Three months back, I was at Hyderabad, a city located in south-central India and from there I was transferred to Pune. I was new to Pune, had limited friends and basically was a complete stranger to the city with no one to help me out.
That is when I first stumbled upon this site. This site has a very clearly well defined interface and options. It helped me first find an apartment for myself and also one for my girl friend. Soon there arose a need for a bike to commute around the city. It was a want that became more of a need as time passed and soon I had to decide upon a bike. I had a lot of problem buying a bike and renting an apartment in Pune, primarily because of the following reasons.
1. In the city of Pune, there is a strong landlord-broker nexus. None of the landlords talk to people like me who want to rent a house directly. They want the broker to deal with at all times. The nexus exists, I believe because the owner also demands a part of the brokerage from the broker and usually finds more than one well paid IT professional paying the amount too.
2. The broker charges a brokerage of atleast 2 months. This is very high considering the fact that for IT nomads like myself, there is no gaurantee that I will be staying in one place for more than a few months. Paying twice the rent is definitely not affordable.
3. The public transport system in Pune is the worst that I have seen in all the cities that I have visited over the years. Commuting from one place to the other is very tough, which further reduces our options of residing.
4. My other problem was buying a bike. Inspite of having all the cash I needed in hand, I had no clue where to buy a used bike from.
5. There were lots of dealers in the main city, who were basically commission agents and I was suspicious of them since they did not let me meet the owner at all.
6. Also they did not provide much information about the bike that they wanted to sell. I have always been a bad haggler and so I decided to let go of this option and resorted to searching on the internet.
There are several problems that searching on the internet posed for me.
1. Some of the people who posed as sellers were fakes. No one picked up the phone numbers mentioned. I think those real low prices were just a gimmick to increase the clicks to the website.
2. It was very tough to search on any of the sites. The categories were not properly set. The prioritization of the categories is important. Eg. while buying a bike it is important that buyer and seller meet each other and hence the search for a vehicle is nearly always city based. This means that the city name should be the first field to be searched in the list.
3. The traffic on all other sites was very low as compared to this one. Hence the less number of vehicles for sale advertisements that appeared on them as compared to those on Sulekha.
Sulekha is a very superbly designed site that will help you locate what you want in the shortest period of time. Usually while looking for used bikes I came across site where I had to literally check every nook and cranny of the site to ensure that I am not missing out on any important information. On the other hand, Sulekha produced everything I wanted right on the plate without my even asking for it.This is because it is so very well designed. All the options are available right in front of your eyes. They are explicit just to the right degree. It helps you post an advertisement, not to rent a flat, but to live as a room mate in a shared apartment.
Also Sulekha has a very good verification process in which your mobile number is checked and verified for its veracity. So fraudsters are not welcome. You will have to post an original working number, if you want to post your advertisement on Sulekha.
These are just two small examples of Sulekha proving useful. Sulekha has various other sections that cater to telling us where the best restaurants in town are, and helping us buy and sell everything from books to bikes. There is a blog on Sulekha, services for business, home, loans, finance and even jobs are available on this website.