Nilaam needs to be proactive

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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.

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12 Comments

  • Nice post! Has good research and insight

  • ->the company is in the process of developing a PayPal type payment system

    everyone seems to be reinventing the wheel without talking to folks at Orion, amaana, Innov8, Mobex, Epay, Paybox, Pakipay, Mobilink Infinity. Did I miss someone?

    Ask questions like
    1-why was Inov8 blocked by SBP (still is??)
    2-why is Orion still lacking merchant momentum
    3-why is amaana in beta 2 years after launch (over 225K registered users)
    4-why is pakipay shut for all practical purpose
    5-how do SBP and PTA look at this

    There are more players in this area then the number of auction sites

  • Thanks for your comments, Farzal. We’ll follow up with these questions.

  • Farzal, you seem to be in the thick of things more than the rest of us here. Do you want to do a guest post on the ‘state and challenges for mobile payment systems’ here – maybe offer brutal, razon-sharp advice on what type of policy changes or private company actions could solve those roadblocks?

  • One GW personw rites, the other GW people comment…
    your posts aren’t even relevant any more guys! Half of them are about the IT news outside of Pakistan..

  • I disagree with Brown. I think G&W are doing a great job and there posts are mostly about local IT issues.

    Keep it up G&W!

  • Thanks Kashif,

    Brown – you’re welcome to share any topics that you’d like to see more discussion on.

  • what’s happening with lootmaar who were also covered in G&W? how are they doing as compared to nilaam?

  • whats happening over there G&W is comparing Lootmaar to the nilaam………What is this?

  • whats wrong with this jawad?

  • Oh yeah i almost forgot about Lootmar..

    are they still kicking or dead?

  • Its 5AM, Oct 25 .. And Site is Down. I can’t see this new addition to my knowledge.
    I’ll try later but after reading your review, I have made a picture in mind.

    I agree with their move to build a payment system in Pakistan. As its a must at least (at current stage) where most Pakistanis don’t have credit cards.

    It will be a good addition, if they try to make it a complete solution for some one trying to get the product without leaving home. Ensuring product delivery, quality of product will be a must.

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