Anything under the sun comes up for sale on the portal www.tpbazaar.com
Sunil wants to sell his brand new Reebok Aviator sunglass because that doesn't suit him; Santhosh wants three people to share a ride to and fro from Sasthamangalam to Technopark; three men want bachelor accommodation near Kazhakuttom; Gopal wants a second-hand bike; Arunkumar wants to sell his computer speaker system since he is in need of immediate cash…
So, what do they do? They all turn to www.tpbazaar.com, the portal of techies, for techies and by techies to buy and sell anything and everything under the sun. Now even non-techies are members of the forum.
Houses/flats for rent, paying guest or shared accommodation, hostels and lodges, sale of houses/flats/land, automobiles, gadgets and household items, promotions or queries about business venture, news about events/parties, important announcements and information about necessary services… Even pets (puppies and rabbits), DVDs and CDs, video games and musical instruments find buyers on this portal.
It was a maddening experience with a real estate broker that made Renjith, an employee of UST Global, open tpbazaar. “I wanted a house and the broker got me one. But the next day he told me that another person was ready to pay a higher rent and so I couldn't have it. Many techies have had such bad experiences. We wanted a way out of this and that was how the forum was born,” he says.
It started off with rental facilities; gradually, gadgets and household items were added to the portal. “Among gadgets, mobile phones rule the roost. Techies have a penchant for the latest model. As soon as a new model is out, they place the old one for sale on the forum. They also use the forum to dispose many household things (washing machine, refrigerator, gas stove, gas connection…) when they are transferred to a new place. Interestingly, all sorts of things are kept for sale now,” he says. The portal has a platform for the Infopark (Kochi) community as well.
Maximum posts are under gadgets (computers, laptops, iPod, MP3 players, mobile phones, camera, USB drive, webcams, memory cards), automobiles and real estate. If Indu Ramakrishnan, a techie, got a good house through the forum, Krishna Kripal of Accentia purchased a music system, computer and an MP3 player.
Keeping a tab
“There is direct transaction. Since it happens more or less within Technopark, the element of trust is there,” Krishna says.
The deal is always better. “I had to exchange my three-month old refrigerator priced Rs. 11,000. The dealer said he would give Rs.500! But thanks to the forum, I got over Rs.6,000!,” says Renjith.
The forum has 10 moderators who verify the authenticity of each post in all categories. It has posted a rental index to rein in those brokers who hike rents in and around Technopark. A helpline gives information on rental do's and don'ts, and has posted samples of rental agreements and rent receipts. Also, it has introduced a way to distinguish between brokers and individuals.
The portal has a general discussion board where members can discuss any topic. Invitation for car pooling, need for drivers, housemaids and packers and movers, services of tuition teachers, architects, yoga instructor, tour operators too, blood donors… are posted.