Mezed, Product Auctions Differently

| Apr 1, 2008 | comment 1 Comment

MezedMezed is a Tunisian auction site that recently surfaced into the arena of online startups in Tunisia.

A number of Tunisian websites have already attempted to try and push through the idea of online auctions in Tunisia, get it popular, and attempt to make some money out of it. Examples off the top of my head are sites like: MoncefBay and EchriBay.
A lot of these services hang on for a while before fading away into Tunisian internet history. It just seems that the auction model just hasn’t taken off and worked up to now, for one reason or another.

Websites that approach the whole buying/selling thing through small classified ads seem to be doing a little better maybe, but nothing big enough to come close to real e-commerce yet.

Back to Mezed, they take on a new and different approach to the whole auctions system, taking out the sellers and auctioning off partner products themselves. Their system revolves solely around buyers competing to get the auctioned product at a cheap price.

Now to how it works, it’s a bit complicated, especially if you’re used to the de-facto standard for internet auctions, but I’ll try to make it as simple as possible. Users get to buy a number of prepaid “bids”, each bid costs 500 millimes to buy and represents the value of 100 millimes. Bids can be bought online using a Tunisian credit card, by transferring mobile phone credit, or by bank transfer or postal money order.

Product auctions start at 0 millimes, and people get to place their bids on this product, augmenting its value by 100 millimes at a time. The counter showing how much time is left until the end of the auction is restarted after each bid.

After the auction ends, the winner receives a phone call or email from Mezed to confirm it, and they have to pay the final auction price as well as the delivery fees by bank transfer or postal money order. They receive the item they won at most after 72 hours.

And that’s about it, with some other little details here or there like gift coupons and other stuff.

Even though they do things differently, and might lose some people because it’s a bit complicated, they seem to be doing pretty ok, better than others who have attempted online auctions before them, and users are getting some really cool bargains sometimes.

Something I don’t get though is: As an online service, why do final payments have to be made only by bank transfer or postal money order? And above all, why does the website go on “pause” from 9pm to 8am, putting the whole system on standby?

Mezed generated a lot of buzz between internet users a while back, is running a number of ads in local newspapers these days, also inviting people to their group on facebook… ; in short they’re really pushing out their service more than any other Tunisian startup before them. We’ll just have to wait and see how well things go for them and how far they can take their business.

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