One man’s adventures in selling on OLX

My first OLX advert baby!
My first OLX advert baby!

If you watch a TV you know that OLX is a pretty useful tool to sell stuff that you don’t need any more. With January and the need for school fees coming, then I figured that I might want to prepare for the longest month of the year. The thirty one day month feels like it goes on for 57 days and is also known in this town as “Njaanuary.”

I didn’t have anything to sell really but a book and I started the whole process of being an OLXer. I logged onto the online app on my computer and signed up. With my names JamesMurua I could now sell my soul if I so wished (which with the way people have been stripping one another makes perfect sense- people have been selling them en masse in recent days).

I posted my product which is a book and I waited for the customers to come in and I would be the next Jeff Bezos. This is because I had posted the book at the Books-CDs-DVDs category. Here was the message I received from the folks at OLX

Hello JamesMurua,
We’re sorry but your ad London Cape Town Joburg is not active due to one of the following reasons:
  • One or more photos have no relation with the posted item.
  • It includes photos associated with content that is not allowed by OLX.
  • It contains photos that might be considered questionable.
We recommend you to edit your ad and change the photos. Keep in mind that you only have 7 days to make any changes.
After you edit your ad, we will send you a message to let you know when

I was to be unsuccessful in my first trial at listing of my first product. What could I be doing wrong? I mean all those folks doing the TV OLX challenge and raking in the big, or rather medium sized, bucks and smiling. There is a lot of smiling in those ads and people happily declaring “Thank you OLX!” When do I get my smiles?

I did eventually go through OLX and learn a few things about the system;

Lesson one; Use my own photos. The system sees to magically known that the photo of the book that have been culled from the internet. While they need to be your own, they need to be clear enough that whoever is using a mulika mwiki aka Ideos can see the product and want to buy. More pictures work better of course so that whoever needs to buy the product can get see it more clearly, have a more detailed look.

Lesson two: I had copied the blurb from the book verbatim onto the description of product. It seems like a great idea and it is easier for me as all I did was copy and paste from the back of the book. Unfortunately, book blurbs can sometimes fail to give the story in a simple way as the product is being targeted at literature buffs. For real human beings you want to try and used words in your description like X book by writer Z. Simpler can be more effective in life and in OLX.

Lesson three: Price. That’s a tricky one I don’t think that my book entry was rejected because of the price. I was selling a new book and so I wasn’t going to go at a lower price. When making the price a juicy price will probably go a long way to ensuring that the product flies off your OLX account.

Will I be going back to OLX? Hell yeah. December will be a good time to be that story while people are spending like crazy. Assuming I have some extra change I will be on there in early January as we all know that there shall be some desperate people looking to offload stuff after overspending over the holidays. See you then.

P.S. You can get a copy of the book I posted on OLX here.