#1 in Europe). Moneybookers is the safest Payment System out there.

    To use Paypal on a newbie site, it will just attract a lot of scammers.

    Share
  10. [...] from other giants such as Amazon.com to upstarts such as Etsy or last week’s launch of Wigex. As for Fididel, I think it will face the same difficulty other online auction or swap meet sites [...]

    Share
  11. [...] ranging from other giants such as Amazon.com to upstarts such as Etsy or last week’s launch of Wigex. As for Fididel, I think it will face the same difficulty other online auction or swap meet sites [...]

    Share
  12. Did you know that you can profit from Wigix without even selling products? Sign up for free and become a category expert, add products to the catalog for 5% profit sharing and sign up friends and make money on their profits.

    Sign up free at https://www.wigix.com/index.php/user_registration/index/5966

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post