Source: eKapija | Friday, 05.03.2010.| 12:27
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(Aurea 2010) NOMINEE 02: Limundo - auction website

(Photo: b)

Limundo is the biggest and the most successful auction website for physical persons on the teritory of Serbia. It is launched to enable the members of Limundo community to buy and sell various items from each others. The website was launched in 2006 by brothers Nenad and Vladimir Nikolić, but the turning point in its development was year 2009 when EUR 435,000 were invested in the project. Total of 11 European companies (including Alegro Group, one of the world’s biggest auction companies) invested in Limundo because they recognized the importance of development of such system in Serbia. Vladimir Nikolić is still the owner and the CEO of Limundo.

INNOVATION


Website Limundo has about 45,000 registered users and 140,000 auctions every month. A new member is registered every four minutes, while the number of listed items for sale reached 25,000 on monthly basis. About 1m items, from napkin to dredge, have been sold via Limundo since it was launched.


Limundo is primarily intended for physical persons, so that, for the start, it is necessary for the users to register and open the account. Registration is free of charge, and since Limundo team wants to have quality and interested users, each new member must pass a rigorous verification process. The process of checking the user currently includes several segments: e-mail verification, mobile phone number verification and ID card verification. In association with the police and the army, the users are protected from frauds, illegal trade, as well as trafficking of prohibited items (e.g. weapons, archive treasures, etc.). After the check, the user can sign in and list the item he or she wants to sell and upload a photo, description and starting price, which sometimes amounts to only RSD 10. The Limundo members are the most interested in electronics and collectibles – numismatics, philately, rarities. The user himself determines the duration of the auction (maximum is ten days), which closes exactly at the specified time, so that the last moments of the auction are always the most interesting.


Limundo is, actually, a mediator between sellers and buyers, and the method for delivery of items is specified in advance by the bidder – in person, by mail, via courier service, etc. Limundo, as the mediator, charges a certain fee to the user’s account, while the credit on Limundo is topped up in the same way as the credit on mobile phone. For now, the only option is to pay for the credit in a bank, but the options of e-banking and m-payment by means of mobile phone will be introduced in the nearest future.


The Limundo team set several goals for year 2010. Introduction of so-called Limundo Cash is in the pipeline, which has been tested on small sample group, but it is not in use yet because of the complicated online payment procedure in Serbia. Limundo Cash is a special virtual money that would be used for trading on the website and it would represent the means for avoiding financial transactions. The final payment would be done in usual way, via bank account. Also, Limundo wants to develop a web page for mobile phones since the phones that are used nowadays enable easy access to Internet. One step further is the development of SMS service that would make it possible for the users to list the items for sale and follow the auction via text messages.

(Photo: b)

SOCIAL UTILITY

The Limundo system stimulates entrepreneurship among the members and animates them to produce and sell their own products on the Internet. It enables all those who want to sell or buy something at favorable prices to do that via Internet. In that way, it stimulates the development of electronic operations and introduce them to the citizens of Serbia. By becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the Chamber of Commerce of Belgrade, Limundo is trying to reach all entrepreneurs and SMEs that find this method of sale interesting.


Limundo team and all its members use the Internet and software as the base for their operations. In that way, the impact on ecology is minimal. In addition, Limundo team promotes the care of environment and planting of greenery through special sections. Limundo also takes active part in all round tables and discussions related to Internet operations, Internet security, etc.

Limundo’s quality is confirmed by the following awards:


· the best e-commerce website, E-trgovina 2007, Palić


· the best e-commerce project of the year, wfest.org 2009.


· for the second year in a row, Limundo was among top 50 websites in Serbia in 2009, based on the research done by PC Press in 2010

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COMMERCIAL SUCCESS

Thanks to the investment in 2009, the Customer Service was introduced to provide support to all current and future members of the Limundo community. This service is available seven days a week, between 8 AM and 12 PM. In addition to providing all information on auctions and resolving the misunderstandings, the Customer Service systematizes users’ requests and forwards them to the programming sector that constantly implements them and develops new systems.

The investment of EUR 435,000 was intended for the following:

- development of the Customer Service, employment of new people and their training, opening of free phone line with the aim of providing adequate support to all those interested


- security and protection of data and verification of users


- development of the website itself and the platform, as well as server support that enables high-speed functioning of the website and processing of large quantity of data: about 145,000 auctions per month


- development of marketing and care of client who would promote e-operations in Serbia and Limundo through various segments of PR and marketing activities.

Before the investment, Limundo had 5 employees, while now it has 16. Before the investment, according to Alexa, Limundo was not even among 100,000 most visited websites, while today it ranks 21st for the territory of Serbia. It is the 197th in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the 986th in Croatia. Limundo has about about 1,000 successful auctions every day, and the fee system is as follows:

4% for up to RSD 2,000


3% for up to RSD 20,000


2% for up to RSD 100,000


1% for over RSD 100,000

The tendency of growth on Limundo is obvious – number of users in January 2010 grew by 45%. The plan is that the website has about 150,000 members prior to the end of the year, and three more new workers will be hired soon.

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