• Home  / 
  • Tech News
  •  /  Q&A with the Founder of Sulit.com.ph : A Philippine Buy and Sell Portal

Q&A with the Founder of Sulit.com.ph : A Philippine Buy and Sell Portal

Philippine Buy and Sell SiteFilipino’s who have recently used the search engines to look for Philippine Buy and Sell sites could have easily bumped into Sulit.com.ph owing to its high rankings in the Search Engines. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise owing to the popularity of Sulit.com.ph. Because of its huge user base and the traffic generated from it, Sulit.com.ph received 10.4 million Pageviews and 1.7M visitors for the month of November alone. To add further to its accolades, Sulit.com.ph recently ran away with the People’s Choice Award for E-Commerce site in the recently concluded 10th Philippine Web Awards. Sulit.com.ph is definitely a rising star in the Philippine online classifieds scene. Whats remarkable still, is the fact that Sulit.com.ph has been around for only a year.

I got a chance recently to throw some questions at the team behind Sulit.com.ph, RJ David (developer) and his Girlfriend Arianne(Design and Testing), to get the story on how Sulit.com.ph came to be. Prior to interviewing RJ, I informed him that I have a similar Buy and Sell Site targeted at a different market, since in a way we might be competitors, he could opt out of the interview. Even with that card laid out RJ replied to me:

“No problem. I actually learned much of what to add to Sulit.com.ph by looking at similar systems. So it is not a big deal. I will be glad to share the experience to others.”

I first encountered RJ within the catacombs of the Philippine PHP User group forums. At that time Sulit.com.ph was still nonexistent. I could characterize RJ as a very amiable and helpful fellow in the forums. Someone who was eager to give Sage advice to the Noobs of PHP. I should know as I got some good advice from him when I was still starting out with PHP. I dropped out of hanging around PHPUGPH for a while, but the last thing I remembered was RJ promoting Sulit.com.ph in the Forums. Fast forward a year later and I see my wife trolling incessantly the forums of a site that looked very familiar. Sure enough it was Sulit.com.ph. I got surprised at the growth and advancement of Sulit.com.ph after just a year of existence.

To really get to understand the attraction that users get from Sulit.com.ph I had to take a step back and ask my wife, who was looking at Sulit.com.ph from a user’s perspective and not through a techie’s eye. She said that what she liked about Sulit.com.ph was:

  1. The clean and simple interface
  2. The great Javascript enhanced image enlarge on mouseover picture gallery of the products for Sale.
  3. The large amount of posts in each category.

RJ David is young at 27 years old of age. He was a former Mechanical Engineer who left his field to become a web developer. He entered the IT industry in 2003 as a Software Test Engineer then moved on to be a PHP Architect / Senior Developer in 2005. By the end of 2005 he decided to go full time with freelancing. He said that the decision to leave the security of employment was brought about by the influence of the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (by Robert Kiyosaki) on him.

Aside from IT projects, he also dabbled in other forms of entrepreneurship outside the IT field. But the lack of passion in those none IT ventures led him to drop them to concentrate on web based businesses. Prior to hitting the mark with Sulit.com.ph, he had four other businesses that didn’t quite make it.

With the advent of Web2.0 phenomenon, he was inspired by how the small websites/startups, run by a few founders, made it big in the industry. By May 2006 he decided to create his own online application. He realized that the capital needed to operate and maintain a website was way cheaper than other offline ventures.

During one brainstorming session with Arianne, they came up with an idea to create a classified ads website. They initially planned to operate it for a few months to collect data then analyze it afterwards to see which category would be the most popular so that they could target that niche afterwards. After 2 months of development (around August) Sulit.com.ph was born. Officially launched in September, RJ had to grapple with work responsibilities and Server issues during the launch.

Here are his answers to the questions I threw at him: [* Author’s Notes]

1. What inspired Sulit.com.ph to be created despite the fact that it already looks like a crowded webmarket?

I initially didn’t have the perception that it was already a crowded web market since it was really meant to be an experiment to gather data. Early December 2006, my girlfriend and I came to realize that there would be a nice future with Sulit.com.ph but we have to compete with big players in the local market which have already existed for years and even international classified ads with local listings were making it big locally. And of course quite a number of small and new websites trying to grab a piece of the pie in the classifieds market. Yet, the story of Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, really inspired me on how he created a service using a simple website for the community and ending up with the most successful and popular classified ads website worldwide. Ever since, I believed that if I can deliver a good service to the users through Sulit.com.ph, it is also possible to make it big someday.

