The local classified ads market was completely disrupted by the rise of sites like Craigslist and eBay but it hasn’t evolved much since then. While it’s too early to say if iPhone app Tradyo is such an evolution, its simplicity is a refreshing alternative to the currently popular ways of buying and selling secondhand goods online.

Tradyo is all about location-based trading. It lets you explore the goods and sellers close to your current location. You can also do a keyword search to narrow down to items you’re interested in. If that sounds simple, it’s because it is. Switching across to the official eBay iPhone app, I was surprised just how complicated it is – so many options and no simple location-based search. That’s where Tradyo shines, finding what’s on offer in your local area and giving you easy access to the people selling it.

Listing an item is as simple as snapping a photo (or group of photos) of it, typing in a few details and then waiting for a prospective buyer to find it. Potential buyers can then chat to you directly through the app to arrange a sale in person – payment isn’t handled through the app.

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The Canadian team behind Tradyo describes it as “A treasure hunt – a StumbleUpon for tangible things,” and it certainly does have a simple emphasis on ‘discovering cool things to buy nearby’. The service is free to use, and the team plans to charge users for additional enhancements in the future. It will be possible to certify your account in order to add credibility to your listing, and to enhance listings to make them more likely to be looked at by other users.

As with any service of its kind, the challenge for Tradyo is to build up the user base to a level that there’s always something worth buying nearby, and there’s a large enough audience in the local area to make it worth listing items via the service.

As an app and a concept though, Tradyo is well thought-out and worth trying if you find the likes of Craigslist and eBay a little staid.

Tradyo is a free download on the App Store.

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