eBay Launches Local Classifieds

Online auction site eBay Friday launched a service that allows its sellers to advertise items in a dedicated section of several newspaper classifieds.

The new service to sellers is currently offered in the Star Tribune, a daily newspaper serving the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area, and will also launch in the Florida’s St. Petersburg Times. eBay said it would determine expansion plans based on user adoption in those two markets.

“We believe eBay seller classifieds will be a valuable tool for our sellers to market their items to even more potential buyers,” said Bill Cobb, senior vice president global marketing, eBay. “Now buyers have a way to browse eBay listings before turning on a computer.”

As a part of the package for sellers, sellers can include product information, including item number, title and starting bid price in an ad. In turn, buyers are directed to go online to bid on and buy advertised items. Calif.-based AdStar.com has been tagged to enable its sellers to place ads in the classifieds through a Web interface. AdStar.com will then collect the ads and distribute them to participating newspapers.

The move toward offering offline advertising comes at a time when Calif.- based eBay is banning the sale of controversial material, including Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and other items from its auction site.

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