Trade Me v Netco in widget war

September 28, 2006
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Things aren’t as happy as they could be in Trade Me Land. 

Grumblings on the message board about the new fees aren’t surprising. In fact, the new fees aren’t surprising either — Fairfax stumped up a lot of cash to buy the auction icon and like any company, will be looking to pull as much of a profit as possible from its new baby. 

Besides, I still think it got the bargain of the century for what is undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s most instantly recognisable brands. 

Other changes introduced recently include options to make life easier for sellers to relist items and for both buyers and sellers to track the progress of their trades. 

However, it seems Trade Me isn’t too happy with Wellington firm Netco’s BidWatch widget, a little gadget that Trade Me users can use to keep up-to-date with auctions without actually having to visit the site. 

BidWatch is a free download but Netco is hoping to make some money from the program from the advertisements that will be displayed on it. 

However, Trade Me reckons BidWatch breaches its rules and could be a strain on the site’s servers. In the site announcements section of the message board, Trade Me says it has temporarily removed its “People Online” counter after the figures skyrocketed on Monday because of the widget. It also advises members that the use of any third party tools could result in their membership being suspended. 

Update: Netco has removed BidWatch. Click here for the timeline of this wee drama.

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