This could be HUGE.
eBay has just opened up kijiji.com in the US, a free on-line based classified service.
I jumped right in to the Phoenix edition to see what was involved in creating a "listing".
It was a snap. Very intuitive interface, easy to upload pictures (a max of 4, at 4mb each). It's not the greatest listing, as it was an experiment in ease of use (plus, 10 years from now I can say, "I had the first home listing on kijiji in Phoenix")
To me, the site is quite similar to BackPage.com, though a bit "cleaner". It's certainly a LOT cleaner than Craigslist, which purely from a design perspective is a disaster from 1985.
SFGate.com has a great article, including comments from Craigslist who said, "We simply do not look at other sites as competition. We never have done so at any time." Hmmm…
Kijiji is free–for now. Apparently eBay plans to explore ways to make more money, I'm assuming by offering "premium services", at some point.
eBay's 25% stake in Craigslist (which they plan to keep according to SFGate) makes this even more interesting. I can't really see Craig Newmark helping out eBay, and regardless of how Craigslist feels about kijiji, it does seem to be direct competition. Craig and his list tend to march to the beat of a different drummer, so their nonchalant attitude is to be expected. No question that Craigslist dominates the free on-line classifieds market. But eBay isn't chump change in the on-line world.
There is a dearth of listings on kijiji–for now. Only 21 items TOTAL on the Phoenix site. It will be interesting to watch the growth.
Surprisingly, I haven't heard anything from the real estate blogs out there. Normally we're slobbering over free venues to display listings. Maybe too many hot dogs on the grill right now…
This could get interesting.
[tags]kijiji, kijiji.com, craigslist, real estate marketing[/tags]