2. How many people does it take to run Sulit.com.ph?

From September 2006 until July 2007, I was running Sulit.com.ph alone in my bedroom with the help of Arianne for a few hours at night answering forum posts, online marketing and other web design tasks after she was out of the office (she was working as project development lead in one of the banks in Makati). By August 2007, I requested her to resign from her job and help me manage Sulit.com.ph full time. Since then, I focused on System Administration, Maintenance and Development, Analytics, SEO and the business-side of Sulit.com.ph. Arianne take on the role of Web Design, Testing, Support, Marketing, Paper works and Organization.

3. Aside from the opportunity to network, what else do you think you are offering your users that makes it a cut above the rest?

  1. More exposure of ads to people actually searching for related keywords -> with 10.4 million pageviews and 1.7 visitors last
    November 2007
  2. Administrators listen and communicate with the members – Arianne and I are always visible in the forum.
  3. Continuous improvement of the website giving more and more benefits to the members. Members see and feel the improvements.
    We also implement member suggestions when it is proven to be beneficial to the majority of the members.

4. Did you experience any start up bumps during Sulit.com.ph’s early days that almost made you want to quit and throw in the towel?

A number of times.

  1. When Google penalize our website and removed us from the search engine result pages (SERPs) in April 2007. I painstakingly analyzed changes in the site from January to April and removed those which I think had an effect with the penalty. We were lucky to be back in the SERPs but I didn’t know what really caused it and those features removed never made it to Sulit.com.ph again.
  2. I am a web developer and not a system administrator. With the growth came problems with server performance due to high traffic. I ended up learning how to optimize a server in 2 days without sleep but it was all worth it.
  3. Yahoo! Mail bouncing all e-mails coming from our server and had more than 10K e-mails not sent to members. I had to learn how to “properly” setup an e-mail server and end up changing our e-mail policy and adding e-mail settings to profiles of our members.

5. What are the factors that you think helped Sulit.com.ph reach where it is today.

  1. SEO
  2. Service-oriented goal
  3. Community-driven approach

6. What methods of promotion did you use to market Sulit.com.ph?

  1. SEO, forums and directory listings
  2. RSS
  3. Recently, joining expos as media sponsor
  4. Raffles

7. How do you envision Sulit.com.ph to be 5 years down the road?

Available in different countries

8. Any sister sites in the offing after the Success of Sulit.com.ph?

“Success” might still be a far-fetched word in my vocabulary. But I do have 2 other projects in mind which I hope to start by next year after I have completed all the major functionalities that I am planning to add to Sulit.com.ph.

Currently, I have another project to be released in Dec. 10, which is targeting local entrepreneurs called Bizyonaryo.com. This project will provide the offline marketing needs of entrepreneurs which is obviously missing with the online nature of Sulit.com.ph, and a lot more. This project is created in alliance with PowerShopper, Inc. which is a provider of a unique Free Door to Door Media Bag.

* For current entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs looking for an online and offline marketing medium, check out the Sulit.com.ph Team’s : Bizyonaryo. It is a site where entrepreneurs can look to create and save cash for their business.

9. What monetization channels do you use to finance Sulit.com.ph?

  1. Adsense
  2. Direct Ads (major change by April 2008)
  3. Ex-deals with companies and individuals

*Ranked according to amount contributed.

10. What is the most active sector of Sulit.com.ph?

Buy and Sell followed by Real Estate.

11. Describe the average Sulit.com.ph user

Interests and professions are as broad as the categories in Sulit.com.ph. Regarding age, gender and location, I do collect the data but I still haven’t done any analytics but this will be available for the major change in Direct Advertising in Sulit.com.ph by April 2008.

12. Ycombinator VC, Paul Graham, believes that in order to succeed in an online venture, you must be a two man team. Case in point, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, etc. Do you believe in this theory?

