Monday, January 12, 2009

The Chicken and Egg Challenge of starting an online auction site

As a brand new auction site, ChupR faced a very immediate situation: Should we get (Sellers) auction items first? Or Bidders (Buyers)? Buyers will not want to visit the site if they see nothing much or nothing interesting on the website. Similarly, sellers would not even bother to list their items on the site if they items don’t get sold on ChupR.

Right: Chicken VS Egg (Image courtesy of

This question was at the back of our minds. Until we realized that maybe we can try to look at things differently: how about targeting users that are both buyers and sellers? Then most people would have a follow up question with this solution: how do you identify this group of people? Actually, it’s pretty difficult. But in a nutshell, what we did was that in the initial stages of starting ChupR every user that registered on the site was encouraged to both buy and sell items. Not just do one of them. To encourage this, we also have the “Live Wanted Ads” where users can post what they are looking for on the site so as to attract users to become sellers while they are shopping on ChupR.

Watch out for my next post: The art of getting more users on almost any site…( Ithink its pretty useful!)

Left: Something Funny (image courtesy of

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