Nilaam.PK – An exclusive preview of their upcoming global auctioning platform

Share this Article

Author:

After their recent PR fiasco at the hands of the SEO people they hired to do promotion, the people behing Nilaam.pk finally went through the formal process of walking me through their app and agreeing to let me do a preview a couple of weeks before their hard launch date.

Nilaam.PK, based in Atlanta, GA, is being pitched as a global auctioning platform. Their basic interface is no different from any other auctioning system, except that at the moment it seems to be more focused on its single-purposed goal of supporting active auctions (see below).

Nilaam-home

Diving a little deeper I was given a walkthrough of the things that stands Nilaam apart in the crowd. Read on for those details.

One thing I like about Nilaam is that these people seem to be very clear on their focus on being a platform for P2P commerce rather than being a product. Within this focus, they are looking to work on a number of different things.

Firstly, they are not limiting this to any local region – in fact they are particularly interested in using Nilaam to support US-to-PK auctions, as well as auctions in Bangladesh, India and other middle-east / Asian countries. The case for the US and PK auctions is with expats who may want to bid for some items from home (to better connect with local culture) or local kids who might want to buy, say, guitars autographed from their favorite bands (to better connect with western culture).

If they are able to successfully support a reasonable shipping channel back and forth, this might become an intersting case.

Secondly, rather than waiting for a pure consumer-to-consumer focus, they want to build up inventory by allowing retailers from all over the country (and well other countries) to start e-stores immediately. These stores will be hosted within the Nilaam servers, but any small shop with inventory to sell can also set up a rebranded custom-themed store for themselves… these stores will also be visible over the Nilaam platform. From a business POV, this model is similar to the plain ecommerce fulfillment platform shophive.com

Thirdly, they are also trying to make it immediately easy for buyers and sellers to exchange money in a secure way. The other local auctioning and ecommerce platforms have a love / hate relationship with Amaana and local banks in finding support for their ecommerce initiatives.

What Nilaam is doing instead is bringing an international merchant services system to Pakistan, where Nilaam has become the exclusive merchant services account for them in Pk (this is a testy statement and we’ll have to confirm this after launch). From what I understand, this means that buyers and sellers would be able to set up services accounts in 5–mins through the website, transfer funds to those accounts using western union, and start transacting across countries. Funds could be withdrawing via SWIFT wire transfer or via checks.

Finally, for buyers who dont feel safe sending money to random strangers, they are also introducing professional Escrow Services linked to their platform. The way that works is that if you’re a buyer, you can commit your money to the third-party escrow. The escrow will then be able to guarantee payment to the seller (reducing risk on that part). If the seller DOES send the goods, the escrow releases your payment to them. If the seller does not, your funds are returned.

It is interesting, again, to see them realize that web products are platforms, and I’m glad someone’s advisors are guiding them in the right direction. The question that still remains is whether our culture will get over the general hesitation to adopting web solutions and start using Nilaam and others as their primary method of buying.

Facebook comments:

14 Comments

  • i must say that they have done all the hard work. now lets wait and see how people respond to it.

    based on my research nilaam.pk will offer merchant services through moneybookers.com

    best of luck nilaam.pk ..

  • Obi Wan Kenobi

    Did you delete one of your last posting about nilaam.pk where you were talking about the copying Ebay’s statement ? What was the reason ? Was that wrong news or what ? Personally I did not like the tone of that entry but I wanted to see the follow up of my comment[if any] on that entry about how to make money with all these auction sites in Pakistan.

  • Noman,

    Yes I did – it wasn’t professional and that writeup wasnt from the company but an SEO firm they’d hired.

    You can add your comment here as well or email admin@nilaam.pk to speak directly to the guys behind it.

  • I’m really excited for Nilaam.pk. Good Luck! Their services will really help bring exposure to pakistan’s small business network.

    Win Win for All!

