1. Original name was ph Auctions (1999). First hosted by free webhost Fortunecity.com.
2. I used to bid and buy from eBay.com back in 1998. One time I checked if there’s a local auction website and can’t find any. So I started one.
3. The very first version of the website was run by an offline auction software. Unfortunately I cannot recall the name of the software. I can recall the website selling at least 10 items, maybe 30 maximum from Feb 1999 to Jun 1999- 1st version.
4. I was still using a 38400 modem when I uploaded the first pieces of code back in February 1999. The function of the website was not even in real time. I had to log-in once a day to download new items posted and submitted bids, run process, then upload the new data.
5. We are technically the 2nd online auction website in the Philippines after Subasta.com (1997-98?). However, when the auction site started, Subasta.com was already offline. I did some research to verify if we were actually the 1st online auction website in the country but Subasta.com came up in searches. However, I cannot verify if Subasta.com was a local Philippine website, just hints of it being one.
6. I got from this website the 2nd version of Avalon.ph (ph Auctions / eAuctions.ph): http://www.everysoft.com/. This started mid-1999.
7. I have no computer programming experience at all. Until now, I don’t even consider myself an average programmer. I work in ‘reverse’- study a finished code, figure out the logic and work my way back, then I do my stuff until I get it right.
8. Top selling items first 2 years of the website in the following order: Collectible Toys & Action Figures, Original Region 1 DVDs, Books, Comics.
9. The first out-of-Metro Manila buyer I had was from Dipolog City (2000).
10. It was during the fourth quarter of year 2000 when we received funding from a HK firm and the company invested on a Php1.8M software- that doesn’t work now :). That software is now defunct and the domain name was sort of locked with it so we changed our name from eAuctions.ph to Avalon.ph.
11. Type in www.eauctions.ph now and you’ll be redirected to Avalon.ph.
12. We had our first and only website launch back in November 2000 at Hard Rock Cafe, Makati City. Free food for all, music, auctions and open bar. I wonder if that will happen again :).
13. Yes, someone did try to auction her virginity back in 2000. Of course the posting was banned (please don’t ask if I verified it). Besides, it was obviously a prank.
14. In the past 10 years, I’ve only been late for pick-ups/meet-ups definitely less than 6 times. The last time was late last year when there was a sudden downpour in UP Diliman.
15. The most memorable item I encountered being sold on my website was a Hello Kitty dild… nah I don’t think I’ll finish that sentence.
16. Google AdWords (NOT AdSense) is my best investment with regards to advertising- I sometimes get returns above 3,000%-4,000% per month. Yes, three thousand percent and I know my math.
17. I used to sell hardbound Moleskines for Php400.00 each – LARGE. I also used to sell unread overstock copies of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (Trade paperback) for Php180.00. Sometimes I worry too much about inventory not moving fast enough.
18. Website ICQ number before was 41444804. ICQ was sort of the Yahoo Messenger of 1999-2000.
19. We have buyers from 10 years ago still patronizing our website (I can recall at least 5). One from 9.5 years back even bought something just a month ago.
20. The book I regret selling: US 1st/1st Hardbound copy of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, sold for Php500.00 back in 2001/2002. Current price is at least USD500.00.
21. Images (royalty free) from the current website were taken from sxc.hu – a free stock photography site. The shopping mall image in the front page is not from the Philippines.
22. I honestly can’t recall the very first item sold on the website. Sad but true. One item sold in 1999 that I recall pretty well was a Fountain Pen from user “nuitblanche”.
23. First Signed Book sold on the website was Neil Gaiman’s Stardust (Hardbound 1st/1st)… waaaay before he first visited the Philippines. The second Signed Book sold was Adventures in the Dream Trade, also by Neil Gaiman. One important book I sold was a hardbound US 1st/1st copy of Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, now at least USD300.00.
24. A small but meaningful portion of the website’s yearly income is used as a form of “tuition financial relief” to a select 3rd/4th year high school student from my former school. I’m not into symbolism much, but that is my charity.
25. And finally, most e-mails originally from Eudora imported to Gmail and Yahoo! Mail are still kept. Oldest e-mail dated 10/6/99. I hope I can still find 01/99 e-mails in old EDSAmail & Outlook back-ups.
For more information about Avalon.ph, please visit the website “About Us” page.
Thank you again for all your support!