Bernard Liberia is the owner and president of Automobilico, the biggest car exchange South of the Metro.
He started out in the business working for a car company and rose up the ranks and became a sales executive and later a sales manager. However, Liberia wasn’t satisfied.
Liberia took a chance and started his own car exchange. It all began with 1 car, which then became 4 cars, which then became 12 cars. He also put up a car wash and detailing shop.
Soon enough, he kept needing to find bigger and bigger places to store the cars. Soon enough, Liberia was dealing 40-50 cars.
Today, Automobilico stands in SM City Bicutan, in a 5,000 sq m lot that houses up to 300 cars.
Taking the risk
Liberia’s decision to go on his own took guts. He made his fateful decision back in 2001. Leaving his job put everything at risk: his family, his honor, his prestige. Because of this, it was make or break.
In his third year, he was able to buy a house on his own. It was here that he knew that the business was going to do well.
“Most of our competitors are hiding behind their offices and not showing up to their face their clients. They fear that selling secondhand is always inferior. No, it’s not that. Stand with your product because that’s what you have. You have to stick your neck out and be proud of what you have.”
The OLX factor
When Liberia started out, he needed to go to the local paper to post his car ads on the weekends. He set up his own website as well as an account on OLX (then Sulit) after a while. Because of this, he says the process of selling became much simpler.
According to his data, Liberia says 50% of his traffic comes from OLX while 30% comes from his own website.
For his advice to aspiring businessmen, he says: “It’s simple: Gising na, OLX na. As simple as that. If you don’t put your product on OLX, you won’t get the right marketing leverage that you have.”
Liberia still has big plans for Automobilico. He wants it to become a one-stop shop for secondhand cars. He admits that it’s going to be a while but he has no plans of stopping.
Inspired by Bernard’s story? Discover yours by visiting OLX and be on your way to becoming an entrepreneur!