  • @salman
    Yea, moneybookers.com for merchant services, and phpprobid for the platform – good work Watson 😉

    Here’s another PR – titled “Bad news for Lootmaar” that I found for Nilaam after that initial post. I don’t know whether its a pre-launch fan evangelizing nilaam, or their over-enthusiastic SEO firm, but below-the-belt comment does not win you potential customers, even if you have deep pockets.
    I hope they have fired their SEO firm/copywriters by now.

    “Nilaam.pk will be lauching in 18 days. Bad news for Adnan as he will not be able to compete with the Goliath!

    Nilaam.pk, is a new auction-based online marketplace that is determined to give the Pakistani ecommerce revolution a good hard push.

    With Nilaam.pk’s deep pockets, Will Lootmaar.com really be able to compete??”

    http://www.topix.com/forum/world/pakistan/T30UPGK3ELKEB1NHL

    Goodluck Nilaam.

  • I would say that Nilaam just validated the market that Lootmaar’s been in for so long. and it seems to me that stuff thats iffy on Nilaam has already been figured out by Lootmaar. And like you guys have said, their SEO firm sucks but whoever hired them is at fault too. Seems to prove that having money isnt the solution to everything :)

    and merchant serviceS? ummmm If you are in Pakistan, you need to go through Citibank, which is hell expensive for consumers. If there wasn’t regulation stopping companies, dont you think every other website would have online merchant services by now? Nilaam can claim whatever they want, the ground reality is that they still have to close a few auctions and have several hundred satisfied users. Good luck Nilaam investors and team, with the quality of people you hired (SEO guys?) and the current website, you’ll need it.

  • ops, sorry i mean if there “wasnt regulation”. and “have several hundred” OH can you please edit the comment. I’m posting from my mobile and gprs so…

  • @Sohaib
    Based on the bravado used in that message, I’m guessing it is the same over-zealous SEO firm.

  • Nilaam and Lootmaar starting to fight it off in public. Good times are a coming boys!

    Perhaps we need some nutty SEO firm and jumpy underdogs for web commerce to really get into mainstream media and the general public’s mind.

    I have a question. Isn’t an escrow service basically ‘hundi’?

  • Adnan – Hundi is when person A at location X pays money to H1, so that person B at location Y gets paid by H2 – its basically money transfer bypassing banks and usually illegal.
    Escrow is when two parties agree on a payment schedule and deliverables, and the payer pays the escrow service in advance so that the payee can verify they have the money and will pay up, and later, the escrow service releases the funds as per agreement.

  • “Pakistan’s #1 Auction Site” – Yeah right! 😐

  • @ mohtashim

    regarding merchant services, my understanding is that nilaam.pk will be using moneybookers.com for money transfer which is like paypal. so i don’t see why they will have to go through citibank for that. correct me if i am wrong as i dont know much about it.

    as much as i like lootmaar, i dont think it has really picked up .. it can be because of the reasons that FK has mentioned in his blog or might be because lootmaar people haven’t tried as hard as nilaam.pk is atleast supposedly trying to do (even though through wrong means) ..

    lootmaar is just karachi based till now which restricts its user base .. also they don’t have too much items to bid for .. not giving enough incentive to the user to come back to their website .. nilaam.pk might have an edge over lootmaar because they are planning too big by opening it throughout pakistan and by bringing different stores to put their items ..

    in any case i think its time for lootmaar to get ready for some serious competition ..

    my best wishes for lootmaar.com and b4bid .. i don’t think that money can help any web2.0 company to win users .. so big bucks shouldn’t matter too much here .. whoever will run the business model well would have an edge.

  • looks like nilaam.pk went live early or maybe still testing in its last stages. Anyways, website is live! Nilaam.pk

Leave a Reply


*

Recent Posts

  • Events General Mobile Apps Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    First we had Angry Imran which brought smiles and some short lived fun for us during the election campaign. Then came Gullu Butt following the incident of Model Town Lahore, which stayed on top of charts (Pakistan play store) for quite some while. Also Gullu Butt made an update with having the famous “Aam Khaiyga” quote form Aamir Liaqat in which a character resembling Aamir Liaqt throws mangoes and the Gullu Butt character tries to catch them. Gullu butt currently has more than 100,000 Installs

    And now during this extremely politically tense situation which had the whole nation on its toes on 14th August we have another app continuing the …

    Read more →
  • Announcements Featured Startup General Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    MeriTaleem.com aims to solve an age old problem for our students, where to go next?