Sulit.com.ph is founded and being operated by a 2-man team, Arianne and I. Although I believe it should be at least 2, and one should be a techie who knows the ins and outs of the application.

13. What Offer would it take to part with Sulit.com.ph or open it up to a partnership?

Until I complete the system with the major functionalities that I plan, I don’t think it will be open up for partnership. But if ever my plan to expand to different countries pushed-through, I will definitely be looking for someone with experience to run and build a working team around this worldwide project.

Thanks to the folks behind Sulit.com.ph, for agreeing to be interviewed. Good Luck to Sulit.com.ph, Bizyonaryo as well as your other future projects.

If need some guidance for testking 000-107 & 70-290 then get the latest testking 350-030 dumps compiled by our certified experts to help you pass ccna wireless exam in first attempt of pass4sure microsoft certification.

For more technology news and gadget reviews, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Nice story Marc, and good job to RJ and Arianne. We should have more stories like this. Does anyone want to be interviewed?

  • Thanks Migs!


  • I liked the article and hope we can get more of the same from other Web entrepreneurs here in the Philippines.

    • More 100% Filipino owned Businesses is what we need.
      I think we have a lot of great ideas as well as products and services that needs to be out there.

  • Thanks Glenn!

  • what a nice story. very informative.

  • Hi,
    Hopefully you folks help me to promote my site as well.

    Thanking you,

  • it was a nice story, proud to be a part of this community. it helps my business a lot… thank you very much

  • Thanks Jam, Pao and Daisy 😀

  • Great stuff on Sulit, Marc! Congrats RJ! I was fascinated to find a Pinoy-made site with GMaps… I do wish Pinoy sites could have a better map though. Mapcentral should release an API, I like their maps with landmarks. That would be helpful for a lot of Sulit sellers. Plenty of mashups I could think of.

  • two thumbs up Proffy and Ate Arianne! in high definition..

  • Thanks Marie! 😀

  • goodguy23

    great job Sir RJ and M’am Arianne.
    more power and GOD BLESS..

  • anne


    I would like to know the most recent lot value in AFPOVAI, Phase 1 area.

    thank you..


  • this will serve as my inspiration… naks! 😀

  • Jan

    San ba office ng sulit.com.ph? Makati ba?

  • Your story about sulit.com.ph is very inspiring and the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. But I’ve read in Wikipedia that the book have many allegories and readers are warned of the many advice given by the author such as investing.

    But I think most of the authors statements are true for example: “The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

  • OwanbeSalako

    [email protected]
    [email protected]


    NOKIA N95……US $300
    NOKIA N96………..$400USD

    NOKIA E70……..$170
    NOKIA E90……..$300




    SIDEKICK 111…………..$150USD
    SIDEKICK II ………….$135USD
    SIDEKICK 1…………..$120USD

    [email protected]
    [email protected]

  • april

    wow! this is truly inspiring!
    this is reminiscent of the beginnings of larry gamboa who is now very successful in real estate. i attended his seminar early this year and have started with real estate investing as well.
    i guess you can find the details in this site:


  • xechro77

    Regarding the buy and sell part of this site… It A-ok… Just don’t make a mistake upon visiting the forum site… It’s very vsry bias, unprofessional and full of bootlicking, power tripping moderators…

    Update… RJ is not sulit admin… He’s just an errand boy for his mods…

  • Sulit.com.ph is actually doing good right now in the market. Adsense is a good driving power for the website.

  • Wow! I am really impressed with the achievements of Sulit. I have been a regular visitor in this site and the site is remarkably good! I wonder though how much is their adsense income right now that usually when I go to their site, they have 16,000 users online! That’s really a big WOWOWOW!!!

