Selling on orkut: Create a business online

This is something I am doing right now (trying to speak to a guy making a sale). And I realized how effective this is to sell stuff online. So what was I doing? I got a scrap from this guy/girl (DVD Maniac) on orkut. The scrap was pretty simple. DVD titles and the price. this is what it looked like:

Friends (8 DVD)(all seasons) Rs.800
Seinfeld (7 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.700
The Simpsons (12 dvd)(13 seasons) Rs.1000
That 70’s show (8 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.800
Wonder Years (5 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.500
Lost (6 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.600
Everybody Loves Raymond (9 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.800
I Dream of Jeanie (3 dvd)(3 seasons) Rs.400
Malgudi Days (1 dvd)(complete) Rs.300
Scrubs (3 dvd)(5 seasons) Rs.450
Ducktales (2 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.400
Talespin (3 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.450
Tintin (2 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.400
Southpark (2 dvd)(10 seasons) Rs.400
Byomkesh Bakshi (1 dvd)(24 episodes) Rs.250
Karamchand(new) (1 dvd)(miscellaneous) Rs.250
Flop show (1 dvd)(all episodes) Rs.250
DragonBallZ (2 dvd)(225 episodes) Rs.400
DragonBallGT+movie (1 dvd)(complete) Rs.300
Johny Bravo (2 dvd) Rs.400
Swat Katz (2 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.400
Sherlock Holmes (4 dvd)(complete) Rs.500
Visit my profile for complete list
Scrap me if ur interested

So I reply back asking for more details and how to go about doing it. I get this reply:

“whr r u based n wht all series r u interested in??”

I send across the the list of titles i would want. and i get a reply in one minute with the prices and discount. he also makes a list of the payment options, which were:

cheque (rs.50 xtra)
online transfer
i cn send u d stuff by courier”

Now I was really curious. Is this some kinda prank? I am not even a kid, for a pedophile to track me! I ask if he can do a VPP. VPP allows you to pay on delivery and the good ol’ postman manages the money with a little cover charge. Pat came the reply. Nothing doing, money up front. I play around a little. He gives me another option. And now i was very curious. I could have someone pick the stuff up from his place in Delhi. Now someone was making a deal!

Will i buy the DVDs? Perhaps! It got me thinking about it a lot. Was thinking about all the advantages, could think of only a few disadvantages. Imagine the possibilities of selling on social networks.

  • No startup costs! its free!

  • Find the people exactly by what they would be interested in. Like if you are selling. Like if you are selling movies, search for people who have interest in movies.

  • Look for people in your city or country

  • Making it searchable, your profile where you sell.

  • Creating a community of fellow buyers with requests and testimonials

  • Online presence to millions, the breading ground for viral marketing

  • One could speak to the customers in real time.

  • One can offer various options, and could bargain with the seller in real time. Just like the way we do it in the market. Indians love to haggle, live with it.

Well for the cons,

  • There is a lack of credibility since there are a lot of fake profiles and usernames

  • Even the testimonials could be fake, just to mislead the poor guy

  • There are no secure payment gateways. One has to rely on other means like DDs, cheques.

  • If the business is small time affair, one can’t offer Cash on Delivery. That could cost a lot and do away with the whole cost saving bit.

There are many ways one could go about it. Here is how I feel i would have done it if I were into this kind of stuff.

Step 1: Create a profile with the name of the business. If you have more manpower create multiple profiles with the same name (of course different usernames)

Step 2: The profile created should have all the details of the business in the About Me section, Include pictures of the products in the album listing. The Profile should look like a buying portal.

Step 3: Create a community for buyers and potential buyers. You could have some friends join the community and create some activity to make sound like its happening.

Step 4: Start searching for profiles and communities that would be interested in your products. Like for this case, if selling DVDs look for communities on movies, sitcoms and so on. Start posting and sending messages. Create polls and discussions.

Step 5: Contact the popular members of the communities with scraps or messages. It is important to identify the thought leaders and opinion makers at this stage. They could do half the work for you.

Step 6: Make your friends send emails to their friends on orkut. I have seen this personally, messages sent from communities end up in the orkut mail box. I dont think anyone checks that. Instead, if you make your friends email, it will have a higher response rate since the mails are delivered to their primary email address.

Step 7: Stay online the whole day and start responding! The rest is totally upto you. Make some sales!

You could try these to spruce up the buying experience.

  • Upload a video with the product. You could even include your own video and explain the advantages

  • Create threads on various communities.

  • Create a exclusive chat room online and invite people interested at a specified time.

  • Create a feedback cycle where other prospects get to hear their experiences.

The only way one could establish credibility is by having people talk about you. Ensure that happens. Once a sale is made, contact the person and take the feedback as a testimonial. Use it effectively.

Facebook has already started this service but is paid. One can of course create an application and have their own user interface. Facebook also allows a payment gateways. But then again, at a cost. Orkut is free.

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  • By Straight Forward, October 24, 2020 @ 5:35 pm

    Very interesting and looks like its worth of trying. I’m definitely going to check it out.

    Btw, I want to say that you are running great blog. Keep up the good work and stay in touch.

  • By ShAkE Inc., October 24, 2020 @ 10:09 pm

    Ah..this is sumthn! Makes me think. If I decide to wear the entrepreneur cap someday and sell my mammoth movie collection thru this medium, I will be a millionaire in no f***in time. No kiddin’. LOL.

  • By Tom Lindstrom, March 13, 2021 @ 4:59 am

    Thanks! This is something I have to try.

  • By sam, March 18, 2021 @ 12:13 pm

    I never really thought of Orkut in such a fashion coz, it seemed to me to be too devoid of credibility as such, for i don’t know the seller as such!!
    But then, interesting concept nevertheless!!

  • By DVD Shoppe, September 25, 2021 @ 9:17 pm

    What a pleasant surprise….im being talked about on blogs….

    Happy to find that i created a new business platform so unknowingly.

  • By Namrata, October 30, 2020 @ 10:38 am

    Did you manage to buy anything from this? Was it genuine?
    Do let me know, i was interested in purchasing a few of those listed, they aren’t available anywhere else.

  • By vinni, November 1, 2020 @ 6:21 am

    hi namrata,

    i did not actually buy anything, but there was a level of confidence he did show about the same. but the problem is that u need to make an upfront payment. i am not too sure. but some of these guys are based out of delhi. so if you are there, you can pick them up in person and bargain too.

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