If you had listened to NewsTalk 106 at all over the past couple of months, you will remember being bombarded by adverts for Ben Dunne‘s latest and greatest project – TenderMe.ie.

TenderMe is a system that allows anyone to go online, enter information on work you need done, whether it be office equipment or computer repairs and receive quotes to your email from a number of different suppliers who want your work.

Within days of the first advert being aired on the radio, people were buzzing about TenderMe.ie – nearly every person I met asked me about it or recommended that I try it.

Because of the exposure the site was getting I felt that I would be mad not to know about this site and how it functions. I didn’t believe the type of clientele my company works with would look or use this site, but I’m always open to being proven wrong! So off I went and signed up for an account to receive alerts on the types of job requests that I was interested in.

Within minutes of signing up – I was getting emails notifications (and quite regularly) of people looking for eCommerce websites, Content Managed Websites and even basic brochure type websites. I have to say, some of them (from their headline tag) looked like they could be nice projects for a company like ours. That was of course until you went to the website to read more detail. Only then would you realise, that there really was no description of these jobs at all. Well if you call “A company website selling products” a description of what is required, fair enough… but for the type of business we do, that’s just not enough to give anyone an accurate quote.

As it was only €3 to respond to a tender, I thought I’d do a few tests to see what kind of response I could get. My idea was to quote from two different types of suppliers – one a professional web design company and a few from a cheap and nasty type web design company. After spending €18 and quoting prices lower than any other possibly could, I didn’t once receive a response. I honestly didn’t expect a response to an average quote from a professional web design company at professional rates, but I did expect a response to the cheaper quotes. If people were looking for a good deal, they couldn’t have got any better as far as I was concerned.

It left me wondering whether these job postings were really legit or was it just Ben (or his staff) making up jobs tenders in order to fill the site with content or worse still… to line his pockets?

I do believe TenderMe.ie could be a useful service if there was a bit more transparency. Take for example Adverts.ie – they don’t let you make private offers, you must do everything in the open where everyone can see. This approach makes it very clear to everyone who is participating where they stand and whether or not they are getting a good deal. This approach would definitely reduce the money going into TenderMe.ie’s bank account initially – but the more people can trust the service, the more they will use it. This is something that Ben and his team have clearly missed.

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