Telstra CEO David Thodey (who won’t remember me, but I worked for him once) has refused to rule out a possible sale of Sensis, Telstra’s directory business that, apart from white and yellow phone books, also owns Trading Post, Whereis and other Internet-based businesses.
Hey, I’m not surprised. Sensis is a business that needs to be sold off while it still has value (estimated to be up to $7 billion Australian, according to the Herald Sun).
I already wrote about why Trading Post would die on the sword called eBay. The simple fact is that you cannot copy a larger competitor (in this case, eBay) and expect to win.
You can only win by being different, by offering a viable alternative for the consumer and, well, being the same isn’t much of an alternative.
I should add that my impression of the Trading Post is that it made life hard, not easy, and my perception was formed as a direct consequence of actually trying to use the service. Of course, in an age of fast Internet, and slick competitors like eBay, you just can’t make life difficult and get away with it.