This might sting a bit …
Here’s a mystery I hope we can solve.
Seth Godin says that, while we should aim high with our goals, we should stay in the realm of reality.
In other words, we shouldn’t try to out-Google Google, or out-Amazon Amazon.
So why is Cash Converters (CC) trying to out-eBay eBay?
eBaying for Blood
I was hunting a rare Kylie Minogue DVD for my wife.
The only copy for sale on eBay was in the UK.
But there was one copy in Australia, on a site I’d never heard of: Cash Converters webshop.
I live near a bricks-and-mortar CC store.
My experience of this facility has been one of haggard locals pushing TVs in baby strollers with a singular sense of urgency.
From CC’s signage and fit-out, I understand them to be a franchised, much-nicer-than-usual pawn shop.
With the amount of TV advertising they do, I assumed they’d have no trouble moving the gear they buy.
And if they did have anything left over, why not simply flog it on eBay?
Yet they’ve gone to the trouble of setting up their own retail site with eBay-like features.
I quizzed CC about this, but received no reply.
Looks like it’s up to you and me.
So far, I’ve come up with the following possible reasons for a dedicated online store:
- Build & control the CC brand.
- Avoid eBay & PayPal charges.
- Obviate any lack of control or certainty about eBay.
I’d be fascinated to hear if you concur with these theories or have better ideas.
For the record, I bought two DVDs through CC’s webshop.
The transaction was seamless and the goods arrived fast. Alas, one case was broken: it looked like the postie had dropped it.
I emailed CC, who immediately refunded the purchase price and postage without query or rancour.
This was actually faster and more personal than (my experience of) eBay’s issue resolution system.
So, maybe there’s a fourth reason for CC’s online store:
4. To out-eBay eBay!
Who knows: they may just pull it off.
What do you think CC are up to here?
Have you experienced CC’s webshop (or any other eBay alternatives)?
Has your business ever wanted to beat a ‘category killer’ at its own game?
We’re on the market.
I welcome your bids.
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire