Adnan Haider whose previous venture was imaGyn, a non-profit medical device company he co-founded in the US. The founders of imaGyn were featured in BusinessWeek, Yahoo News, US National Public

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Lootmaar – Local Ebay launches private beta

September 20, 2007 6:28 am 25 comments

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Online shopping as a business model seems to be finding validation in Pakistan, especially in Karachi and Lahore.

Lootmaar claims to be an “Ebay for Pakistan”, allowing auctions between buyers and sellers over everyday items. Their claim to fame is that they will be adding a layer of security to ensure that buyers and sellers are reliable.

Jehan Ara has done a great roundup of the company, adding this information about the founders

One of the founders of Lootmaar is Adnan Haider whose previous venture was imaGyn, a non-profit medical device company he co-founded in the US. The founders of imaGyn were featured in BusinessWeek, Yahoo News, US National Public Radio, and all major Pakistani newspapers. Prior to this, he actually admits to being a technical specialist at IBM. He has a degree in engineering management from Duke.

The co-founder of Lootmaar is Noman Turab, another graduate of Szabist who then ventured out to Middlesex for further education. Other members of the team that conceptualized Lootmaar include Majid Shaikh (also an IBM-er) and Adeel Tufail who specializes in alternative distribution and electronic payments.

You can check out the beta yourself at, although I dont think they are accepting a lot of sellers right now. You can also read Adnan’s thoughts on entrepreneurship here.

For my analysis (beta review? Preview?) of lootmaar, hit the link (trying to keep the front-page shorter).

To be honest, when I first landed on the front-page I was a bit confused. Although there are auctions currently going on in the beta website, it seems like they are also selling items from a virtual storefront, much like Shophive or Belicity (see the picture). I think they need to keep their auction focus and put that up front and center and take out the “its Masty, its Fun” type of things — it might be tempting to think that this is what the visitors need to see but…. I dont think its suitable for an Auction site.

From features, I thought the “Ask a seller” is the most relevant because the question and answers are all written there in a flow. This lets people get a better subjective feeling about a particular seller.

From the business side of things, I think the biggest underestimated challenge Lootmaar will face is to get the right people to start bidding. There are two types of problems here — first are people who could refuse to play with the rules — e.g. set the same “buy now” price for a used item as a new item.

You could argue that free market dynamics will eventually sort these things out to where the market decides the price point through discussion (see here for an example), but remember free market rules only start with a large number of players where buyers can put some influence on sellers.

The challenge with a small userbase is that if there are only 5-6 sellers for an item there is a good chance that they can simply agree on setting a specific price. Or indirectly, if there are only 4-5 suppliers of used parts in the retail markets, there is a chance that a seller on lootmaar sets a price very similar to the retail price for something. That doesn’t make the seller “evil” necessarily but the price would still be fixed by retail distributors.

The second type of problem is something I’ve mentioned before — models like Ebay start to take off when (1) the average set of people feel that it is OK to buy used goods — something that may or may not be ‘accepted norm’ in culture throughout the userbase, and (2) enougth of the average set of people with the money to buy these items are online long enough to trade average goods.

The simple solution is the argument that “eventually there will be enough tech-savvy young couples that they would prefer this model a lot more over the traditional model — when that happens, it doesn’t matter if the older generations dont ‘get it’ “. Nonetheless, though, it would be interesting to see how these behavioral models work out over time.

For now though, I think Lootmaar’s going to find most of its users in the used-computer-electronics market. Like I said, I’m looking for some RAM for my laptop, and Jehan Ara seems to be looking to sell some.

Facebook comments:


  • Well there is not much but some competition in the space like
    this has been around for some time though i don’t see any active improvements but the list of items being sold is big
    then there are other sites specific to item categories like for mobile phone in Lahore the paktel website has been used over time
    similarly for cars there is
    So Adnan really has his work cut out for him besides this competition the major problem i have seen online retailers face in Pakistan is the trust of a customer to put his credit card number online or feel safe with the online buying. This is the major thing which prevents and average user from buying some thing on the net, even from international companies.
    Lets see how this venture works out but all my best wishes to Adnan

  • Very nice site! I really like the SMS verification code twist, I presume Amaana :)

    Although the idea is not fresh for Pakistan though. There was a site by the name of, they did massive amount of spamming to promote the site and today when i tried opening it up, u’ll see a raw installation of OScommerce there :) On confirming with the owners, they will bring it back to life once there server is back in operation. Then there is also a bidding platform. There is also, which has been there for ever but not very active.

    We tried putting up a small buy / sell model to test the market on a while back. The biggest issue in our culture is Trust. Even the first order we do get, usually the person living in Lahore would like to visit our office and would go about calling 10 people to verify our validity – but after first order, no issue no hassle. So imagine that for the bidding to take flourish, once the confidence is developed in the net users things will be great.

    Great stuff Adnan, best of luck!

  • Osama, I have to say that’s an excellent analysis. Your feedback on the landing page is noted and I’ll forward it to my UI designer.

