Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.
The local buying and selling market only has room for one or two winners. Right now, Craigslist still dominates, despite the fact that it’s overrun with spammers, scammers and looks awful. Zaarly recently emerged as a fresh and successful take on listing what you need locally and Taskrabbit (and Viatask) does the same, except it specializes in services.
The space is in flux at the moment, and Peddl, a Boston-based startup spun out of the MIT Media Lab, is eager to take on all three forerunners at once.
Besides the slick site and pitch video, what makes Peddl special is the fact that it emphasizes both buyers and sellers, allowing anyone to list anything they want with just two phrases: “I want [this], and it’s worth [that],” or “I have [this], and it’s worth [that].”
If you’re familiar with Zaarly, you’ll see how similar the two services look, but instead of coming off as a ripoff, Peddl ends up looking like a more complete version. Everything that’s wanted and for sale is listed publicly, creating a supply VS demand experience.
If 50 people are selling flowers, and I’m one of 5 people looking for them, all the sellers can make offers and I’ll end up with the lowest price. Likewise, if I run a flower shop and know my flowers have to be thrown away by the end of the day, I can set a time-sensitive price and get rid of my left over inventory.
Co-founder Matthew Blackshaw spoke with TNW on Peddle and how it differs from the rest:
We think of Peddl as more than just a fresh coat of paint applied to existing marketplaces. Underlying Peddl we’ve come up with a fundamentally different marketplace model which aims to strike a very real balance between supply and demand. This is rooted in the two expressions that users can make to Peddl: I Want and I Have. Once you’ve made a post, Peddl will instantly notify you when a match pops up in your neighborhood taking into account temporal, geographic and social proximity.
How is this different from Craigslist or eBay or Zaarly or TaskRabbit? All of these services are very one-sided. Craigslist and eBay are all about posting things you want to sell, while Zaarly and Taskrabbit are about posting things you want to buy. Peddl isn’t a buyer or seller powered marketplace – we are both. This isn’t a new idea, we’re modeled after the stock exchange, a very effective bid-ask marketplace where supply and demand are given equal presence and weight.
It’s up to the public to decide if Peddl suits them, but as far as I can tell, it definitely has a fighting chance. Like I said above, there can only be so many successful local marketplaces, and eventually a victor will emerge. Check out Peddl via the link below to find out what this Boston startup has to offer:
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