eBay has launched classified ad websites in Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. The sites are all branded Kijiji – Swahili for village. They slightly resemble CraigsList sites, in which eBay bought a 25 per cent stake in last August.
Apparently eBay says its new service does not compete with Craig’s List, though the Kijijis do overlap with Craig’s existing listings in Berlin, Montreal, Paris, Rome and Tokyo.
Each kijiji-site is organised around cities – so kijij.fr is split into sections for Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Strasbourg and Toulouse. Within each city section there are adverts for services, stuff for sale, property, jobs, courses, babysitters as well as lonely hearts ads and a community section.
The service is free for the moment but it is very likely eBay pulls some money when the website is flying. Already now the site spreads like wildfire on the net, growing so fast that it has simply outpaced Craigslist in some categories.
But people are unhappy with eBay’s classified step, commenting the company is just copying a working business model, like newsosaur.blogspot.com says:
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Craig Newmark, the founder of Craig’s List must be very flattered indeed by the decision of his partner, eBay, to clone his concept in nearly 50 cities around the world.
The Kijiji launch comports with eBay’s wise strategy to find new revenues to sustain its growth as the auction business inevitably flattens out. Earlier this year, eBay bought Rent.com, a significant online destination for apartment seekers.
On the net You always have to watch the competition.
newsosaur.blogspot.com: The big question is whether Kijiji will develop in the future by complementing or competing with Craig’s List. Could this be the first act in a squeeze play to force Craig to sell to eBay?
Kijiji has grown by 31% in just a short period of time – as presented in the calculated stats on fill.digitalsoul.org (german). Some people now unite to help the classified ad market stay free and fight to not let this become another eBay monopoly.
People want to believe in brands and their stories even though they might all be made up for you. Simply, a marketing lie (Kijiji). And then there is Craiglist, a guy devoted to bringing good value to the people, donating a lot of his income to non-profit organisations. Craig Newmark, the real guy, seemingly overslept the trend to build a social brand. Although he did make a couple of millions $ in the past.