We covered Nilaam on Green & White a few months back which generated a lot of readers’ response. We were wary of the venture’s over-the-top advertising campaign which was bordering on spamming. Now as the venture has completed its first six months, it’s time to dissect its pros and cons.
Since the venture’s launch in April, it has garnered much interest among the users. I just talked to their operations manager, Mr. Ahmed Ali, and he told me that the auctioning platform has got more than 6,000 registered users and 20 to 35 new users are getting registered every day. He also confirmed that the company is in the process of developing a PayPal type payment system which will be launched in the first quarter of next year (Nilaam currently accepts payment through Moneybookers.com).
While browsing through the portal, I found that the company’s claims of success are almost true. The registration is free and the procedures are not very hectic. There are hundreds of active bids in each category but the number of bidders was not satisfactory. Looks like there are more buyers than sellers but still there is lot more activity as compared to Bolee which is almost dead now.The ratio of sellers to buyers can be rounded off at 10:1 which is not healthy by any standards. I tried my hand at bidding and found that majority of the people have given their phone numbers and mail IDs thus increasing the possibility of offline bidding. That’s the reason there are very few buyers/bidders as compared to sellers.
The site owners have to embark on a more viable advertising campaign targeting sellers. After all, the site is for online bidding and not a bidders directory. One can find loads of buy/sell ads in newspapers. An online auction site offers you much more than that. I guess Pakistanis also have to get to used to this trend of online auctions, which will take some time.