CellBazaar offers a virtual marketplace for the over 20 million mobile phone subscribers of GrameenPhone, a Bengali firm. In a country with scarce access to computer terminals, and where limitations to the electricity needed to power them are common, CellBazaar enables a largely agricultural nation a portal on which to seek additional income. Posts regard agriculture but also regard the sale and purchase of second-hand goods as well as private lessons, real estate, services, etc.. CellBazaar thus brings supply and demand together in a country where market prices can be vitiated by poor transport infrastructure that increases the costs of sellers.
Users can post the produce they wish to sell by mobile phone (though there is an online platform). To overcome illiteracy CellBazaar offers a service that sends voice-messages which read out the posts.
By dramatically widening the market available for traders and farmers, CellBazaar allows these economic agents to reap larger profits than what they would by pursuing what was often their only option: selling in bulk cheaply to wholesalers. Furthermore, CellBazaar can cut the costs by eliminating (or minimising) the need to travel great distances to reach markets.
For nor non-agriculture related posts, CellBazaar also permits users to gain additional income or save some by finding the cheapest alternative to their need in a country where the internet penetration levels are – at 0.03% – very low.