TradePongo offers alternative to Ebay, without the Fees
Saturday, 17 September 2016

Ebay may be getting some competition. Which is what happens when you anger Rocket Scientists.

A trading platform called announced their launch today.

TradePongo was founded in Austin TX by Daniel Crown, an aerospace engineer who came up with the idea after using ebay to sell a shirt he had purchased that didn't quite fit.

In his early 30's, Daniel says he is thankful for what he called the "ebay experience" for what eventually became TradePongo.

"I've never used a trading platform before. Bought a shirt from the mall, but found out it didn't fit few weeks later, so I decided to sell it online, on ebay to be specific. I paid $40 for it and sold it for $40" says Mr Cown, adding he was surprised by the lengthy process and the many clicks to list the t-shirt.

"The navigation process, all the questions, drop downs and boxes, it just appeared much to put a shirt for sale. From the getgo I wasn't thrilled with the process."

Mr. Crown says it was the fees that somehow kept on coming what made him think about the trading platform.

"After I sold the shirt, a $7 fee showed up in my inbox. I felt it was a bit high, but afer I paid it, another fee showed up for allegedly not paying the first fee fast enough, which is a bit absurd because I paid it the next day. At that point, it appeared to me that ebay pretty much does whatever it is that they please with no way for you to say - wait a second, what is happening!" says Mr. Crown.

This experience prompted Daniel to start thinking of a mass trading platform.

He enlisted several of his rocket scientists friends and got to work. TradePongo is the result.

"I wanted a multi-currency trading platform that cost next to nothing and is available to everyone, everywhere. We simplified the buying and selling experience. A tiny 1% fee is taken from sellers no matter what the cost of the product. They get to keep 99% of their money. We are non-profit, and we use the small 1% fee for maintenance and continual improvements of the platform. All purchases will go strictly through Paypal/Amazon Payments and several other third party payment processors available at TradePongo. We do not store credit cards or any financial information on our platform." says Daniel.

The name TradePongo came after Daniel and his team conducted a survey at a coffee shop by asking random people which name they liked. Three names were given, the majority opted for TradePongo.

"The name itself was picked by as I'd like to say, "the people".  says Daniel.

On the question how is TradePongo going to make money , Mr Crown waves his hand.  Money was never the goal. I was genuinely upset and felt companies like ebay and Amazon are abusing not just small businesses but essentially everyone.  I don't think small business can even afford their store and other fees which are now as high as paying rent for a physical brick store. Just to give you an example, to list over 1,000 products on ebay, it will set you back $350/month in addition to numerous other fees they have lined up which fetch 20% of the sale price. And after a month, you even have to pay for listing a product. Amazon is even worse.

At TradePongo, we just take 1% of the final sale price, so if you sell something for $10 we take 10 cents. I believe this is affordable for everybody.

Swaps Available

TradePongo offers a feature that no other trading platform offers. Sellers have the option to sell, but also swap an item with another trader. For example, you can list a DVD movie for sale, but also make it available for swapping as well. Products that are available for swapping will display a "swap" icon next to them.

This way, the seller can sell his DVD movie, but also get swap offers from others. The seller can then 'accept' or 'decline' the offers. 

"The swap feature we felt was important, as it allows people to keep their options open and entertain different offers. I for instance drive a motorcycle, and would like to sell it, but am open at perhaps trading it for a small car with someone else in my city. Perhaps you have a lawnmower and would like to swap it for a bycicle or a used laptop, the possibilities are endless.

In the end, our goal is and always will be to help people make their products available worldwide. If they're already selling things on ebay that's great, and if you want to expand your products' footprint you're welome to join us at TradePongo. //Veronica Livingston


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