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OMG, it’s OLX

Julie Cabatit-Alegre (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Do you still have the crib which was used by your youngest child who is now in college? Or that mountain bike which you bought with your first salary but which you’ve hardly used since you got caught up in the corporate rat race? Or how about that pair of designer shoes with killer high heels which you used only once at a friend’s wedding?

Perhaps it’s time to let go and make space for new things? But how? Have you heard of OLX?

“OLX stands for online exchange,” RJ David, OLX managing director, explains. 

“OLX.ph is the country’s leading website for buying and selling pre-loved items.” They have certainly come a long way since 2006 when RJ, together with his wife, Arianne, founded Sulit.com.ph as a general classified ads website, with RJ  as web developer and Arianne as web designer.

From a husband and wife team, the operation quickly expanded to a staff of over a hundred. With its shift to OLX.ph, it is now part of “the biggest global brand of classifieds in the world, present in over 100 countries with over 40 languages,” RJ noted, “The name change represents our commitment to change how Filipinos perceive online selling.”

A recent survey conducted by the global research company TNS, on behalf of OLX Philippines, showed that approximately “P21 billion worth of unused items in working condition are just sitting in people’s homes, gathering dust and left to waste,” RJ remarked.

“The survey asked people to list their unused items and share their experience in buying and selling second hand items over the Internet.”

Close to half or 48.74 percent of the items listed, worth about P10.36 billion, were electronics such as laptops and accessories, mobile phones, audio and video appliances, cameras and video game consoles. Automotive items such as cars and accessories as well as motorcycles and helmets represented a little over 20 percent worth about P4.5 billion, while fashion items such as clothing, jewellery and watches, shoes and bags representing about 14 percent is estimated to be worth P3.04 billion.

Home appliances worth about P1.96 billion such as kitchen appliances, furniture and household accessories represented about nine percent of the items listed while collectibles worth about P1.38 billion such as artworks,  luggage, musical instruments, books and magazines, sporting goods and children’s products accounted for the balance six percent.  “This is untapped value that could add to the economy,” RJ remarked. “Just imagine how much cash people can make when they sell these items.”

The same survey showed that about 41 percent of respondents said that they are comfortable selling their pre-loved items, while 56 percent of those who have plans of selling unused items said they are open to selling these online.  “You don’t have to be a merchant or an entrepreneur to be able to sell,” RJ noted. “OLX is for everyone. It is free, fast and easy.”

OLX  embarked on the “Yesss, Yaman!” Movement, “to educate Filipinos on the untapped wealth sitting in their homes and the value of online selling of second hand items,” says RJ. The house to house campaign seeks to show how easy it is to buy and sell with OLX. Just download the free app on your smartphone. Take a picture with your mobile, describe your product and post.

OLX’s  Yaman Checklist and Yaman Calculator help you identify which items to list down and see the total possible earnings you can get from them. A feedback system has also been developed to address possible overpricing, which can be self-correcting when such items fail to be sold.

You can find the items properly categorized and appear where they are available according to your specific location. There is no need for an intermediary as both buyer and seller can get in touch directly through SMS, email or phone call. “A face to face meet-up is the safest way,” RJ says. This minimizes unacceptable occurrences such as non-delivery or delivery of defective items.

There are four levels of users, RJ explains, ranging from occasional users to habitual users of the online service. “Our goal is to create one million new sellers by yearend,” RJ says. To date, over 600,000 sellers have listed their items on OLX.ph. The most interesting items that have exchanged hands include a single seat helicopter and a breast pump machine. RJ himself acquired his favourite second hand car through OLX.ph.

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Some are just natural pack rats. We often keep things for sentimental reasons or pass them on as hand-me-downs.

“We want to show people that they can get more value from their used items that are still in  good condition by turning them into cash,” RJ says. “Then they can get new items that they really want.”

* * *

OLX Philippines is available at www.olx.ph or on the OLX app on Android and iOS phones.

 

ARIANNE BILLION ITEMS OLX SELLING SULIT WORTH YAMAN CHECKLIST AND YAMAN CALCULATOR
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