www.smartmarket.lk – A Smart Website for a Smart Market

SmartMarket Homepage

SmartMarket Homepage

It is the full page advertisements that catch the readers’ eyes than a classified ad in a tiny column. But these tiny ads mean a lot to those who seek for exact goods or services. Those who want to sell such goods and services also depend on classifieds as they cannot afford big advertisements. So, though the classifieds are in small print and space, it is a big industry.

Lake House-owned Silumina and The Sunday Observer weekend newspapers have been the pioneers of classified advertisements in the print media in Sri Lanka for a long time but Wijeya Group’s The Sunday Times and Irida Lankadeepa weekend newspapers grabbed a significant amount of that market with the introduction of Hit Ad and Lahi Pita advertorials. One category Lake House still owns the majority of the classifieds is the obituaries.

Hit Ad also launched a web version to compete with the then existing advertising sites and the former had almost a free run there until the launch of http://www.ikman.lk. Ikman.lk invested a huge amount of money on advertising their site on both print and electronic media and it offered free service. They advertised their site especially during live cricket matches so they became a household name in the country.

Few days ago I came across www.smartmarket.lk another free classifieds site. I wanted to dig in as I saw it has some innovative technology and social media friendly outlook so I was able to talk to its owner, Mr. Björn Holmgren, the Managing Director of Sirius Alpha (Pvt) Ltd. Originally from Sweden, he runs business in Sri Lanka for the last 15 years. Coincidentally Ikman also is owned by a Swedish company. In fact Holmgren had started smartmarket.lk before Ikman did. Eventually both sites went online in June 2012. In fact Ikaman had heard that Sirius Alpha was starting a free classified site in Sri Lanka and immediately they opened up an office in Colombo and launched their site. That can happen in IT industry as there is no need of moving big things to start an IT venture.

smartmarket.lk is better designed. It has more images in its website so that the visitors who do not have a good English knowledge also can use the site easily. They are yet to introduce Sinhala and Tamil. It has real Apps for Android and iOS. Their customer service traps 99% of all scam ads, which is seen coming up on almost all other sites. They answer emails/phones promptly. They also have the possibility for advertisers promote their ads with what they call “extra features,” like highlighting, put on the first page, and so on. But you have to pay a small fee for that. They also offer banners for companies that want to target a specific category of people. They have this scheme to gift free movie DVDs for those who advertise with them.

The most popular categories, in terms of number of advertisements, are electronics, vehicles and real estate. But you can see hundreds of other advertisements too. For instance, my 5-year-old son is eager on space related things and he keeps asking me to buy a telescope. I searched for a telescope through smartmarket.lk and there was one advertisement with exactly the same price and quality range I was looking for. So, I would recommend you to try this out if you want to buy or sell anything.

SmartMarket.lk has its headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka where all management, development and marketing is being done. SmartMarket has announced it is in an expansion phase in 2013 with new partners and services.  The team behind the venture is comprised with all Sri Lankan brains except the company MD, Mr. Holmgren.


I Sold My Motorbike Through ikman.lk

With my Bajaj Pulsar 200

With my Bajaj Pulsar 200

I had decided not to sell my Bajaj Pulsar 200 motorbike before I use it for 5 years. But suddenly I decided against it and sold it when it reached 3 years and 8 months. Emergence of www.ikman.lk also was a reason for selling the bike. I wanted to test the site. I uploaded a classified advertisement about the bike. Within a week there were more than 5 offers and one of the offers matched the exact price I had quoted. Had I known ikman.lk was this powerful; I could have quoted a higher price and still found a buyer.

Two of the offers came from Anuradhapura and I was more interested in selling the bike to someone from Anuradhapura as it was registered in the North Central Province. A guy from Pandulagama, Anuradhapura called me and insisted that he was really interested in the bike and asked me to bring it over to Anuradhapura from Ja-Ela. Once I took the bike to him, he did a thorough check and again he brought a mechanic to my ancestral home next day and double checked that I was not selling a bike with poor quality. I loved my bike a lot and ensured I do the services on time and maintained the bike’s quality. Its only fault was the defunct digital speedometer which came as a factory fault.

We did the sale the following day and it was heartbreaking to part with my beloved bike. It was with me all these years and had been a part of my life. Parting with it was like parting with the first girlfriend. This was my first bike.

Ikman.lk advertises heavily on TV, radio, internet and other media. I rightly guessed that there should be a bigger hand behind the site and Indi had unearthed who are behind it. We are yet to learn what the business model of the site is. At the moment it is 100% free.

Advertising on ikman.lk is very easy and simple. You can try selling your property and anything legal under the sun through ikman.