DEMO: Needly takes on Amazon.com, eBay and Craigslist with peer-to-peer sales

Needly is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

E-commerce startup Needly is unveiling a website and mobile apps today at the DEMO conference to streamline the process of connecting buyers and sellers — and add some surprise and delight in the process.

Needly provides an instant listing platform for iPhone and Android users to announce what they are looking to purchase and what they are willing to sell, and connects users based on that information, said Needly CEO Fred Krueger (pictured left). The apps make it easy to upload photos and videos onto lists as well.

Unlike other online retailers, a large portion of Needly’s anticipated sales will be for services — like a guitar lesson or a dog-walking service, which allows Needly to charge 10 percent of the transaction. That’s costly for low-margin physical goods, but reasonable for services where the cost of sales are relatively low and attracting new customers is more the issue.

Users purchase Needly credits with a credit card or PayPal, and then use them to buy and sell on the service, adding an additional layer of security to the transaction process.

Needly, founded just this year, is manned by a four-person team led by Krueger, a serial entrepreneur who’s currently the vice chairman of Adconion, an online-advertising network, and has funded the company to date with less than $200,000, he said. Needly’s largest competitors are basically any site that connects buyers and sellers at an individual level — eBay, Craigslist and the like.