Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DigitalFilipino Talks Blog Contest: Growing Buy and Sell Internet Users Online

Growing Buy and Sell Internet Users Online

Today, February 22, 2011, DigitalFilipino Talks about Growing Buy and Sell Internet Users Online. Interviewed for this episode is General Manager Jon Santico of AyosDito.ph. AyosDito is a Philippine Buy and Sell classifieds site where users can either post their items or services for sale or, find a product they want to buy at a reasonable price.

Growing Buy and Sell Internet Users Online (Why Few Filipinos Buy & Sell Online?)
from Janette Toral on Vimeo.

Mr. Santico shares his insights on the trend of the current online buy and sell in the Philipines.

He also makes some comparison between group buying sites which caters to good deals on a wholesale basis and a classifieds site like AyosDito, which caters to the sale of personal items.

He mentioned in the video that online buy and sell classifieds are still at its infancy because of the 24 million Pinoy internet users, only 1 to 2 million of us use this type of service.

He mentioned several factors that might have been the cause of the slow trend.

1) Culture - we love keeping stuff we do not need anymore
2) Security - there are sellers out there waiting to scam buyers and vise versa.

My View on Growing Buy and Sell Internet Users Online

A. The "brand-new" culture

Although sellers can post brand new items for sale on a classifieds site, I think many Filipinos might have a notion that classifieds sites sell mostly 2nd hand items. The thing with buying online is that the buyer is not sure if the item they are buying is "brand new". There is no guarantee that the seller is actually telling the truth about the condition of his product.

Some products like electronic items are better purchased if they came straight out-of-the-box. For example, buyers would rather buy a new cellphone for fear that a 2nd hand phone may have nearly-expired batteries. 2nd hand digital cameras that are overused may have nearly worn out shutters, specially the DSLR types. And the trouble with that is it is difficult to determine if the item is in good condition until the item is already bought and used by the buyer.

B. On Online Scammers

Mr. Santico discussed in the video that buyers should be careful in making a trade with possible scammers. Scammers are everywhere, not only on the internet. He mentioned steps to ensure a buyers safety, like having an option to leave only your e-mail address, and making sure that your seller brings the item for sale on the agreed meeting place.

My take on this is that you can also take extra precaution in meeting your buyer or seller by bringing a friend along with you (even though it sounds impractical). This is because scammers also love to bring accomplices along in order to pull off their scam.

With the eye of a watchful friend, he might be able to observe if something is odd in your dealings, and can warn you accordingly.

C. The Competition

Although not further elaborated in this segment, it is also possible that the full demographic for online classifieds might be bigger. Of course, there are other alternatives aside from AyosDito a person can use to buy and sell their stuff online.

I tried using AyosDito to sell some of my stuff before (can't remember how long it was), but at the same time used a classifieds site of a competitor. My item was sold through the other site, and the response was really fast - I got several interested persons wanting to buy my item. It gave me an impression that there really are a lot of people looking for stuff online.

D. User registration

At the last portion of the interview, Mr. Santico mentions plans for user registration. Actually that was the feature I didn't like with AyosDito, no user registration. Every time you want to post an item online for sale, you have to fill up the ad registration form. I find it very redundant. What if I have several items I want to post, it will take some time before I finish posting them all.

If there was one advantage of no user registration, I would not bother maintaining an account if I am just going to sell very seldom online.

Still, I would encourage everyone to try out Classifieds buy and sell, whether in AyosDito or its competitors. It is very convenient because all you have to do is post a photo of your product or service online, description and price, and everyone who has internet connection can see your ad. I've already sold several items successfully before - no problems whatsoever.

Hopefully more Pinoys will try out this very practical online service.

This is my entry to DigitalFilipino.com's Talks Blog Contest. Be part of the conversation. Visit the contest page to join. Feel free to comment on my blog post about My view on Growing Buy and Sell Internet Users Online.\

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