The Story Of Dubizzle And The Rise Of Classifieds

Dubizzle is a free, online classified website that allows business owners to buy and sell at the same time or find potential customers around the world. 

As one of the top websites in the world, Dubizzle handles thousands of organic visitors daily. And, despite being at the top in terms of popularity, it was once just an ordinary website with zero visitors per day. Sim Whatley and J.C Butler, struggled to keep their business afloat and they gave up hope so many times along the way. 

The founders of this platform were driven to innovate and create a business that was achievable for every entrepreneur.

They were the only ones at the time who had the ability to reach out to their audience by advertising in magazines or on TV. Until then, however, running ads was expensive due to cost of space and ad space. 

Whatley and Butler wanted to create a platform that would assemble thousands of potential customers with ease.

At first, Dubizzle faced many challenges. The team made lots of mistakes and learned from each one. Their dedication and motivation helped lead Dubizzle to be one of the most successful business platforms in the UAE 

The web developers shared their vision with the public and motivated many other entrepreneurs at their recent seminar. 

1. Solve Problems That You Face and Do not Give Up

An entrepreneur’s job is to tackle problems head on, not ignore them. Many entrepreneurs give up on their dreams because they quit too soon.

It takes a month or two or even an entire year for some entrepreneurs to see if their idea will work out.

Some who do not see any success simply decide to shut down their business and move on with life. But Dubizzle did not give up – they persisted hard for 8 years until they made it! 

2. Create A Helpful Environment for People

If your goal is to make money and annoy people with fake products, then you are not doing well in this competitive environment.

It is always important to think about your customer first. There are lots of people who are job seekers or are searching for a laptop for work.

Create a friendly and easy shopping experience for these people and have faith in humanity. 

3. Make A Plan and Stick to It

The co-founders noted that it took them a lot of time to understand this sentence, but it was of excellent value to them. 

4. “Your values are your culture, and your culture is your brand.”

Dubizzle started with two people and the developers wanted to preserve their culture.

Now, it is a brand that others enjoy. It all starts with you defining your values and making sure that comes through in your product from day one.

By doing so, you will create a successful brand that others will love too. 

5. Follow a Positive Role Model

Successful businesspeople find a role model to follow and eventually succeed. If you want to become one of the best, you will need to find someone who has already been successful and their journey to get there.

Surround yourself with people that are motivated and always thinking about how to better themselves. It will not be easy, but in the end it will all be worth it. 

6. Make a Pattern of Everyday Habits

It is often tempting to postpone your work for later but try to solve it sooner.

Start your day with a healthy activity and spend time with your family.

Have a healthy lunch, exercise for a brief period, then return to work and follow your daily business pattern.

This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. 

7. Learn From Your Mistakes

Failure is a steppingstone for success. At some point in your life, you will experience failure– whether it is mental or physical.

Remember all the little achievements you have made throughout your life.  

If you only focus on your failures, then chances are you will develop a dark side of yourself.

It is good to take these achievement moments and surround yourself with them every day. This is like a daily dose of inspiration! 

8. Understand the Difference Between External and Internal Motivation

Here is an overview of the two types of motivation that successful people rely on. 

Internal Motivation is where a person’s personal growth and the desire to improve are driven internally, not externally. 

External motivation comes from outside events, such as winning a prize or scoring well in an exam. These events play important roles in our lives. 

The founders went to talk about how It is not always easy to start a business. You must wait for the right moment and devote a lot of time and effort.

But we are not fans of that approach. Why not start now, even if it is just a small chunk – it will still get you closer to your goal than doing nothing at all. 

Every business needs an unobstructed vision to succeed. Dubizzle reached its vision and continues to be at the forefront of innovation.

Their growth has not only impacted the Dubai landscape, but also impacts millions in positive ways by making life fair, square, and transparent.

As they have always shared ideas with each other since the start. 

Whatever the odds, they dealt with it as a team—and you can too. If you are looking for motivation, just be like us, they said, and recommit yourself to your goals every tomorrow.

You will see that if you keep this up, you will get through any obstacle before long. 

The founders concluded the symposium with the following remarks, “If you’re confident then your vision can change the life of many people then failure is not an option.” 

They have certainly lived up to that billing, in building one of UAE’s very own unicorn companies and now having merged with another unicorn, the sky is the limit! 

Another Success Story

Just as with Dubizzle, the story of Obodo is one of unwavering commitment to bring about innovation. Obodo, an online marketplace for the people of Middle East based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates that utilizes Artificial Intelligence to find matches for the items that you’ve barter listed in accordance with the barter preferences specified.  

Bringing a modern spin of the barter system, Obodo recreates real-life-like auction scenarios for barter trades as users can add offers, edit offers, reject offers and edit offers in real time as well as making counter offers on all public deals.   

More than the Barter feature, Obodo is also a buy and sell classifieds platform. 

Bartering is not mandatory as the price of user’s items are public therefore anyone can buy them and pay cash only.

More so, users can post their items through the mobile application and immediately start seeing people who are interested in their items and contrast the items on offer. 

The barter feature considers the difference in price estimation of each item matched together for a barter deal;

The user gets to set the estimate value of their product when posting their items to the platform as well as providing a description of the condition of the product. 

 The Obodo barter feature seamless shows the deals side by side detailing the price difference, which is automatically calculated, as well as detailing which party in the deal is getting paid the difference.  

The Obodo barter feature allows for granular or wide-ranging trades;

After uploading one’s items, user can choose their barter preferences – items they are interested in, this could be broad categories (i.e., “Electronics”) or specific (“Apple iPhone”).  

 Having set the barter preferences, the system will automatically match the user’s product with the right product.

Furthermore, setting additional preferences such as a brief description of the barter item of interest, the AI will aid the user to get more accurate results. 

Whether the user is a buyer or seller, Obodo gives users a lot of opportunity and options to exchange goods as all deals that are sent or received using the barter feature are all public, so anyone can engage a deal and counteroffer any of the products in the deal. 

This innovative feature goes against the grain of traditional classifieds.

Users for the first time, can now see the interests of people and what kind of products they are sending offers to and show their products to them eliminating the ambiguity of selling and purchasing prices as sellers tend to hike prices for some on traditional classifieds. 



Dubizzle has taken giant strides in the classified fields; today they have expanded into 14 nations across the globe.

Having set the standard of excellence and customer satisfaction in the classifieds industry, comes Obodo reinventing the wheel with A.I powered barter technology to help users find the product they desire. 


Obodo is a barter trade and buy-and-sell platform with a range of product listings. It connects sellers, traders, and buyers to help them list products for sale, find matches for barter trades and more. What are you waiting for? Download our app today!