EBay Brings its Free Classifieds Village to the U.S.

  |  July 6, 2007   |  Comments

The community-based free listings site is expected to provide advertising later this year.

EBay has quietly brought its classifieds site Kijiji to the United States, where when and if it gains its footing, it could compete with free classifieds site Craigslist. Kijiji, which has had an international presence since it launched in February of 2005, will offer advertising opportunities later this year.

The service allows users to post free ads in a variety of standard classifieds categories such as jobs, personals and autos, and also features events postings and community features like forums and chats. As of yet everything is free, but paid advertising is on its way, according to Jose Mallabo, an eBay spokesperson.

"There is no advertising on the site today. We'll be turning that on before the end of summer," he said.

While eBay has operated the classifieds site in countries including Canada, Taiwan, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, and more than 20 other markets, it decided the user interface was finally good enough to expand to the U.S., according to Mallabo.

"We're using the same UI that we used internationally. Cost-effectively being able to leverage that is sort of why we came to the U.S., in addition to the fact that it's still the largest e-commerce business in the globe," said Mallabo.

Although Kijiji, which means "village" in Swahili, now covers 200-plus communities in the U.S., eBay decided against promotion and has relied on word-of-mouth to bring it to users' attention so far. That will change once eBay chooses an advertising partner sometime within the next four to six weeks, and starts "keywords and advertising online, as well as direct marketing campaigns," said Mallabo.

The move into the U.S. market with a community-based classifieds site does put eBay in competition with the predominant free listings site, Craigslist, Mallabo admitted. Still, he said the firm is competing with all listings services, and noted there is a lot of growth potential in the overall market.

Three years ago, eBay bought a 25 percent stake in Craigslist. However, since then "[eBay] is being held at arms-length by the Craigslist management, and there [are] no direct ties with the Craigslist management, so they might as well go off and do their own thing," said Peter Krasilovsky, associate with the Kelsey Group, an analyst firm.

EBay has no plans to link Kijiji to its auction service, or to its PayPal online transaction system. As for a connection between Kijiji and Craigslist, Krasilovsky believes there will be no merger of the two anytime in the future, adding the two sites do not compete on the most heavily-used online classifieds segments of real estate, automotive and recruitment.

"Everybody is watching eBay for what its next steps are going to be. We've all been watching eBay for how it's going to grow into the local space. My takeaway from this is eBay is taking more of a baby step in this direction, and this is not a major launch of something new that is going to transform the company over the next year or so," he said.

Kijiji runs other international classifieds sites, including Marktplaats.nl in The Netherlands, Spain's Loquo and Gumtree in England, Australia and New Zealand.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matthew G. Nelson

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...