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« Extremist Arabs!HELP!!! She threw away the house! »

Locally wanted!


    • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
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    Rated 4.6/5 stars (34 votes cast)

    Let me tell you about a recent experience that I had first, then talk about what is really needed.

    I was in LA, away from home. Only to discover that I have forgotten to bring my Aircard (which is the car I use to connect to the Internet on my laptop). After visiting AT&T store and getting asked to spend almost $299 for a new card.  A small light-bulb appeared on my head.

    I went online, searched Craig's list. (I'll explain about Craig's list in a bit), found someone selling an Aircard for $10, went out, met the guy, did the business. Few minutes later I was happily doing my business!

    The moral of the story is that something that combined the ease of use of online services with local availability of merchandise provide a huge opportunity for business. Without bothering with retail stores and paying MSRP for something you might not care if it was in brand new state or not.

    Los Angeles was a good example of this because of the many millions that live there. I'm sure major metropolitan areas like Cairo would certainly benefit from such services.

    To my surprise, Egypt has a portal on Craig's list

    Now, if you're not familiar with Craig's list, it's an online classifieds website where people can list, search and make connection to get what they need. Most of the time locally (so there is no sales tax), No shipping and the products can be received immediately. But most importantly, dealing face to face with a seller. So fraud can be minimized (I say minimized and not eliminated)

    The idea is really not new. I remember over 13 years ago, there was something similar in Jordan. An online community had couple of thousand readers and a site called "Classifieds" where people used to post things they wanted to sell. That was on Jordan's first online community at the time, NETS online (later became Batelco, and was shutdown almost a year ago)

    What I'm trying to say is that such an idea is really simple. But, it will rely on a lot of traffic to be able to take off. People, buying, selling and trading in the real world, while making their connection ONLINE

    Think of it, as the Facebook of classified ads! Only, you don't strike any lasting relationships with the sellers.

    Such a tool, will succeed where online business have failed. Mainly, countries where Paypal (et al) can't really function. Online trading isn't trust worthy, and the users are unwilling to pay tax, shipping ..etc on top of the price of the merchandise!

    So, when do you think we'll have Craig's list clone in Jordan, Saudi, Lebanon or Emirates? I say, we might already have some in place. Only not known well yet. I would give it a year for these to really take off and make a huge impact!

    Other Memories Documented on July 26
    « Extremist Arabs!HELP!!! She threw away the house! »

    Memories....

    • #1
    • Moey
    • Apple Mac Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 7/26/2008 1:00:47 AM
    I use craig's list as well, it is good.

    they have a couple of sites here in Kuwait, as well as a famous blogger who's created forums for selling/trading.

    In Jordan, I wanted to do something like that a year ago, but things didn't work well.

    Great idea!
    Craigslist.org (CL) is amazing. I got my last 4 jobs on it (going back some 5 years) and also found my last 4 places to live on it. But, I think what made it successful is its simplicity. You can go on the tens of middle eastern classifieds website and be bombarded by tonnes of flashing banners , pop ups, and the omnipresent fear of stolen private information and lack of good UI. Add to that the unprofessional way of doing business in the Arab world at the "reputable" brick and mortar locations, let alone online

    Also, for something like CL to be in Jordan, there really should be a drive of locals demanding the service. That's how CL expands by the way: locals contacting them and asking them to offer the service.

    Just like the many Arab online encyclopedias popping up and starting from scratch instead of contributing to Wikipedia, Classifieds users could benefit from the reputation and simplicity of CL by extending it to Amman and other ME cities aside from Cairo and Dubai.

    until that happens, www.souqElJourah.com is good enough!
    • #3
    • afaf
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 7/26/2008 6:03:55 AM
    yeah craigslist is awesome, my hubby puts ads there to hire ppl...
    most of my shopping is done online and i learnt that from hubby. and today  i just got my shampoo from canada...neat!!! it is way cheaper...way!! last week i wanted to buy a mixer and it was for $399 at BBB, then went online and got it for only $285, then a day later hubby buys another one for $260....u just go searching for the best deal out there!!
    but dunno how this would apply there...
    • #4
    • Khaled
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 7/26/2008 7:22:52 AM
    My friend Dr.Ribhi was able to accomplish this:http://ramallah.craigslist.org/Peace
    When I moved out of Toronto, I sold most of the furniture (and my PC) in my apartment online.

    Although I shop online from reputable companies, I mostly research what I'm going to buy online then go buy it in person.

    The problem is that in Amman even the PC stores don't bother having a website even if just to list the stock (or god forbid the price).

    Fun directory for example will get upset if you even phone them to ask for a price, and ask you to come to the showroom! In fact the closest you get to checking out the prices and stock without going to the store is the waseet/mumtaz/3ard&talab free pamphlets distributed on fridays. Paper! How low tech is that ?

    I guess they don't want to make it easy for people to compare their prices. Bigger better funded places like smart buy should set the standards.

    Another thing we're missing here in that department is online grocery shopping, where they assemble and deliver your groceries straight to your house. The time saved in traffic and running around the store, and standing in line at the counter alone would make the cost worth it for me. It's not really much different than Aramex's meals on wheels service which has been working very well for a while.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed until 10Mbit cable (which Jad thinks is coming soon via cable) is here!
    got some cheap NBA tickets from it, the guy was gonna throw away his tickets but I bought them for a cheap price. He didn't lose all his money and I got cheap tickets, everyone was happy.
    You too can have your Memories Documented

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