OLX is a global online classifieds community with more features than the traditional online classified sites while remaining completely free. We use it to post our real estate properties and we’re glad to had given a chance to interview OLX’s Country Manager, Amarjit Batra.
Q. When did OLX started its Philippine operation?
OLX was launched in Philippines in April, 2007
Q. What exactly is OLX? We’ve used it before to post real estate but what else can we post?
OLX is a next generation classifieds, free online classifieds site. OLX is a platform to buy, sell, exchange and trade goods and services within your city. OLX offers jobs, housing, cars, goods, services, education, personals and much more.
Q. What does OLX offer for our Filipino readers?
OLX Philippines site is dedicated in English and Tagalog and the site is 100% free to use. We have recently launched ‘Featured Listings’ in some countries and would launch it in Philippines in the near future. Through a Featured Listing, the ad poster will get a prominent placement on the Home Page of the site and on the listing pages.
We can offer a free Featured Listing to every thewutzup reader once we launch Featured Listing in Philippines.
Q. Can we buy and sell things like eBay?
Like eBay one can list their products, provide detailed description, and upload multiple product photographs (or even a Video). But the payment doesn’t happen online and the transaction completes offline between the buyer and seller.
OLX’s strengths include its advanced search capabilities, its mobile WAP site, and seller applications for Facebookand Open Social that allow sellers to promote their listings beyond the OLX marketplace.
We also accept XML feeds from merchants in all categories, including the For Sale category. Information on submitting feeds to www.olx.com.ph is available on the website (link), and additional information about seller tools to promote listings on Facebook, MySpace and blogs is forthcoming.
We have observed that many eBay sellers are selling on OLX on Philippines and India site (www.olx.in ). One of the key benefits for them is that OLX is 100% free, since we do not charge any fee for listing or for transaction. The other is the OLX provides e-commerce sellers with the desired functionalities for merchandising their products and they prefer a site like ours when they have to sell within the city. The buyer is willing to pick up and pay or they can send the buyer a COD shipment (Cash on Delivery, quite common in countries like India).
Q. As country manager, what are you doing to market OLX?
OLX is marketed through
- Google Adwords
- Cobranded partnerships (for example http://olx.friendster.com/)
- Partnerships with Telecom carriers for our WAP site http://m.olx.com.ph
We believe in community driven marketing. The best marketing for us is when users like our site and refer it to their friends and families.
Q. How did you come up with the different Philippine districts?
We typically use the local post office site zip code database or sometimes different sites on internet to check regions/cities (including Wikipedia).
Do let us know if there any recommendations for us or if have you seen any mistakes in our districts structure.
Q. Craigslist.org has a lot of categories, how do you compare and what makes OLX different?
We have done lots of improvements on our site to make it easy to use and provide a better user experience. OLX is a Web2.0 product and users can easily design rich colorful listings with pictures and videos and display their listings on their social networking profile (Facebook, Myspace, …) Some of the features that make us different from others are:
- A mobile site where users can do everything that they can do on the web
- 100% free (forever) even in jobs and real estate
- Ability to include videos and pictures in listings
- A city, neighborhood and zip code database so the entire country is covered and not just pre-selected cities (Available in select countries)
- Ajax “WYSIWYG” rich-text editor for richer listings
- Ability to comment on listings to create a stronger community
- Advanced search functions with sliders allowing searches at variable regional settings
- A distance field allowing you to see postings near your zip code wherever possible (Available in Select Countries)
- Ability to post listings in any language in any country
- Ability to view the site in any country in any language
- Global reach – 89 countries and 39 languages
Q. OLX comes up when searching a lot of different keywords on Google, what are you doing to ensure your site is SEO friendly?
We just have lots of different types of contents. Our content is mostly user generated and therefore the quality of the content that we get from them helps us rank well. Each ad is a different page so by the very nature of what we do we are SEO friendly.
Q. How do you stop hackers and spammers from using your site and spamming your search results?
Hackers and Spammers are challenging issues for a classified site like ours. But we take many proactive measures to prevent such issues from happening.
We have certain tools and filters to check for Spams and Scams. Our multilingual dedicated customer support team manually screens listings and deletes those with suspect content. We also have automated tools to detect Spams and Scams. We blacklist keywords, IP addresses, countries etc. and our customer team is vigilant 24/7 to tackle such issues. Over all 60% to 70% of postings on OLX are deleted in the process to keep the site clean and free from spam.
In addition, we urge our users to flag a prohibitive listing and this messaging is provided at key user touch points. We also provide onsite messaging to our users advising them to be alert and careful when making any transactions offline.
Amarjit Batra is also a Sales & Marketing professional focused in the Internet space. Amarjit had successfully launched and grown Internet businesses in the C2C, B2C and B2B domains in India region.
OLX probably the most popular classified in US Real Estate.