Competition is Welcome
In the search for viral patterns that can sustain and nourish rapid growth for our budding web business I came across a few other yard sale search sites. One had a well designed iPhone app and site (Garage Sales Tracker, Rich contacted me representing their site so the least I could do was link back), another was a stand alone web site that's been around a while but neither is positioned quite the same way as garagedollar.
It may sound a little bizarre that such a narrow offering has attracted attention, but I believe dedicated web apps are a trend that will continue to show up in niche markets. A perfect example is Stack Overflow which is a specialized software question and answer site. It was proven for a topic, and then released as a platform (Stack Exchange) and has recently been funded by Union Square Ventures to grow far larger.
Other garage sale web/app tools are specialized search engines, going up against Google and more importantly Craigslist. Garagedollar is a dedicated alert service that is location aware. Users of Garagedollar are past the topical search step, and the remaining functional challenge is location and timely alerts which we provide.
We understand the advantages of having an app presence, but have decided to strengthen the stand alone web core utility and prove the model first. Almost all garage sale buyers and sellers have web access, but the penetration of smart phones, and specific brands of phones is still a fraction of the whole. Mobile apps have nifty features, but the root architecture is a potent web server backend. Without strong roots, the greatest tree topples in the slightest breeze. Web apps like Google Buzz with it's built in map access, show how far browser apps have come. With widespread adoption of html5 and canvas, web apps will become even more capable and engaging.