edgeio – an ebay killer?

This morning, I received an invite to take a sneak preview of the edgeio system. It allows people to post items for sale on their websites. These in turn are picked up by edgeio and then reposted on the edgeio website. It has been launched by Michael Arrington (of Techcrunch fame) and Keith Teare (formerly of RealNames and Easynet).

So what’s so great about that? Well, eBay’s success is its huge community – take that away and why would you sell an item on there? – it would never sell, or achieve a good price! In the same way posting an item on your own website is just as pointless – using edgeio, all items are centralised on the edgeio website as well as your own site, where if successful, there is a large community. Right now, it costs nothing to have it appear on the edgeio website – unlike on eBay of course. Will this change in the future? How will they make their money over the longer term if they don’t? Will advertising be enough? It will need to be easier to use than eBay that’s for sure..

So first thoughts..

well the interface looks clean and crisp and items are easy enough to find. Posting seems to be a different matter though – claiming my rss feed has proven impossible, whether by adding a line to a post or adding it to my header. Nor has my item shown up automatically inside edgeio yet. What’s wrong?

[update] so I was misreading the link I am supposed to enter to claim the blog 🙂 (it wanted the base url, not the RSS feed). So I am in 🙂 Now to see if it can see my posts..

[update2] and sure enough as soon as my site was authorised, it picked up the listing. It found the picture and created a thumbnail 🙂 Having not specifically tagged anything however, this is not altogether surprising. I shall have to do another test with everything properly tagged – I only found the “special” tags afterwords in the FAQs on the site – I think these need to be more prominent on the site – maybe in a publishers section?

[update 3] I thought I should finish off this post as it really lacked any sort of conclusion. Looking at the service more and more, I agree with the guys over at corporate blogging that edgeio is more of a competitor to craig’s list and the classified services than ebay. The major worry for edgeio must be what happens if other providers add the ability to scan for the listings tag. How difficult is this? and if they do what is going to make a user pick one service over another? Right now, ignoring all this, the one thing that bugs me about edgeio is that its not easy enough to get all the information from your post into the right sections on edgeio – its too geeky! Mind you it is mostly geeks who post to blogs anyhow today so maybe that isn’t so much of a problem…

Riaz Kanani

Founder of Radiate B2B, which helps companies target advertising at specific companies usually as part of an account based marketing programme.

I have spent almost two decades building startups or expanding fast growth companies in a variety of functions - from tech to operations to marketing, with a little corp dev on the side.

Always up for a discussion on building tech businesses and the latest tech trends. Tweet me.