This is some thing which comes not only as a shock but kind of sad, if our industry leaders are not even ok but promoting this behavior, we will have little chance of growing out. Because all these thing end up doing is encouraging every one else to just use the shortcut because its easy and every one is doing it.
Any way I digress, to the main story. There were rumors going in the industry and market that a new entrant for classified cars it using data posted on pakwheels.com to build its own list of used cars.
So for a little testing I posted a selling add for my own car, and indeed next day I received a call, which I could not pick up initially but on calling back here is the exact conversation
Other Side> Hello, thank you for calling rozee.pk
Me> umm, I received a call from this number.
rozee.pk> thinking… Call from this number ? pause.. followed by Eureka moment Ohh did you recently post an add for selling a car?
rozee.pk> Ohh ok let me transfer you
Other Side> Hello, we saw your add for selling the car? We are garee.pk
Me> Yes ?
garee.pk> We would like to post your add free of cost.
Me> Ok (I had to do this thinking from a perspective of actual consumer).
garee.pk> please tell us your email address and send us a picture of car.
Me> ok, Allah hafiz.
So rightly the add appeared on Garee.pk.
Then for some more research (I did not want to go ahead claiming this until there was proof that it was true) here is what I did, for each 10 Featured vehicles and 10 Recently posted Vehicles on Garee.pk I searched the cars on pakwheels.com.
Again was astounded to see that out of these 20 car adds on Garee.pk only 5 did not have matching adds on pakwheels.com. don’t believe me see the following links, every other car had an exact matching add with exact same details.
Adds which did not have matching pakwheels.com add
http://garee.pk/detail/WhiteSuzukiCultus2006ModelForSale/1238 http://garee.pk/detail/WhiteToyotaCorolla2002ModelForSale/2512 http://garee.pk/detail/SilverToyotaPremio2002ModelForSale/2573 http://garee.pk/detail/WhiteHondaCivic2005ModelForSale/2493 http://garee.pk/detail/SilverMitsubishiLancer2005ModelForSale/2438
So lets analyze this. Technically they are not doing any thing wrong and I am not sure if any thing can be held against them in any legal system, they are re-using publicly available data.
From a user perspective too this does not bother much, if I am selling a car I would not mind my add appearing at two places when I only put in effort to enter it at one place. As a matter of fact I as a seller would appreciate the extra audience I get.
So where does it seem wrong, its wrong because instead of building your own data you are using the data of a very thriving community, the simple fact that a big already successful company is behind this effort of copying data sets an extremely wrong precedence. rozee.pk has a huge user database of their own they could easily have gone using that power to build their community and data base, rozee.pk is one of the most visited sites in Pakistan, why could not they use that power to divert traffic to this new venture? As a brand what are they saying for them selves? I doubt I would be able to read the next rozee newsletter they send which talks about ethics, and how to build a career.
Something that Rozee.pk and Garee.pk should realize is that Pakwheels.com is a community driven site you can easily copy the adds but the real asset of such a site is community, last time we covered they had about 100,000 users, which clearly is the sign of a growing and active community. It takes years to build the trust and activity that pakwheel.com demonstrates. And rozee.pk is no small player it self. Also if they seriously needed to get access to pakwheels.com, there is a completely ethical way of offering a buy out.
Again as I said technically we can not do any thing about what has happened except maybe feel sad about where our Industry is headed when the top most people are feeling its ok to do this. However we can condemn this act at the least.
UPDATE: As pointed out by a reader Garee.pk is using other sources (like Jang Classified) as well besides Pakwheels.com