eBay Sells Time, Services With Secretguru
You already use eBay to bid on items you want. Soon, you may be able to acquire professional services online through a new eBay service as well.
Secretguru, a platform allowing customers to buy time or services form specialized professionals, has launched a pilot program in the U.K. If successful, odds are it won’t be long before it crosses the pond.
The idea behind Secretguru is fairly intuitive. Professionals from a wide variety of fields – think cooking, businesses mentoring, music lessons, etc – are listed as "gurus,” and get their own page with which to advertise their services, list their experience, and give an inkling as to what they’d charge. Consumers can browse these gurus to see who best fits their needs, reach out to them and then set up appointments.
It’s fair to say the program is still in its infancy: it launched with just 17 such gurus, and tells customers to be prepared for glitches during the trial.
But as Tech Crunch speculates, the small number of gurus currently available may not be an accident. Secretguru may be aiming to specialize in catering to accomplished professionals, and, in fact, gurus are listed by experience, not price, indicating an emphasis on skill, not availability.
In other words, Secretguru does not appear to be Craigslist 2.0.
According to Secretguru’s site, consumers need only take three steps to secure time with a guru. First, they browse the database and decide who they’d like to hire, then reach out to that individual guru with an explanation of what service they’re looking for. The guru then responds with a quote within 24 hours, and if the consumer is happy, the final step is simply to place a deposit. How that deposit is made is let up to the buyer and seller. Secretguru's "Terms and Conditions" state: Secret Guru only provides the communications platform to enable these transactions and does not monitor the adverts or the nature of the services or transactions agreed between buyers and sellers.
TechCrunch also notes that Secretguru is unique in that eBay developed it completely in-house. Other eBay-owned services, such as PayPal, StubHub and GumTree were all outside acquisitions.
So what do you think? Would you use Secretguru to set up time with a professional specialist? Do you think its selectivity is a positive or negative? Let us know in the comments below.
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