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eBay Classifieds began life in the United States as Kijiji.com in 2007 after its global launch in 2004 and it has since grown rapidly to include many marketing brand names and areas of interest. Kijiji was always a bad name to market, because most people cannot even pronounce it; but at the time, it was thought to be quaint because it means “village” in Swahili, as if that could be interest to anyone.
Broader in appeal than the eBay parent site, eBay Classifieds has its main focus around providing local search for local suppliers and it not only includes goods that can be bought, it has an extensive employment and housing services listing section too and pets figure very strongly. On first visiting the web site, users are asked to enter their zip code so that from the menu of all the categories, advertisements and listings available to the local area will be presented. For ex ample, when entering a Hollywood zip code, the user is directed to a Los Angeles sub domain for eBay Classifieds and when drilling down into any of the categories, only listings in the Los Angeles area will appear.
eBay Classifieds is Different to the eBay Parent Company in Many Ways
The eBay parent is more about a global presence where goods can be shipped from anywhere to anywhere providing the appropriate shipping fees are paid for and the supplier opens their listing up for global shipping. Whereas eBay Classifieds is about serving local areas, and there are nearly three hundred such areas that comprise the United States. And because eBay has always been founded on safe and secure transactions for the buyer with great pricing breaks across the board, eBay Classifieds has succeeded where others have floundered. Buyers are assured of truly competitive prices while being safe and protected under the eBay banner.
And so with eBay Classifieds being all about dealing and sourcing in user’s local communities, it really is about people getting some cash for their trash, like an online garage sale and local baby sitting employment vacancies service. It is free to use and claims no hidden costs or charges, yet it will never have the depth or professionalism of dedicated executive placement web sites. It will continue to connect local communities for minor second hand market sales, but never become a true social network in its own right.
eBay Classifieds and Craigslist go Head to head in the Marketplace
Determined to maintain its stranglehold on the classifieds market segment, eBay Classifieds has been very acquisitive and bought out many of its rivals. Collectively this has created a confused branding situation; however this is typically resolved by redirecting visitors to the eBay Classifieds domain name. That is, when you enter kijiji.com, you are automatically taken to eBayClassifieds.com ready to enter your zip code. And in this way, all visitors are directed to listings in their local area, all under the respective sub domain of ebay.classifieds.com.
The real estate and job sections and the locality based way services and offerings are laid out seems to be clearly aimed at competing with the likes of Craigslist which has always been particularly strong in these areas. In fact there have been many news stories written about this competition since the launch of eBay Classifieds in the United States. And with that in mind, eBay Classifieds would seem to have a long way to go to dominating the space given that such a large city as Los Angeles must have more than eleven thousand classifieds type items for sale, more than three thousand homes for rent or sale and more than the two thousands vacancies needing to be filled. Yet the pet section seems to be very strong, and motor vehicles similarly do have solid numbers of listings.
Given that eBay Classifieds is only a few years old in the United States, we can expect it to flex its considerable marketing muscle and to continue to grow strongly. Nationally the eBay Classifieds web site claims millions of unique visitors per month and more than one hundred and fifty thousand new listings every month.
Perhaps because of there being no clear revenue stream for eBay Classifieds it will serve its main purpose of being a feeder service for traffic to its paid for listing parent company where the real money does get made in truck loads. Indeed, many and most users never visit eBay Classifieds because of their habit to shop at the parent site where there is a definite retail shop front look and feel with highly commercialized listings at super discounted price levels for most new goods covered by manufacturer warranties and buy protection systems. And there can be no question that eBay Classifieds is not the place to attract commercial sellers; it truly is targeted at the local second hand market where buyer and seller fully intend to meet face to face to complete their dealings.
Perhaps the only similarity between the two web sites of eBay Classifieds and its eBay parent company are the majority of the categories they each carry. Whereas eBay Classifieds branches out into the local services type area for rental properties and employment opportunities, eBay the parents has no such interest in such services and is only focused on price and product marketing for new or almost new goods. And to search eBay Classifieds under such traditional categories like electronics, many of the listings are for local repair services rather than the sale of new equipment as found on the eBay parent web site. And on that point, the eBay parent certainly does carry massively more listings, covering a much vaster range of niche product areas.
The eBay brand is worth many billions of dollars, and the parent company would seem to have an unbeatable market position. At the eBay Classifieds end of things, it remains to be seen if any rival can surpass the division for the long run with Craigslist seemingly unconcerned about the competition.