May 2, 2009

Desk Space Genie launches revolutionary pay-whatever-you-like advertising model

There. Our advertising charging model is alive. (One day late, but that still makes us better than

Advertisers with spare desks can now catapult their listings to the top of their local search results by bidding anything from £1/week upwards. We're keeping the option of free adverts (which still come with full features) - the only difference is that paid-for listings will appear above free listings in the search results.

So, when someone searches for a location (e.g. London), they get presented with the paid-for adverts first (i.e. the ones who are bidding) in order of how much they have bid. After the premium ads, you get all the free ads. Our grand plan is that each local market should reach a natural price based on supply and demand (following in the footsteps of eBay, Ryanair, Google Adwords and so on).

We do expect that the vast majority of adverts will remain free-of-charge. It's important to us to make Desk Space Genie a hub for the desk rental and shared office marketplace, and we want to make sure that smaller advertisers don't get priced  out of the market.

We've launched the service using Paypal as the only payment mechanism (we'll maybe add some more options later if the demand is there.)

For more details on how the bidding system works, check our advertiser FAQs. Even better, go and give it a go and let us have your feedback.

Also, it's worth noting that one of the reasons we've gone down this route is that we think it's much fairer than a flat-fee model. This way we get rewarded much more for success and penalised much more for failure. If the site drives a good number of enquiries to advertisers then the bid prices should get pushed up as advertisers compete for placement. If we don't deliver, then we won't earn any money.

So,  what do you think?

  • Have we chose the right charging model?
  • Have you tried it: is it easy to use?
  • Have you come across similar pricing models on any other listing sites?


giloK Posted on May 02, 2009

Saw you guys featured on the guardian blog. Interesting idea for charging. I can see that it'll allow different prices in different places. Was there a reason that you couldn't go for cost-per-lead or per-click?

Ciaron Dunne Posted on May 02, 2009

Hi. Good question. We ran the idea of charging on an enquiry basis past a few of the advertisers and it the idea wasn't welcomed. I think marketing managers are used to that concept, but most advertisers on Desk Space Genie are managers of small offices who don't like the idea of paying for leads which might not turn into business. In addition, it would have meant that we couldn't show phone numbers which (in my opinion) would have been a realpain for users. I'm sure we'll have to tweak the bidding system, but we're pretty excited about it :)

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