    If you have just completed your primary school which college to pick, if you have completed your college which university to pick. There has always been lack of information or rather consolidated information regarding these questions. The best source till now has always been relatives and friends (mostly of your parents). So some uncle did CA and made a good living you should talk to him and decide, or daughter of my sister completed her medical and is practicing follow that career.

    The fact that online presence of our existing universities are limited and not …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Whoa!! this was quick so Eccentia technologies launched an app a few days ago called “Ajj Kia Pakaen” or what to cook today and today it has reached the top of charts for Pakistani Stores on iTunes and google play store.

    “Ajj Kia Pakaen” is the most common question asked at every house hold in the morning. The ladies of the family have a hard time deciding what to cook for the day. The app has a fun interface and is simple to use, you fire it up, and it gives you an option of what to cook for the day, if you like the option you can check the …

    Read more →
  • Coffee Session General Marketing/Adv Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

    Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

     

    Until a few years back we used to have closed groups and forums, which gathered the like minded people and anyone targeting the online audience would tap into that forum and market his/her services. So PakGamers , PakPassion initially even PakWheels used to be driven by members talking about what they loved, people used to create marketing and sales opportunities from within those discussions (so you could get a good router cheap or a gaming PC etc).
    The advent of facebook changed all that, most of the forum goers moved to the new social media. It also made a very attractive market place for some one who does not …

    Read more →
  • General Getting back

    Getting back

    I  have been out of blogging for a long long long time, a lot of things happening on personal front (including a little startup I have ben doing my self). However during my absence I met a lot of people who had followed GreenWhite at its peak, read the articles regularly.

    I had hope there would be some one else who would come ahead and cover everything going on and around us in the local tech world. There are some guys doing a great job, but for some reason I still could not find one source where I can go and read about everything, so my routine usually is to …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Software & I.T. GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniITeam has successfully launched an official app for PakistanIdol. This is one of the first collaboration between a reality game show and a local app development company. I am sure a lot more would follow. Previously we have seen seenreport becoming the basis of mostly all channels citizen reporting system (Like Geo Dost). This is a healthy sign and with the advent of 3G round the corner it should become a business generator for our local firms.

    App allows you to follow the contestants that you like, promote them, comment on live feedback on an episode. It offers official content from the show since it is developed with partnership with …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls, one of the leading Pakistani IT companies, has recently added another feather to its cap. This time, in partnership with National Geographic, 10Pearls has released the new and improved GeoBee Challenge App – an interactive app to challenge and grow the geographic knowledge of the users.

    Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The competition is designed to encourage geography in the classroom, ignite student interest in the world around them, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    It’s heartening to see that Pakistani IT companies have now started to diversify themselves into non traditional areas, and are competing with global players in areas such as gaming. We have received information that 10Pearls, one of the leading  mobile and enterprise web development services companies in Pakistan, has spun-off a separate entity focused solely on developing and publishing casual mobile games.  The new entity, Game Plan8, will focus on creating 2D and 3D games for the iOS, Google Android, Kindle, Facebook and other platforms. Details can be seen on the company’s official press release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11428177.htm

     …

    Read more →
  • General Telecom CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    If only were there two things when it comes to the law, firstly the fear of breaking it and by passing the legal authority, and secondly, implementation of the law given full dedication, there would have been less competency and dishonesty in business and society. However, keeping good faith, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has put forward “Deceptive Marketing Guidelines” which will maintain the Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. In order to enforce this part of the law and stop anti-competitive conduct on part of the telecom companies in advertising, the guidelines have been shared with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and other concerned telecommunication sector members, in …

    Read more →