How Spekios Works Video

Thanks for the guys at Demo Duck for this awesome video!

Classified vs Scams and Spammers

By the very nature of online classifieds sites like craigslist, their operations still rely on a certain amount of trust from its users. Unlike sites which allow businesses to have online shops, thus the ability to establish and maintain a reputation system, classifieds sites are based on a person-to-person business model, so it’s hard for the site to keep a track history of the transactions made a single user. Especially websites like craigslist, which allow anonymous postings.

Even if the site is able to detect and remove fraudulent users from its service, that user can still signup again and again with made up credentials. Making and effort to control this issue is critical for the success of a classifieds site, since it ensures trust amongst its users. One step towards this would be by de-automating the task of publishing ads to avoid bots being able to do it on a massive scale. Also, some degree of social features to a classified sites could help out, since it allows a personal communication to happen between the buyer and the seller, and once that is established, it’s the user’s responsibility to determine if the other party is trustworthy or not.

There’s a fine line we try not to cross though. At Spekios, we’ve given a lot of thought about to be or not be another social website. For the time being, we’ve decided to add only the minimum social features needed so registered users can rest assure they’re dealing with real people, selling real stuff, and not scammers.

You can’t “friend” or “follow” people, since this is not the point of a classifieds website. We try to hold true to our goal of getting buyers and sellers together, and making the buyer’s job easier. You can though, have private conversations with other registered users and get to know them before you actually buy their stuff. If you end up wanting to be friends later, you can always go offline for that 🙂

Happy bidding!

Rap and Classified ads, do they mix? Hell yeah!

To be or not be (social)

In the process of developing Spekios, we were forced to make a decision in whether to include social features to the site or not. Since pretty much everything is around social nowadays, we thought this was a no-brainer and we should indeed add all of the social features users have become accustomed to (user profiles, “like” and “follow” buttons, list of friends, etc).

As time passed, we let this idea sink in and ended up moving away from it. Why? Not everything is about being social, nor does it need to be. It’s easy to fall into the temptation of building yet another social site, but do users really need it? As we see it, the more social Spekios becomes, the more it moves away from our mail goal of bringing together buyers and sellers. People aren’t looking to make friends when they want to buy a new couch or sell their old bicycle. We see social features as a distraction to users in our site.

Bottom line, we removed any unnecessary social features from Spekios and just left it with the bare minimum, like an internal messaging system so users can interact without giving away their personal information and a profile page with a (very) basic summary of what the user has bought and sold online.

La Red Innova – Open Talent 2011

We are signed up for a chance to pitch Spekios at an international competition. Please help us by voting for us at the following link:

http://bbvaopentalent.com/scripts3ed/widgetindividual3ed.php?p=244

Thanks!

First Deal Made!

We’re glad to announce that the first deal has been closed using Spekios.

The user was looking for a 3 dorm apartment in Tribeca and got 2 offers from 2 potential sellers! Both had a chance to describe what they were offering and the one with the best offer (not the cheapest!) ended up winning the deal!

Here is a link:
http://www.spekios.com/item/id/20

Congrats and Happy Bidding!

Stats about quiet beta launch

About 10 hours ago, we silently launched a beta version of Spekios, sending out invitatios to about 200 emails we’ve collected from our landing page in the past months.

Here are a few stats:

– 205 emails sent
– 122 people have opened the email
– 90 of them headed over to the site
– Open rate was 44.5% higher than industry average (eCommerce)
58 people have registered on the site (Some of them have already began asking for real stuff)
– 100 hits per minute on our main page during launch time.

These may not be impressive stats for most, but we’re pretty happy taking into account this was only as a result of sending out 200 emails, during night time.

We hope to keep growing 🙂

Thanks everyone who registered.