  • Sulit.com brings hope to Filipino People by giving them free advertisements. That’s a good way of being “Makabayan” and “Makatao”

  • Matt Lee

    Email: [email protected]
    Email: [email protected]
    Email: [email protected]

    Nokia Phones.
    Nokia N97 32GB Mobile Phone===$400
    Nokia N96 Mobile Phone===$300
    Nokia N95 8GB 3G Mobile Phone===$250
    Nokia N79 Mobile Phone===$300
    Nokia N85 Mobile Phone===$200
    Nokia E71 Mobile Phone===$200
    Nokia E66 Mobile Phone===$200
    Nokia E71-2 Mobile Phone===$250
    Nokia N78 Mobile Phone===$240
    Nokia E90 Communicator===$200
    Nokia N77 Mobile Phone===$250
    Nokia N75 Mobile Phone===$230
    Nokia N76 Mobile Phone===$220
    Nokia N95 Mobile Phone===$280
    Nokia N81 8GB Mobile Phone===$200
    Nokia 8800 Arte Mobile Phone===$240
    Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte===$250
    GOLD Nokia 8800 Arte Diamond 24K Saphire===$500

    Motorola phone.
    Motorola ZINE ZN5===$200
    Motorola Z6w===$150
    Motorola MOTO Q9 Napoleon===$200
    Motorola MING2 A1600===$180
    Motorola A1800===$200
    Motorola MPx220===$140
    Motorola MOTO Q9c===$190
    Motorola RAZR2 V8===$150
    Motorola MOTO Q8===$160
    Motorola ROKR E8===$160

    Sony Ericsson Phones:
    Sony Ericsson W1 Mobile Phone===$240
    Sony Ericsson Xperia X1a Mobile Phone===$250
    Sony Ericsson G900 Mobile Phone===$270
    Sony Ericsson G700 Mobile Phone===$250
    Sony Ericsson P1 Mobile Phone===$250

    Samsung Phones:
    Samsung i900 Omnia 16gb===$250
    Samsung i900 Omnia 3G 8gb===$250
    Samsung SGH-i200===$200
    Samsung SPH-i770===$220
    Samsung SGH-i8510 INNOV8 16GB===$240
    Samsung SGH-i740===$200
    Gigabyte GSmart MS808===$230
    Velocity Mobile Velocity 111===$270

    Navman iCN 510 32MB Vehicle GPS Navigator===$200
    Garmin Nuvi 360 Pocket Vehicle GPS Navigator===$250
    Garmin Nuvi 680 Pocket Vehicle GPS Navigator===$450
    Garmin Nuvi 660 Pocket Vehicle GPS Navigator===$400
    Garmin Nuvi 610 Pocket Vehicle GPS Navigator===$380

    Apple Iphone 3G 16GB (Unlocked)===$300
    Apple Iphone 3G 8GB (Unlocked)===$280
    Apple Iphone 3G 4GB (Unlocked)===$290
    Apple iPhone 4GB (Unlocked)===$220
    Apple iPhone 8GB (Unlocked)===$250
    Apple iPhone 16GB (Unlocked)===$270
    Apple iPhone Gold 24K 16GB unlocked===$450
    Apple iTouch 32gb (Unlocked)===$200

    BlackBerry Bold 9000===$300
    BlackBerry Pearl 8110===$230
    BlackBerry Pearl 8120===$200
    BlackBerry Curve 8320===$190
    BlackBerry Curve 8310===$170
    BlackBerry Curve 8300===$180
    BlackBerry 8820===$160
    BlackBerry 8830 World Edition===$200
    BlackBerry 8800===$170
    BlackBerry Pearl 8100===$150
    Blackberry Curve 8350i==$150
    and many more…………….

    Blackberry Curve, Bold and Storm

    Play station games
    Playstation 3 40GB===$200
    Playstation 3 60GB===$240
    Playstation 3 80GB Motor Storm===$280
    Playstation 3 80GB Metal Gear===$280
    Nintendo Wii===$150
    Xbox 360 Core System===$160
    Xbox 360 Prenium pack===$180
    Xbox 360 Platinum Bundle Console===$155
    Xbox 360 Elite===$180

    contact us at:-

    Email: [email protected]
    Email: [email protected]
    Email: [email protected]

  • Matt Lee

    Email: [email protected]
    Email: [email protected]
    Email: [email protected]

