Friday, August 12, 2011

Interview with Hilary of CashArena

This is my interview with Hilary St Jonn, the Marketing Manager of CashArena. CashArena is a new penny auction that, like its name suggests, auctions cash instead of products. In addition, they have a number of other exciting features that lets you win on the site. The business is operated in Europe and North America and the owners have a good deal of entrepreneurial experience, which always helps to keep a company afloat.

The site is already very attractive and well designed, and not one of those hastily put together scripts showing how serious they are about the business. Its global scope is also an interesting aspect. Here is the interview, and I hope you enjoy it. I would always love to hear from my readers, so if you have questions or suggestions, do drop me a line.

Sid: CashArena seems unique in offering money instead of products. Why would bidders be attracted to this?
Hilary: Well, first off you can spend cash anywhere. It isn’t a special product or a gift card you can only spend at one store. We like this because it gives users the flexibility to bid on any auction and then use the money for what they want to.

Sid: Will you have any products or just pure cash even in the future?
Hilary: With “Cash” in our name, we don’t have any plans to introduce products. :)

Sid: Do you plan to stick with the traditional penny auction model or are you looking into other models like unique lowest bid or the 'secret price' auctions?
Hilary: Our model already goes beyond the traditional penny auction model with our unique mini games played with the Coloritas earned in the auctions. There is a weekly Lowest Unique Game where the lowest unique bids win, and the Reward games where users can convert the Coloritas to cash or more bids.

Sid: Apart from the products offered, how is CashArena different from other penny auctions?
Hilary: Well, our mini games and the chance to earn Coloritas are completely unique and never before seen.

Sid: Tell us something about your rewards program and Coloritas.
Hilary: As users bids, the Colorita on the auction will spin faster and faster until it is released to a random bidder. Bidders can then save up their Coloritas and use them to convert for bids or cash in the Reward Games or in the Lowest Unique game, with a prize of $1000. The Reward Games are completely unique as the reward in each level continues to grow as users bid during the auction day. When a level is converted, that level resets and starts to grow again. There is a strategy on converting the level as you don’t want to convert it too soon, but if you wait too long, someone else may convert it and you may loose your chance and a pile of bids or cash!

Sid: With so many penny auctions opening up, do you see the penny auction industry growing or stagnating in the future?
Hilary: I don’t think it will grow or stagnate, but instead users will demand higher quality from the penny auctions they participate in. This is not only fast shipping but also superb customer service.

Sid: Where do you think penny auctions are more popular, North America or Europe?
Hilary: It is hard to say, as they are completely different markets. North America is easier to start in because it is the same language, similar currencies (and only two), so it is a great place to see if your penny auction is a success.

Sid: Why do you think many penny auctions fail to take off and then close shop?
Hilary: I think a lot of penny auctions don’t plan properly. They put all their money and resources into the start up and don’t consider the money and resources needed in order to keep the auction running. They also may not have a marketing budget, and without enough users a penny auction can go out of business very quickly.

Sid: What attracted you to the penny auction model? Are you targeting any particular market segment?
Hilary: We really wanted to bring something completely new to an already existing market. With CashArena.com, that is exactly what we are doing! Right now we are focusing on North American but hope to expand soon.

Sid: Which countries do you operate in? Do you plan to expand in the future?
Hilary: We are worldwide, but our opening hours are targeted towards North America. We do hope to operate 24/7 in the near future.

Sid: Are there any additional features you are planning for the short and long terms?
Hilary: Yes, we do plan to add more payment and withdrawal options as well as more unique mini games for users to play with their Coloritas.

Sid: How long has CashArena been running for?
Hilary: CashArena.com has been online since June 2011, and has been live since August 2011.

Sid: If you had to name just one feature that separates you from all the competition, what would it be?
Hilary: Coloritas!

Sid: Tell us more about CashArena and CoMoGo. How big is your team?
Hilary: CoMoGa is an international corporation with offices in Canada and Europe. There are about 20 members in the entire CoMoGa team, 9 of them are dedicated only to CashArena.com.

Sid: Do you have experience starting companies in the past?
Hilary: Yes, this is CoMoGa’s third start up. And most of the leading team members in CashArena.com have first hand experience working with successful start up companies.

Sid: Any future goals for CashArena you would like to share?
Hilary: We are always aiming to improve CashArena.com and actively look to our users for feedback.

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