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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1575 - July 04, 2007 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 2

eBay Launches Kijiji in US, Contextual Ads Key to Classifieds Strategy

By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com
July 04, 2007




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Despite owning a stake in the popular classifieds site Craigslist, eBay has rolled out its international classifieds service in the US. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Kijiji.com is free, but quoted a spokesperson saying eBay will explore revenue models such as charging for display ads or premium services. However, eBay is monetizing its other classifieds sites through contextual advertising using Google.

Founder of Oodle.com, a search engine for local classifieds, Craig Donato said that while he doesn't know anything about eBay's strategy with regard to Kijiji's revenue model, eBay may be able to convince people to use related services, like using PayPal in transactions. Oodle aggregates 75,000 classifieds sites and has worked with eBay's Gumtree service in the UK and with eBay in the US.

eBay told investors in October 2006 that its classifieds business received over 22 million unique visitors per month and was growing at close to triple-digit rates, and revealed it was monetizing some of its classified sites via contextual advertising. eBay CEO Meg Whitman said at the time, "Marketplaats is probably the best demonstrated practice of our classified sites. That is largely monetized through advertising. I think we actually do that with Google in the Netherlands, and that has actually worked quite well for Marketplaats. We are rolling out similar programs to our other classified sites."

eBay has an advertising agreement with Google internationally, but has partnered with Yahoo in the US. So while Kijiji Canada sponsored links are powered by Google, it's likely any sponsored links on Kijiji's US site would be powered by Yahoo. Advertisements from Yahoo's ad network began appearing on eBay.com in 2006.

eBay acquired a 25% stake in Craigslist in 2004 and launched Kijiji outside the US in 2005. eBay also owns Gumtree.com, LoQUo.com, Intoko, Netherlands-based Marktplaats.nl, and German automotive classifieds site Mobile.de. eBay also has an ad format on eBay.com (http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2006/10/1160773163.html).

What about fears that a classified site might cannabalize eBay listings? Donato said classifieds sites are inherently local, and the two services would be complementary. "It's not like eBay sellers don't know about Craigslist."

http://www.kijiji.com

Link to Wall Street Journal article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118349602061257053.html?mod=technology_main_whats_news

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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