What not to do for Online Marketplaces

I am writing this post to share my observations onĀ  how my team won the market in Vietnam when we launched the challenger site, Chotot.vn in early 2012.

Back then, in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi which are the main cities in Vietnam when it came to online/internet penetration, we saw a number of incumbent sites in Vietnam like 5giay , Vatgia and Muaban who are the forerunners.

However, this was what they forgot:

  1. Always watermark the images that is inserted into the ads. There was no watermarking, thus allowing Chotot to get the advantage of spidering ads in the early days to build a competitive database size in a short period of time just by spidering.
  2. Some classifieds site started monetizing too early for ad postings for cars and properties etc without building a sizable user base. The rule of thumb is to be at least 2 to 3 times larger than the closest competitor before monetization takes place as charging for ad insertions generally leads to a fall in seller activity and hence impacting buyer activity. This caused the users to switch out easily to a new challenger site like Chotot.vn.

These were 2 key observations that I have remembered as learning points in the online/mobile classifieds business to closely watch out for.


Francis Goh

SEM Head Coach


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.