Mercari and simplicity

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

11 June 2019

Mercari pummels Craigslist with simplicity

Before I get to Mercari, let me say a few words about Craigslist. There was a portion of my life where I fully embraced the world of Craigslist. In the site’s early days, I found joy in scouring over my old tech and hodgepodge of other knick-knacks to post and earn some cash back in the process.

Granted, the time spent finding a safe meeting spot to make transactions with potential buyers was kind of shady. But I am a brave dude, for the most part. Then shit got strange. Scams popped up incessantly. You know, the kind where some villager from Kazakhstan is offering to pay me twice the listing price to send my old iPhone to his second cousin in Albania. Crazy stuff, really. The site became an exaggerated form of itself, and as such, I happily transferred my goods over to Mercari.

MercariThe Mercari app is buying and selling done right. Basically, you log into a simple interface, upload a profile picture, etc. Then you can buy or sell goods. If you’re selling, you post a few images of your goods, a synopsis and a price. Buyers then can make an offer or buy it at the price established.

What Mercari gets right

All of this exchanging occurs within a simple chat box, making it completely accessible. But the biggie, once the transaction has been made, is that Mercari prints a postage sticker. So all you need to do is mail it off. No shady meet-ups at the local Sheetz.

“Mercari and other similar sites will soon overcome Craigslist by heeding the call of consumers for simplicity. Mercari’s site doesn’t resemble a static page from the early days of the internet (see Craigslist homepage) and a far ranging scope of scans you have to wade through.”

The Craigslist business model has faded. Sure, the site is still active with users. But I’ll tell you this. Its uncomfortable user protocol will be its slow demise. This boils down to the tendencies of the changing consumer, who seek simplicity.

As such, old technologies and business models are fading because they are not catching up with the needs of consumers who see relatively new technologies as accepted, everyday occurrences, and remain open to new ideas.

Mercari and other similar sites will soon overcome Craigslist by heeding the call of consumers for simplicity. Mercari’s site doesn’t resemble a static page from the early days of the internet (see Craigslist homepage) and a far ranging scope of scans you have to wade through.

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