    On the business side, the critical mass problem is the most important one to crack. While in the beta phase, our feedback really is to make Lootmaar technology, usability and operations ready for prime time. Once we have these elements are comfortably nailed down, we’ll focus on building the critical mass.

    From our research, higher value items will not sell initially. We need low-key items to make user comfortable with our model and to build trust. The geek market is a perfect fit at this point.

  • Adnan,

    You’re right — the used electronics and geek market really is a good place to start (If I remember that’s what got me onto Ebay as well, but then I’m a techy person).

    It would be great to have a professional ebay market that is free from “middle men”, price fixers and more so I do wish you the best. Let me know when you guys come out of beta.

    I might htink of selling some “beta user accounts” on lootmaar for some products, hah I dream.

  •’s vision is to create the Pakistan’s first global economic democracy. We see a “people’s market” in which anyone in Pakistan, UAE, and Bangladesh could sell or buy just about anything for a fair price. And today on the marketplace, trust, honesty and efficiency are rewarded more than size or status.

    Despite differences in language, culture and economic status, people around Pakistan are united in their fundamental need to connect, discover and interact.

    People seek fulfillment of these fundamental needs in their day-to-day activities. As we explore, learn, shop, share and talk with each other, we are also aspiring toward a more emotionally satisfying experience as human beings.

    But over the past 8 years, Pakistan’s Internet has expanded, and so has humankind’s relationship with it. More and more of our day-to-day activities are conducted online. The Internet continually enhances our ability to connect with the world around us.

    And now plays an even larger role in our lives, as well. It’s no longer just about fairness. It’s about fostering that human connection through “Social Commerce,” which we define as “a powerful combination of commerce, communication and community that enhances traditional buying and selling.” will make Social Commerce Pakistan’s global reality. We will continue to expand economic opportunity by fostering an emotionally satisfying experience for people around Pakistan to explore, learn, shop, share and talk with each other. We will do this by managing and growing some of the strongest brands in the world.

    We will continue to innovate and integrate the technologies and policies that make these day-to-day activities even more trusted, fair and efficient than they are today.

    Thousands of people who will be using will experience this new way to connect. will make it so easy and rewarding to engage in Social Commerce that we believe millions of more will participate. And this next generation will bring with them new products, ideas and opportunities for everyone.

    Ultimately, will raise the expectations—and aspirations—of people around the world as they seek to connect, discover and interact with each

  • Aoa,

    I personally have had good response from a similar website by the name of Pakistan Auction. The website address would be

    The code has some issues I guess, but otherwise the phone call responses were better than other websites.

    Bolee seems to be no more active, not sure what happened to it.

  • I think bolee never took off properly. I don’t see any active item out there. Nilaam on the other hand is not keeping up to the hype they created. I see a lot of items at nilaam with no bids on them. Have anyone had a good experience using Can they share their experience?

    Asim have you used lootmaar or I believe when you say that ‘phone call responses were better than other websites’, I believe you must have had some experience with one of them. Can you please compare the experiences between pakistanauction and other websites?

  • Who is the owner of this site?
    It appears like a foreign (Non pakistani)company.
    Most probably Jew company as they published Israel as trading country on Nilaam’s “advertise” page.
    Anyway, its still a copy with no originality and match with Pakistani culture and market sense.(For reference see vulgar advertisements appearing on site’s main page)

  • My comments were regarding

  • Comments on By the way seeking an investor and using a cheap software (where the code is already made by some oneelse) for auction websites doesnt bring any originality. It only cause distrust.
    Even I can buy this code and open a site like in 2 days.

  • is… temporarily pucked … :D

  • came across another auction website

  • among all pakistan based online trading websites, I have found most useful and very much alive.

    recently, i tried selling my nokia mobile phone and posted on different websites including and, but I received most querries from and finally end-up easily selling my mobile after some negotiation.

    most of the sites are build on site softares and are complicated especially auction websites but hafeezcentre website is very simple and user friendly

  • I meant to say that the inquiries were more on Pakistan Auction, as compared to other one. I never had to contact their customer service personally, so no idea about that

  • is also one of the imerging websites in pakistan. Its abour jobs, admissions and tenders publushed in pakistani newspapers. What you guys think about this website.

  • Are you looking for job?
    Want to Know about Companies in Pakistan?
    Want to have some fun?
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    An information portal for all Pakistanis and we keep on updating our site. See you

  • is another one pakistan. Its about jang, dawn, express, the news, nawaiy waqt newspaper jobs admissions etc……. What you people think about it.

  • is another one pakistan. Its about jang, dawn, express, the news, nawaiy waqt newspaper jobs admissions etc……. What you people think about it.

  • Never!

  • Ahaa, its good dialogue about this article here at this blog, I
    have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.

  • I will immediately grab your rss as I can’t to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.

    Do you have any? Kindly permit me recognize in order that I could subscribe.

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  • I am sure this article has touched all the internet viewers, its really really
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  • sultan taimoor

    You find online used cars at home.
    check online used and new car prices.
    You contact with car owner.

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