    NEW PIONEER CDJ-1000 MP3 MK3 PLAYER=========$450
    NEW PIONEER CDJ-800 MP3 MK3 PLAYER =========$320
    NEW PIONEER CDJ-1000 MP3 MK2 PLAYER=========$300
    NEW PIONEER CDJ-800 MP3 MK2 PLAYER==========$280
    NEW PIONEER DJM 1000========================$700
    NEW PIONEER DJM 800=========================$600
    NEW PIONEER DJM 600=========================$500
    NEW Pioneer DVJ-X1 DVD======================$700
    2x PIONEER CDJ-1000MK3 & 1x DJM-800 MIXER DJ PACKAGE=====$1000
    PIONEER SVM-1000=========================$2000
    Pioneer MEP-7000 DJ CD/MP3 & DVD Players=======$600
    Pioneer CDJ-1000 CD Player==================$350
    Pioneer CMX-3000 Twin CD Player=============$250
    Pioneer CDJ-800 CD Player===================$300
    Pioneer CDJ-1000MK2=========================$340
    Pioneer CDJ-800MK2==========================$320
    Pioneer CDJ-1000mk2=========================$280
    Pioneer CDJ-1000MK3=========================$350
    Pioneer CDJ-500 CD-Player===================$200
    Pioneer DJM-1000============================$470
    Pioneer DJM-400=============================$300
    Pioneer DJM-800=============================$320
    Pioneer DJM-600 Mixer=======================$200
    Pioneer DJM-3000 19″ Mixer==================$210
    Pioneer DJM-600-S Mixer=====================$250
    Pioneer DJM-909 Battle Mixer================$220
    Technics SL-1200MK2=========================$200
    Technics SL-DZ 1200=========================$220
    Technics SL-1210M5G Pro Turntable===========$240
    Technics SL-1210MK5 Pro Turntable===========$210
    Technics SH- MZ1200 4 Channel DJ Mixer======$200
    Denon DN-D4500 Pro DJ Dual CD/MP3 Player====$300
    Denon DN-D9000==============================$300
    Denon DN-D6000==============================$450
    Denon DN S3500 (CD player)==================$200
    Denon DN S5000 (CD player)==================$200
    Denon DN X1500s (Mixer)=====================$200
    Denon DN-HD2500=============================$300
    Pioneer EFX-1000 Pro-Effector===============$280
    Pioneer DVJ-X1 DVD Player===================$580
    Pioneer DVJ-1000============================$500
    Pioneer VSW-1 Video Switcher================$150
    Pioneer DMP-555 MultiMedia Player===========$270
    Pioneer DJ DVD TURNTABLE DE DVJ-X1==========$620

    Email: [email protected]
    Email: ele[email protected]
    Email: [email protected]

    CANON EOS-1D Mark II-N 8 Megapixel Digital===$900
    Canon EOS-5D Digital , 12.8 Megapixels=======$900
    Canon XH A1 1.67MP Camcorder with 20x Optical ***m===$850
    Canon XL2 3CCD MiniDV Camcorder w/20x Optical **m====$800
    Canon XL1 Digital Camcorder Kit==============$600
    Canon EOS 1D Mark II N 8.2MP Digital SLR Camera======$850
    Canon Camera Kit 1234B002====================$350
    Canon EOS 30D Digital SLR Camera & Canon=====$400
    Kicker 06VS12L52 Solo-Baric 12 Single 2ohm ===$170
    Kicker L5 06S12L54 12 Dual 4-ohm Voice Coil Woofer=====$160
    Kicker S15L7 Car Subwoofer===================$120
    Kicker Solo- Baric L5 Car Subwoofer==========$90usd
    JVC KW-AVX706 DVD Receiver===================$200
    Pioneer DEH-P4900iB CD Receiver==============$80
    JVC KD-PDR30 CD Receiver=====================$80
    Pioneer AVH-P5700DVD DVD Receiver============$210
    Pioneer DEH-P7800MP In-Dash==================$130
    Pioneer TS-A6991R 6×9 5-way Speakers=========$70

    Email: [email protected]
    Email: [email protected]
    Email: [email protected]

  • What program did he use to make sulit.com?

  • Rio

    how long did you take to put up sulit.com.ph?

  • Thanks for creating this post about RJ and Arianne of Sulit.com.ph success story. I’m really inspired on their success story and really wanted to feature them in my blog. Anyway I saw Bizyonaryo on it’s earlier stages but today I can’t see it anymore. What happenned?

  • gshop.com.ph is inspired by http://www.sulit.com.ph

  • Sulit website should inspire emerging Pinoy IT entrepreneurs.

