Are you planning to vacate to a new house? How long does it take to enquire about available houses in the area you intend to move to? Let’s describe the standard process in most parts of Kenya.
1. You will need to visit an agency. This might take between 30 minutes and 3 hours depending on how far you are from the nearest agency.
2. At the agency you’ll need to describe the type of a house you want to move into.
3. The agent will give you several options
4. Together with the agent, you will physically visit these houses after paying a viewing fee of e.g. Shs 200 to Shs 1000
5. Depending on the locations of the available houses, you may spend the whole day viewing.
6. It is likely that none of the houses will satisfy your taste and preferences so you’ll start again from number 1 all over again.
What if you wanted to buy a car?
1. Visit a car dealer in town
2. Enquire about the type of car that suits your preferences and ability
3. Test drive the car
4. Not satisfied? Go to the next dealer
5. Process/make payment
Or what is the process of buying a new shoe?
1. Visit a shoe shop
2. Try several types
3. Make payment
There is something common in the above processes, having to physically visit a place in order to determine the suitability of the item you want to buy. The time taken to physically visit a premise or an urgency can be eliminated altogether. The second common thing in the above processes is the time taken to view alternatives which might mean moving from one locality to the next. This is the most time consuming process which too can be eliminated – simply by using an online classifieds like OLX.
Online classifieds have enabled buyers to check on the items they intend to buy without having to visit physical dealers or agencies or even shops. If for instance you want to buy a phone, you’ll only need to pick up your comp or phone, open your web browser or access OLX App, visit the OLX website and search for the item you want to buy. Once you have seen a particular item that interests you, you simply call the vendor number as listed in the ad.
Online classifieds do not just save time on the part of the buyer. Just recently I had to sell my seats. Of course I know about OLX so I took the pictures, posted them their and waited for calls to come but after several days no offers came by. My next move was to do the sales in the traditional way. Here are the steps that I actually followed:
1. I looked for several contacts of brokers in town. That took me about two weeks
2. I asked the three brokers to look for interested buyers, two months down the line, no one had a found any serious buyer.
3. I walked the length of Kanu Street in Nakuru talking with furniture makers and retailers, no one was interested still.
4. I went to my original seller, talked with him to take back “his seats” at a reasonable price. He declined. He however said that if he’ll get a customer interested in buying not so expensive seats, he’ll be in touch. Three weeks later he was in touch and I made the sales.
Now, as a seller, you can avoid all the hustle of going through the stress I had to go through by simply listing your items on OLX and hopefully you’ll get a buyer. The buyer might not come easily given my experience but when you get one, you surely shall have saved yourself a lot of time. An advise to online classified owners especially OLX, it is important to let buyers know that they can actually get all types of commodities through OLX.