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From the UK to the USA
Successful site already in the UK now going for the US
uk_dokey




msg:790917
 2:46 am on May 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I started a year ago setting up a classifieds site in the UK. With help from this site we have been very successful. We have now bought a .com name and are set and ready to try and take the US by storm.
I would love to hear from anyone who has done likewise and what they found. I know that the competition is going to be immense but they all said that in the UK. Are US surfers really more likely to spend money on the net for example? I have noticed that US sites tend to be less well dsigned or perhaps thats just my English taste. Please guys let me know what I can expect or whether you think its a going to be similar.

 

Travoli




msg:790918
 2:39 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

> Are US surfers really more likely to spend money on the net for example?

I'm sure it is industry-specific. There are a number of classified sites in the U.S. that are profitable. Is your site a niche or a broad classifieds?

Filipe




msg:790919
 11:11 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm sure it is industry-specific. There are a number of classified sites in the U.S. that are profitable. Is your site a niche or a broad classifieds?

Right, this is definitely something you want to look at [b]uk_dokey[\b] before "taking the US by storm". Market saturation in the U.S. is very different from that in the U.K.

If the site you're talking about is the one in your profile, you're going to have a significantly harder time getting that successful in the U.S., primarily due to the fact that there are many established auto classified sites in the U.S. Unless you can provide something they don't, you'll be hard pressed to compete. Not only are they established, but several of them don't just allow online classifieds, they also draw classified ads from print publications.

uk_dokey




msg:790920
 11:39 pm on May 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi,

Yep I could have the guessed the response. The fact of the matter is that in the UK there are 2 very large car classified sites. In the US there is 1. Print publications are great but in terms of classifieds they are going downhill at an astonishing percentile. I had all this talk before we started in the UK. People thought we were crazy competing in such a competetive market. But I should say that there are people who listen to that and never start and there are people who go get. No offence filipe but I asked for constructive help not a wet fish across my face.

Filipe




msg:790921
 6:06 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

No offence filipe but I asked for constructive help not a wet fish across my face

I likewise intended no offense, I was just trying to present the truth in as realistic a way as possible (like I do for any potential web-business I consult for). I'm not sure how you're defining classified sites - but there are several major sites that let you post your car for sale:

www.autobytel.com
www.autotrader.com
eBay motors
www.autoweb.com
www.cars.com

Just to name the major ones. I haven't looked over your site in a great deal, but it's entirely possible you're filling in a niche that these sites aren't.

But I should say that there are people who listen to that and never start and there are people who go get.

I agree entirely. However, when I consult, it's not my job to tell people "You can do it if you try and want it enough." - because I believe that's possible in most markets, given the right amount of knowledge and stamina. You have experience already in this market, so you have an advantage - all I'm saying is that you're up against a lot.

legster




msg:790922
 7:04 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think Filipe is giving you good information. Please don't take offense. I work for one of those very large sites. I am underpaid and have no financial stake in them, but believe me when I say you would be wasting your time. In no way am I trying to discourage you I am just being honest.

Classifieds are a HUGE industry, and unless you have a ton of money there is no chance you will be able to compete with them. I see hundreds of sites trying, and failing. I do wish you luck though, and I hope I am wrong, and that you make the next great classifieds site.

Marcia




msg:790923
 7:48 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Classifieds are a HUGE industry, and unless you have a ton of money there is no chance you will be able to compete with them. I see hundreds of sites trying, and failing.

How about diversifying the effort, then. Instead of a huge, generalized site that'll take a ton of money, how about focusing on a specific niche and moving into that, within a narrower, specialized category. Like classic cars, that isn't so saturated, or certain types of imports.

Or apply the knowledge and experience gained and try for a different type of product line altogether.

legster




msg:790924
 8:03 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's actually pretty hilarious that you just happened to mention 'classic cars' of all terms. Since that is the niche specific classified site I work for. lol

Of course there are several, and the competition is tight. I do think the key would be to find the niche that has not already been done.

rcjordan




msg:790925
 8:10 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

>I do think the key would be to find the niche that has not already been done.

I think legster is being polite, I don't think there IS an online niche left open in US auto sales.

mivox




msg:790926
 8:14 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

The fact of the matter is that in the UK there are 2 very large car classified sites. In the US there is 1. Print publications are great but in terms of classifieds they are going downhill at an astonishing percentile.

One thing to consider on that count is geography. In the UK, a 100% online classified site is a much more practical proposition, IMO, because you're within a day's drive of almost anywhere in the country no matter where you start out. A nationwide, general classified site is therefore a reasonable idea, since the buyers and sellers are relatively close together. In the US, I'd say an equivalent concept is a statewide classified site...

In the US, I think you'd want to aim for a very tightly targeted collector's market if you were running a nationwide classified site. Dedicated collectors will go to great lengths to get what they want, even if the seller is 3000 miles away. For a nation-wide general auto classified site, the problem is that nobody cares HOW good the price is on that 95 Honda Civic if the advertiser is more than 1/2-a-day's drive away (or less in many cases), they won't buy it...

If I want to shop for "just-any-old-car", I'd pick up a local paper or check out the local paper's own website, rather than go to the jumbo national site where I have to drill down to my local area... Everyone locally has heard of the locally-based paper/website anyhow, so they're likely to have a better selection than the big site to begin with.

uk_dokey




msg:790927
 11:19 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thank you all for some constructive and useful feedback. I appreciate all of it and thank you all. Sometimes the niches are very hard to find. Our site deals with the Whole of the UK including Northern Ireland which is a fair distance away. I do not underestimate the challenge ahead but I try to always focus on a few points.

Many large industries out there spend huge amounts of money branding their companies and spend far less time on SEO. I guess that is why all of us feel that we still have a chance against the big boys. At then end of the day if we can earn some money to feed our families we will be satisfied. Anything else will be a bonus. It gives me a huge kick to set my sites on some of the bigger names and try to compete directly without worrying about the niches. Our aim will be somehow to offer the service in a better way.

Travoli




msg:790928
 12:36 pm on May 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

I like that attitude, uk_dokey. After all, if nobody ever had the courage to take the "800 pound gorilla" company on, the business world would be pretty boring.

Filipe




msg:790929
 7:14 pm on May 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

if nobody ever had the courage to take the "800 pound gorilla" company on, the business world would be pretty boring.

Hear Hear!

uk_dokey




msg:790930
 5:35 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks, good luck to all of us and the gorilla hunting.

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