  • Leroy Fodor


    The response of Sulit support team is horrible. Here is where someone did the less to an admin than george teodoro has done to a few members and their account instantly suspended, Please keep in mind George Teodoro did these same actions against me and other members and did not get suspended.


    Our Support Team has responded to your Support Ticket – Respect the privacy of other people. Don’t giv…:

    Hi! Leroy,

    This issue has been discussed, kindly refer to the provided a resolution about this issue I have sent you via Private Message.

    Regarding Kevinjoegarlitos account, Jcrisostomo(<–ADMIN) filed a feedback dispute regarding the negative feedback and the Support Officer

    who handled and reviewed the account of Kevinjoegarlitos found that this account was only use to give negative feedback to different

    members and was considered as an account created only to ruin other member by abusing our feedback feature.


    ABUSING THE FEEDBACK FEATURE, was an instant suspension, but its ok for george teodoro to have 3 accounts, abuse the feedback feature by giving false negative feedback on other members, as well as giving himself positive feedback to raise his feedback rating score. That is ok if you pay to be sulit checked, and have sulit gold. So as you can see they only enforce their rules when it is convenient to them. not to members who may get scammed.

    And farther more the feedbak Teodoro has on his account from yackee26 is false, as he teodoro gave yackee26 positive feedback in return, now look closely and notice yackee26 got the same feedback on the same item, how is that possible. Did he sell that mountain bike to 2 people. You better wake up admins and owners, you are being played like a piano and singing teodoros tune as loudly as you can.

    It is sad that the Sulit Checked system, and the feedback feature can not be trusted with your site,

    You have overstepped your boundaries as a sales website, you allow users to abuse the fundemental tools we as members use to decide if a member is trustworthy, by allowing actions like this to go unpunished you have ruined those tools for everyone. To even defend this immoral member who has repeatedly abused every fundemental rule in your system, you have proven the Sulit website untrustworthy. Congratulations Sulit, you showed your true colors, selfishness, and no care for your members unless they pay you money.

    • nagaraya


  • To many free post ads website now.

    All you can do is pick among of those for the most trusted website.

    • http://www.buyandsellmanila.com as a new free ads website is happy to buy sulit gold from sulit. doing so has push our rankings high in all search engines.

      sulit, is a role model for filipino websites as they have conquered pagerankings at such a short period of time.

      http://www.ayawmobiliko.com hopefully aspires to grow alongside sulit’s success. richardfos, our sulit account is a loyal SG member and is very much happy with every peso spent on keeping our ads no.1 in sulit and search engines

      congratulations to the sulit team.

  • May nais ka bang ibenta? May Mga paupahan ka ba? Gusto mo free ads ba? E philrent.com mo na! http://www.philrent.com post your ads now!

  • Inspiring article! Another emerging PH Online Classifieds site is ph.claseek.com.

  • Hello everyone, welcome to the NEW PINOY ONLY #1 SWAP website in the Philippines! We have been in concept stage since the middle of 2011, then it took 1 year to assemble the features you see today! we use a totally radical approach to SWAP/BUY/SELL. if you have a business you will be amazed at the ease of use! ITS ALWAYS FREE TO USE AND ENJOY! we project to be around for good and there are already competitors using our name to compete with us but we are the original ISWAPTAYO.COM.PH!

    Please check us out at: iswaptayo.com.ph (lower case)

    Try us out today! ALWAYS FREE! thank you!

  • It is perfect time to make some plans for the future
    and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this
    article. I wish to read more things about it!

  • Anna Donita Dela Cruz

    Hello, I’m Anna, a student from University of Santo Tomas, having degree of BS Management Accounting

    We have a reporting in our Strategic Management subject and I chose your company to be my case study. I would just like to ask a help from you. May I have a copy of your SWOT analysis? 🙂 I cannot find it online so I thought if I can have it directly from you.

    Thank you so much and your response is highly appreciated. God bless you!

  • Sulit Inspired Web Developers to create a website and earns in the internet

  • Lady BarbieQ

    Good Morning, I have a lot of post in your site, yet most of it do not appear when i researched it, why?

    I am looking forward to your answer with regard to this matter

    Thank you and Godbless