Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dawdle Challenging GameStop with 'Moronically Easy' Online Marketplace for Gamers

Dawdle.com has officially launched and the new online marketplace is aiming to take a significant chunk of used game sales away from GameStop.

by James Brightman on Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Dawdle Challenging GameStop with 'Moronically Easy' Online Marketplace for Gamers

Chicago-based Dawdle.com is an online marketplace that enables gamers and entrepreneurs to buy and sell video games, systems, and accessories online with no listing fees, buyer fees, per-transaction fees or any other fees. While the website has been in beta since last November, nearly a year later Dawdle is now officially launching and announcing several key partnerships, which should help legitimize the marketplace in the eyes of the industry. GameDaily BIZ was pre-briefed on the news by Sachin Agarwal, co-founder and CEO of Dawdle.

The whole goal of Dawdle is to make it "moronically easy" for people to list or buy items on the site, which processes all payments on the seller's behalf, thereby eliminating risk; Dawdle uses direct deposit to place the seller's proceeds directly into his or her checking account, so PayPal or other payment methods are not necessary.

Dawdle makes its business by charging a commission of 11.99 percent, which includes all payment processing fees, only when an item sells. Agarwal points out that these fees are lower than that of other online marketplaces, such as eBay, Amazon.com, or Half.com. Moreover, Dawdle argues that "buyers and sellers realize significantly more value than they do for used items at large chains such as GameStop."

"We've spent a lot of time listening to the needs of buyers and sellers," said Agarwal. "They've universally been clamoring for an online solution that was safe and easy to use, without the hassles of image management, hunting down payment, or juggling the risks of other marketplace platforms. Dawdle.com meets that vision of a 'moronically easy' place to buy and sell games and gear online, finally providing gamers a true alternative to GameStop."

Whether or not Dawdle is ultimately looked at as that "true alternative" to GameStop in the eyes of gamers only time will tell, but the website does offer a compelling solution that could come in handy for those gamers or parents looking for a Wii or other hot video game products this holiday season. Dawdle features what it's calling "Standing Offers." This unique system essentially allows prospective buyers to place an offer for the item(s) they want and then the Dawdle system will automatically purchase the product when one is listed for sale at or below the specified maximum offer price.

So for example, let's say you're desperately searching for a Wii but don't want to get slammed with a $500 purchase on eBay; you can set the Dawdle system with a Standing Offer to automatically purchase a Wii when one is listed for sale at or below a specified price of $300, or whatever price you choose as your maximum. "This technology allows professional sellers to purchase product for resale in the same manner as they handle 'trade ins' for their walk-in traffic and allows savvy consumers to get great bargains," notes Dawdle.

As for the key partnerships, Dawdle has teamed with ExtremePOS and Wolf Track Software, the leading providers of point of sale software to independent gaming retail stores. This is actually the first time ever, in any vertical, that an online marketplace has partnered with in-store point of sale system providers to allow retailers to list product for sale online from within the point of sale software itself. What this means is that with one click retailers can list all of their in-store inventory on Dawdle with no listing fees and no risk. Dawdle said that ExtremePOS will be fully integrated with its site by the end of this year and Wolf Track Software is already present with Dawdle and has a number of live beta sites. ExtremePOS President Tom Kent said that the software will allow the little guys, the independent retailers, "a way to compete against the mass merchandiser."

While brick-and-mortar retailers can get a leg up with ExtremePOS and Wolf Track Software, Dawdle also announced a partnership with FillZ, Inc. to provide online-only sellers access to its dedicated gaming marketplace through FillZ's multi-channel inventory management solution. This is expected to be live by the end of 2008. "It has become clear that sellers are looking for additional platforms to sell their games," commented Shaun Jamieson, President of FillZ. "That is where Dawdle comes in. I feel they are a great fit for our sellers. In fact, Dawdle is the next new marketplace we plan to offer our customers through FillZ. Timing-wise, now is the perfect time to add a new video game platform."

Finally – and this is pretty neat in the opinion of GameDaily BIZ – Dawdle announced a partnership with BRE Software to provide price guidance to sellers. If you've ever wondered what price a video game product should be listed for, this will come in handy. Think of it as a Kelley Blue Book for video games. It also marks the first time in any marketplace, in any vertical, that the platform is actually going to make selling price recommendations to sellers. As Dawdle says, it should "allow them to get full value for their items without any guesswork."

"BRE Software has long provided the premier price guide to independent video game retailers nationwide, but this is the first time that consumers will have a simple price based on our extensive data. Providing price guidance on the Dawdle platform will allow consumers to have confidence that they will get a full and fair price for their items," stated Brad Roltgen, President of BRE Software. via GameDaily

Jason Kiwaluk

Mower & Shoveller,

Ideation | Ecommerce | Fintech | Innovation | Strategy | Opinionated Agitator RevenueWire,FuturePay+PayMotion

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