With many people going online and becoming aware of the perks of e-commerce, two websites—one described as Goliath and the other as David—made it an integral part of their platforms to educate the public on responsible buying and selling.
In the first Kapihan tech talk show initiated by TechTalks.ph, a non-profit, independent community of business, technology, and start-up enthusiasts, at Radisson Hotel yesterday, OLX.ph and Istorya.net showed that two channels with different teams can work harmoniously at proliferating the practice of online buying and selling.
“Many people keep on comparing OLX.ph and Istorya.net. We are not competitors. We are different and yet we are propagating online buying and selling through our websites,” said Maria Regina Aguilar, OLX.ph senior marketing manager.
OLX.ph, formerly Sulit.com.ph, provides a simple platform for selling personal items using just a mobile device. The process is encouraging those relatively new to e-commerce to discover for themselves the great deals and convenience offered by online buying and selling.
It puts up tips for users and reminds them to scrutinize items before buying and meet sellers in crowded areas. If buyers or sellers discovered they have been tricked, they are advised to immediately report to the authorities and to OLX.ph. The site can ban bogus sellers and buyers from future transactions.
These efforts are complemented with on ground marketing that includes, among others, OLX.ph brand ambassadors informing people about the website and, in the process, educating them about responsible buying and selling online.
Apart from these, the Cebu office of OLX.ph will be opening a hub within the month in Cebu Business Park to serve as venue to educate more consumers and even to serve as venue for meet-ups for OLX.ph sellers and buyers. OLX.ph is said to be the number one buy and sell website in the Philippines.
Istorya.net, on the other hand, considers itself a community whose organic growth banks on networking, referrals and word-of-mouth. It is the largest bisaya-speaking forum on the Internet.
Its founder, Gerald Yuvallos, advised buyers of items being sold through Istorya.net to find ways to verify the identity of the seller, like asking someone who could be within the same area of the seller to check out the latter. He added that sellers, like any business, should see through the entire selling process, fully aware of their responsibilities to their buyers.
By having a local community, he said, Istorya.net members are educating others about online buy and sell thereby increasing the community’s efforts at propagating the responsible use of the Internet in commerce.
In order for Istorya.net to offer the best online user experience, the founder clamoured once again for strong support from the government to compel the country’s telecommunication companies to interconnect.
“It is my wish to see in my lifetime the government thinking ahead and being farsighted instead of trying to appease those who are currently in position,” Yuvallos said.
To keep its community going, Istorya.net earns from advertising, Google AdSense and paid memberships. It records 600,000 to 800,000 unique visits monthly.
OLX.ph, which registers 10,000 new listers (individuals who register and post) per month, has a similar revenue model, focusing on paid listings and advertising. #
(Featured image source from www.pixabay.com. Story photos by OLX.ph and Istorya.net. Kapihan poster by PRworks, the event organizer-partner of TechTalks.ph.)
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