Online Classifieds Marketplaces Gone To Bust
The online classified ads landscape in the Philippines has seen rapid movements through the years. Most notable of which was the growth of the “darling” of the bunch: Sulit.com.ph, from a two-person operation to a full-fledged venture backed behemoth of a company and its merger with other big players.
We also saw some players that have unfortunately like most companies, did not stand the test of time.
Here we look back with curiosity and a bit of nostalgia some of the online classifieds marketplaces that have gone to bust in one form or another.
In 2004 Wahoy.com was launched as a local classifieds site for Zamboanga. It was a “partner site” with Sulit.com.ph, such each displayed the other’s banners in their site footers. The domain was active until it started to redirect to ZamboangaClassifieds.com in 2014.
Bili.ph was started in 2008, and was another Sulit.com.ph partner site. It featured an easy interface, similar to Twitter at that time. The website’s decline was apparent when it was relaunched as BayanPages.com, which didn’t get much traction as Bili.ph had at the start.
88db was unique such that it was the first multinational classifieds marketplace to enter the country. It also placed a focus on Cebu, which is the most significant Philippine city after Manila. The website was launched in 2006 and featured products and services from providers all over the Philippines. The website ceased operations in 2018.
AyosDito was poised as the leading rival of the then incumbent Sulit.com.ph in the late 2000s. An overseas firm, 701Search Pte Ltd., which was joint project of Singapore Holdings and Schibsted launched the website in 2009 and offered a sleek alternative to the homegrown classified ads websites at that time. AyosDito ceased operations as separate organization in 2015, when OLX Philippines also acquired Sulit.com.ph.
ClassifiedAds.ph was the brainchild of Anton Sheker, a serial entrepreneur based in Manila. The site featured the usual categories of a general classifieds site. The site was eventually spun-off to Sulit.ph – not related to but definitely a nod to RJ David’s Sulit.com.ph.
Contribution To The Philippine Economy. The 2000’s was an interesting time for Philippine startups, and particularly for the classified ads marketplace. We had the homegrown sites full of character and a few foreign-owned sites which had a “sleeker” interface, some of which had become the predecessors of the current industry leaders. However the origin, celebrated successes or the unfortunate demise of some, we can never discount how these free ads posting sites have contributed to the livelihood and economy of Filipinos.