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Wheedle begins war with Trade Me

30 Sep 2012

Wheedle was launched across New Zealand this morning, starting an expected long rivalry with Trade Me for superiority in the online auction marketplace.

The start-up site, three years in the making, attracted criticism from Trade Me founder Sam Morgan last week, branding the company a "joke".

But as the site went live this morning, Wheedle's rich list backer Neil Graham, with an estimated worth of $65m, hit back at his rival.

"People don't like bullies, and they don't like overpricing," Graham told NBR.

"Good on you Sam, you’ve made no friends.

"Just worry about how good we are."

Branding the free publicity "marvelous", the Mainfreight co-founder said his new company was "over-geared with quality servers. We can take a huge amount of hits at once."

But the new site endured difficulties this morning, going down at around 6:45am as industry figures mocked the slow start.

"Wheedle: verb. To struggle with technical problems. 'I've been wheedling away at this site launch for ages, but IIS keeps failing'," tweeted Ben Gracewood, blogger and software developer.

Graham brushed off the criticism however, saying the site is currently operated by 40 servers at IBM's Auckland-based data centre, as the company tries to gain an early foothold in the industry.

"We’re confident," Graham says.

"But there are lots of knockers.

"You know what New Zealanders are like."

The locally owned site, scheduled for launch the same day as Trade Me's price rise, promises to provide cheaper rates than its rival, creating a new online website for individuals and businesses to showcase their products and services.

Check it out at www.wheedle.co.nz

Can Wheedle topple Trade Me? Tell us your thoughts below

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