OLX has tightened its verification process by asking sellers to produce business permits as part of documents required for their adverts to appear on the site.
Country manager Peter Ndiang’ui said the requirement is to ensure only business franchises post adverts on the platform to ease the process.
He said the site has also capped business adverts to 13 per week and 50 per account for every seller with an account to enable the site offer variety of different items to their buyers.
Ndiang’ui said OLX is in the process of rolling out a verifying process for electronics category businesses in the next few months.
“Initially, business sellers would put up their adverts but flood the platform with similar items under different business account names reducing visibility for individual sellers on the platform,” he said.
“Our platform is a predominantly consumer to consumer (C2C), with 80 per cent C2C and 20 per cent business to consumer (B2C). Businesses as we know, have numerous items to sell and are very aggressive at selling on our platform,” added Ndiang’ui.
If businesses are left to sell on the platform without permits, he explained, they would post as many similar item adverts under different business names making visibility for C2C sellers to go down. “We are now asking them to produce a business permit,” he said.
Ndiang’ui, however, added that OLX is not locking them out but putting measures to ensure balanced visibility of both B2C and C2C on its platform.
“The permit verification process will help us offer electronic items from different businesses for our buyers to choose from while giving C2C sellers who form a majority fair share of visibility,” he said.
Since the process begun, 40 per cent of electronic sellers on the platform have submitted their permits. OLX hopes all electronic sellers adhere to the new process by end of next month.
OLX also introduced a phone number verification to make its platform secure and trusted. The phone number verification is mandatory for sellers who want to list their products for sale on OLX.