eBay Tries Its Hand at Local Services Again
By Ina Steiner
eBay launched a new local services section on eBay.co.uk that has its roots going back to 2005 when it acquired Gumtree, which was then the leading local classifieds site in the UK with a presence in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well.
This is eBay's second attempt to offer local services through its own Marketplace site in the UK. Back in 2007, eBay.co.uk launch a category called "Local Services" in July and initially made it free through October 2007, but extended the free listing period indefinitely. It also launched a similar category in Australia in April of that year at services.ebay.com.au.
But in 2010, eBay shut down the Local Services category in the UK and advised members to use Gumtree.co.uk if they wished to advertise their local services.
Hire.eBay.co.uk is most likely a reaction to services like AngiesList and TaskRabbit that have gained a lot of attention for their ability to match consumers with local services such as plumbers and handymen. The site is in beta testing and currently limited to services serving London. An eBay spokesperson told TechCrunch eBay Hire was a "pilot program in beta currently only available in the United Kingdom that connects consumers with local services."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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