carsales.com runs a Premium marketplace in the online automotive vertical space.
As carsales takes investment positions in more global online auto businesses (auto vertical), we are more and more competing against some very large Freemium businesses like OLX and Mercado Libre across Latin America, with each of them being general classifieds sites (horizontals).
Webmotors.com.br, Soloautos.mx, Chileautos.cl and Encar.com are all online Premium players in automotive competing against the horizontal Freemium players.
This is certainly not new to carsales as our largest competitor in Australia is also a horizontal. That’s not to say we don’t have serious competition from other Online auto vertical players in Australia; we’ve always faced this.
A Freemium website makes their money by charging for value added services once you have listed your item. I love Phil Libin’s (Evernote) quote “The easiest way to get one million people paying is to get one billion people using.” This is certainly what Freemiums focus on.
The Freemium general classified players of the world are following this by having a platform to advertise a car in the same way as your 8 year old couch; and it shouldn’t cut it for a car buyer or seller.
Remember this – a car is (almost) everyone’s second largest purchase in their life therefore deep information, CarFacts reports, inspection reports, reviews and above all else, trust and safety are all major factors and things only a Premium vertical online website is in a position to offer.
The role we play in each of our global markets is as the Premium and Premier online auto vertical player; this means we need to do cars better than anyone. From searching, finding, researching and buying to selling with everything you need to make a quick, safe and profitable sale.
Our goal is to help you sell as opposed to helping you advertise; this is a BIG difference. This goal is different to Freemium horizontal player who is more interested in getting towards the “billion people using” rather than making the experience of each and every user one that represents the investment each is making.
Horizontal’s have a role to play in getting rid of your old household items. A car is not one of these from a selling or buying perspective.
This is why we will continue to invest in our platform to provide the best information and tools to transact on the second largest single item in most people’s life’s in the safest way possible.
I think there’s a business there.