I’ve never used online classifieds such as Quikr, OLX and the likes. The concept is great, and I’m sure there are many out there who’re making great use of them, but I’m just not comfortable with using them.
Craigslist is one of the first and best online classifieds out there, having enabled millions of connections. Most of the high valued startups you see today are nothing but concentrated and more efficient executions of Craigslist‘s sub-categories.
Sharing my private details publicly doesn’t gel well with me. It might not be that big a problem if you’re already a public figure, but for private individuals it is different.
You’re not sure who might contact you. There are hundreds of creeps and pranksters out there. This is an even bigger menace for women, what with our country filled with such decent men.
There were a few instances when I wanted to sell my smartphone and other tech gear. I always put it up on TechEnclave forums. The users there are genuine (most of them anyway) and they understand tech. The forum structure and private messaging system makes it easy for sellers to connect with genuine buyers.
Even some Facebook groups such as Second to None and Flats Without Brokers are great to buy/sell used products and list/search properties. The social media revolution has changed the online classifieds landscape significantly.
Thankfully, sites like Quikr are starting to recognize the shift in user behaviour and introducing new features such as Quikr NXT to online classifieds. Chatting with prospective buyers and sellers directly is better than interacting with them on phones.
Here are three reasons why I’d prefer chat over a phone call:
1. Better Privacy
Chatting over the Internet is far better than taking a call. Firstly, strangers don’t get hold of your mobile number. Not only does this protect you from potential buyers calling you all at once, it also protects you against harassers, pranksters and spammers. This gives you an added peace of mind while listing your ad on the website.
2. More Convenient
When it comes to buying and selling online, chatting is always more convenient than talking over the phone. You can write or read a message whenever you want to. There are no time constraints. If you’re stuck at work, you can still reply to the incoming messages when you’re free. There’s no need to take out time from your busy life just to attend a call. This is one of the reasons why messaging applications such as WhatsApp have become so popular. Moreover, chatting also lets you keep track of all your discussions. There’s no need to remember what you said to whom.
Before making a buying decision, I always make sure to check out the product’s condition via pictures. This saves both the seller and the buyer so much time. Often, it so happens that the buyer imagines the product’s condition to be something and when he/she meets the buyer, it turns out to be something else. Sharing pictures is not possible over a phone call. Sure, one can always use mobile messaging apps to send pictures too, but the first point above explains why it is such a bad idea.
With that being said, once all the decisions have been made over a chat, a phone call is a great way to coordinate and meet offline. Chatting just helps in getting rid of all the hassles associated with online classifieds.