APN New Zealand is shutting up shop at Sella, incorporating the auction site – and Trade Me's only significant rival – into its classified service for the NZ Herald and other mastheads.
An email to Sella members (as published on technology community Geekzone) says it no longer operates as a stand alone brand and has been integrated into APN's classified offering.
APN says motoring and property will be the first sections to launch the new Sella-fuelled system.
It's been a tough few weeks for APN, the Australian-owned media company reported an annual loss of AUD$455.8 million here and across the Tasman. Last week the company announced plans to offshore up to 24 ad production roles to India, and the selling off of several newspapers south of the Bombays.
With Sella's demise Trade Me further cements its spot at the top, making the business case for the likes of Wheedle, ListSellTrade, and other potential competitors more difficult.
Sella's problem since its inception in 2008 has been securing critical mass in a market dominated by Trade Me. The company says it has 550,000 users, but a quick look on the site shows far less activity than what's found on Trade Me.
It seems 'free' auctions aren't as attractive sellers as having a large base to sell to.
Meanwhile, Sella and GrabOne founder Shane Bradley kicks off a new venture this month according to his LinkedIn profile, following the final sale of shares to APN last year.
Bradley is working on ShopHQ, which according to his profile is "a collection of sites that sell consumer goods online". The first of these called Pet.co.nz launches this month, followed by other market verticals through out the year.