Our friends at Ringier’s PigiaMe, a general classifieds platform today announced it has launched a country-wide campaign, aimed at educating Kenyans about the opportunities of online classifieds, bearing in mind the necessary steps to buy and sell quality objects in a trusted and safe environment.
This announcement comes just days after OLX, a Naspers’ backed online marketplace also launched a similar initiative dubbed Kaa Ridho to keep it’s online users safe.
“With the current nationwide attention on staying safe online, PigiaMe has clearly hit a nerve with Kenyans. Our focus is quality over quantity. We want everyone to buy and sell items of high quality, and doing safely so. Safety is a key concern in any online business and we pride ourselves for going the extra mile to minimise the risk of fraudsters masquerading as sellers. For this, we do not only rely on proven European technology, but a dedicated expert team reviewing every item and seller, ensuring that items listed on PigiaMe.co.ke are genuine and good. We now want to take these efforts to a nationwide level, with focus on quality objects and safety.”, said James Gathere, General Manager Ringier Kenya, PigiaMe’s parent company.
According to PigiaMe, classified marketplaces are often generating a large object database, without a clear focus: Many listed items are irrelevant, and do not reach their target audience, the firm says it only lists items by actively managing both the supply and demand side of the trade giving sellers gain from faster and more targeted replies to their offerings while buyers get to see the most relevant and newest offers and can filter them according to location, price and recency of post.
The campaign might not be in response to OLX but could be a move to meet increasing security for users online especially on marketplaces which only connect buyers to sellers and neither own the listings whose authenticity is hard to verify.
To reduce scams, Craiglist, an international classifieds site based in the US, advises users to deal locally, face-to-face, ignore emails/texts from non-local persons, never wire funds (e.g. Western Union), don’t accept cashier checks or money orders, transactions are between users only, no third party provides a “guarantee”, never give out financial info (bank account, social security, paypal account, etc), do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing “deal” may not exist, refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.
Though users and the companies might look at it as competition, the campaigns stand to benefit users and the general public who have little idea how marketplaces. Safety online will increase trust among the public about classified sites and e-tail stores then grow the market.