OLX Is Becoming Useless and Here’s the Real Reason Behind its Fall

OLX is the most well known public market place in Pakistan. By offering an easy way to buy and sell items even for non-tech savvy people, it has become a major player both locally and internationally. The focus of the platform has always been on enabling common citizens to buy and sell with ease.

New Issue Faced by Real Sellers

Recently, however, the situation has changed, especially in Pakistan. Reports have started coming in that OLX Pakistan is no longer a place for the average person to buy or sell their stuff. Amongst several other Pakistan-specific issues, spamming seems to have made some OLX city pages completely useless.

Users have informed ProPakistani that they can’t seem to sell their items on OLX and their ads get very few views. This problem seems to be more prevalent on the Karachi and Lahore based OLX pages. Local businesses have started spamming the pages with hundreds of duplicate ads every day.

More on Spam Ads

While a normal user has to go through a rigorous verification process which requires original product pictures, unique descriptions and one ad per item, these businesses seem to have a found a way to bypass the verification process and post several ads each day.

Upon investigation, we were able to see that about 20 to 40 spam ads are posted every hour throughout the day, which sums up to over 400 ads each day while a normal user refreshes their ad every week.

It was observed that the spamming process slows down during late night hours only and restarts again every morning.

The ads are mostly by businesses which want to either procure used items or sell them. There are several ads providing services like AC installation as well.

Advice for OLX

Users have been reporting such ads but OLX has done nothing to ban the spammers or enforce a tougher verification method.

If OLX is to maintain its supremacy in the market, it has to deal with the issue quickly before its vast userbase in the country leaves the platform for good.

OLX should also implement some new algorithms so that sellers with good ratings and successful sales get promoted up in the order instead of new ones taking center stage.

A proper rating system is also missing from the marketplace, creating loads of issues including that of fraudulent sellers and spammers.

When it comes to the ecommerce industry, one small bad experience can ruin it for potential customers for life.

The situation is even worse for OLX as users from two of the biggest cities of Pakistan can no longer use their marketplace.

Advice for Businesses

Many businesses are adding listing to buy used items in the Selling section, which makes little sense since buyers won’t be checking the Selling section while looking for things to purchase.

As far as service providers are concerned, their customers usually use the services category on OLX or use a search engine to find them. No one would look for service providers in the buying section.

Businesses that are spamming ads on OLX need to realize that they are hurting the very platform they want to leverage. If the ratio of useful ads to spam keeps getting worse, the value for a normal user decreases and they’re just going to end up leaving for good.

Our advice to these businesses is to post their ads in appropriate sections and not to post multiple ones as it has no positive effect on reaching their potential customers.

If you have faced similar issues on any other OLX pages or services, let us know in the comments below.

He is the Editor-in-Chief at ProPakistani. Reach out at aadil.s[at]propakistani.pk


  • Olx Par Pehly Add K Nechy Comments Ka Options Hota Tha Jis Se Cheez Daikhny Waly Pehly Hi Bata Daty Thay Ye Kesi Cheez Ha

  • Bhai, OLX ko he Bech do
    Is se behtar, Lootlo.pk, Draaz.pk, Kymu.pk etc hai jo free home delivery with trusted goods with return or exchange policy k sath to deti hai

  • especially in Pakistan. Reports have started coming in that OLX Pakistan
    is no longer a place for the average person to buy or sell their stuff.
    Amongst several other Pakistan-specific issues, spamming seems to have
    made some OLX city pages completely useless.

  • Mujhy to lgta hai k olx k jo local admins hain, wo monthly wasool krty hain dealer mafia se…. Genuine ads sb requirements poori krny k bad b mostly postnhii hotin… personal experience hai k ads reject ho jatin …

  • It was an issue for sometime, but lately it is getting worst. For example, if I search for Dry batteries, there are 100s of listing, but most of them are from just one Seller in Lahore, who has posted it for each and every city in the country, and every day. I have to click each site to see the name, and then realize it is same seller.

    Another issue is with pricing, some sellers don’t want to reveal the price, and want a call to give it to the customer. They would put a ridiculously low price like 2016 or 999 and when you call them, they would give you a much higher figure.

    I agree, there should be some kind of ratings system and active admins to monitor. Ebay is running for years, and have many complaints, but they do try to address them.

  • There needs to be a separate segments for businesses. Whether they sell second hand or full price.

    There also needs to be a report button for those idiot businesses who spam constantly.

  • OLX should itself has to look into this, these spam ads wont stop just by requesting them to do so. Similar scenarios are happening with Kaymu. Once I ordered something at Kaymu and the thing which was delivered to me was totally different product than the one i bought. That was my 1st and last experience with Kaymu and I never bothered to visit that website again.

    Business suppliers are more attracted towards OLX as it does not charge them anything while Kaymu does.

    In my view the best approach is to learn from the bigger and more advanced e-commerce platforms like Amazon and AliBaba. They both have separate hidden categories and rating system for business suppliers and individual seller. Buyers also rate the business supplier which is very much beneficial for the suppliers themselves.

    It works like this: You can have single product sold by different suppliers from where you can select the one with highest rating (given by past buyers) or the one with lowest price. Once you buy something they collect the amount from the buyer and keep the amount until the buyer satisfies with the product and gives go ahead then they release that amount to the seller (supplier). If the customer does not get the desired product or having issues they have the return and refund policy beneficial for both buyer and seller. For most of the categories they dont charge anything to buyer or seller.

    OLX can do the same and manage their platform accordingly. Its not easy but OLX here has got complete control and neither the buyers nor the sellers are going to listen to any advice or request.

  • I would disagree…

    Purchased both of my two cars in the past 4 years from OLX without any hiccups…

    First a Mehran and then a Swift 2 years later…

    Its not everyone that faces a problem.

    • کار اور موبائل فونز کے ایڈ میں بڑا فرق ہے پاکستان میں بہت بڑی تعداد چسکا پارٹی کی ہے جو لینا دینا کچھ نہیں ہوتا مگر روزانہ سینکڑوں موبائل والوں سے ڈیل فائنل کر کے کہتے ہیں میرے ابو کی کمیٹی نکلے گی تو لوں گا ابھی آپکا واسطہ ایسے لوگوں سے نہیں پڑا جو 2.5 کروڑ روپے کی چیز کی بھی فائنل ڈیمانڈ ایس ایم ایس کے ذریعے پوچھ رہے ہوتے ہیں

  • During my universities days, I was seeking employment, one day my friend take me into an office for job. They employer told us to just past 20 times a text which we will provide you on every day.
    OLX is really a fraud and fake market.

  • Apart from spamming there is another issue with Pakistani people.
    They think that OLX is a website where they will get new products at half rates.

  • One stupid reported my ad as duplicate and contacted many months later for same item forcing me to sell below market worth. Upon asking clarification for remival of add from olx they simply didn’t respond.

  • i am selling my product from 5 years, our turn over on olx is 3 million per year, and we also purchased lots of product on olx, still not a single incident founded, GOD gave ou brain so please use it when you are dealing with some one


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