It's been well documented... Most of the 'things' happened in the Spring of 2017.
Basically Barter died out of the admin being MIA for a year and the site failing. I was working on a replacement site on a casual rhythm, with a better implementation, and had to open it in a hurry without every feature being available. Then the admin noticed my site and decided to come back the day after I opened it, and fixed his site, basically ruining the weeks of efforts I put into making LT's usable in time, lol. (Had there not been any issue, I'd have taken six more months to work on it casually, and it would have been better for it.)
Anyway, over the last year, I noticed that Barter improved matching speed (which was absolutely horrible before Lestrade's was opened, basically I think he simply added indexes on his main 'collection' table, which was sorely needed), and added a few of the features that are in Lestrade's.
Which is fine by me, because my original goal for Lestrade's was to be a 'proof of concept' that Barter needed an internal redesign (plus, many of the concepts in Lestrade's were taken directly from Barter since it was poised to be a replacement site once Barter broke down completely). I even considered giving away the code to Barter so he could redo his implementation using my better codebase, but ultimately I don't think it would have worked out.
So basically, there are two competitor sites now, I don't work on it much these days but I always fix bugs as they are found. Most of the bugs are in the scrapers, because if Steam or Steamspy or Barter or whatever site I scrape for my database decides to changes something in their data format, I'm not exactly 'warned' about it, and I have to find out by myself that things are broken. This is why the entire database is currently being refreshed for parent-child relationships (which was broken) and Steam store presence data (delisted, non buyable, etc.) Still having issues with the latter, but eh... What can I do. Also, I'm still desperate for Barter to finally disclose item type data (DLC, Demo, Trailer, Video, Episode...), because it was confirmed that kind of data is being recorded but I still have to manually fix everything and frankly I'm bored with it.
These days I mostly just check bundle data to make sure ITAD didn't screw it up again. (It's not ITAD's fault-- they're relying on their audience to submit bundle data, so sometimes bundles come out late and with broken items.) Not exactly the best job ever. Especially since I now recognize that Barter has the better bundle data (which is being entered by users as well, but they're way more careful than ITAD users when it comes to that.)
No matter what, this site is really really much more user-friendly in UI/UX.
Main reason for the proof-of-concept. (But really, really, the biggest reason I wanted to have Lestrade's around was to implement the 'Takers' and 'Matches' sections under the banner in game pages. This feature is really fantastic and it's still not there at Barter, even though it'd take 5 minutes to implement.)
For example, I like the feel of "* Night & Day" very much!!!
Yeah, it was also a proof of concept for Barter because their Night mode is really, really unusable.
I 'solved' it by taking my main theme CSS data and modifying colors on the fly before saving them in another CSS file. (There's an easy two-step algorithm for RGBA manipulation & brightness inversion.)
I hope there will be more and more active users and offers soon! :)
Looks unlikely, if you were to ask me.
Member involvement has been remarkably stable in the last 4 or 5 months, but it's still way behind Barter (about 5 times lower), meaning less frequently updated lists, meaning only a few dozen users (the big traders who come here on a daily basis) can safely be traded with. I always prioritize Lestrade's trades, but sometimes I have to just go to Barter and use that terrible interface.
Still, the silver lining: it's now very easy to maintain all of your lists at Lestrade's and export them in a few clicks to Barter, complete with all relevant tags. (Unfortunately, Barter doesn't support custom text in tags... Another proof of concept that will never make it over there.)
What I need is either for Barter to ask & reuse my codebase, or some good marketing team to draw more people to this site! Either way is fine with me-- although obviously, only the latter will give me motivation to add more features that are as good as the current ones.