Spotted in the Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013, myTAG is a soon-to-launch online platform for local selling that aims to make the e-commerce experience more transparent between buyer and seller by adding “social proof” into the equation. That is, instead of only looking at anonymous postings on a community board like Craigslist, myTAG users pull in their eBay and Amazon ratings as well as their social media profiles, and add them to their account to gain legitimacy.
Of course, many of companies have tried to take on Craigslist, and have failed to gain traction. But, explains myTAG co-founder Tony Pham, his platform is differentiated not only by the introduction of social profiles and seller ratings, but also because of its support for video. Buyers and sellers can integrate videos into their posts, instead of just photos. The service has some gamification elements, too, as users can earn “vouches” as others leave them ratings and reviews, and earn badges for reaching specific milestones, like the number of videos they create.
Pham founded myTAG in 2011, after having spent 15 years in retail, business development and executive management of the e-commerce experience. He thought up myTAG while working in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. At the time, he and his girlfriend wired money directly to a person for a product they never received – basically, they were scammed by local online fraud. That prompted him to create myTAG as a way to eliminate deception, price manipulation and high fees from the local e-commerce space.
Pham says he wanted to make local e-commerce more social, transparent and, most importantly, safe. The company has applied for a patent on its buying and selling system that matches keywords and hashtags in order to connect the buyers and sellers, matching buyer intent to sellers who have items the buyers may want. The company came in second in the audience’s choice contest here at Disrupt, which allows event attendees to vote on their favorite Startup Alley participants.
The company tells us that they expect to launch their platform on Thursday, Sept 19th. Initially, they’ll be targeting Northern and Southern California for the beta period, and will then expand to the United States. Interested buyers and sellers can sign up to find out more here.