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Craigslist's In-House Competitor: eBay's Kijiji

 3:42 pm on Jul 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Craigslist, the pioneering online classified Web site, is facing a large new competitor, one that has accumulated insider knowledge of Craigslist's business.

On Friday, eBay's online classified service, Kijiji, made its U.S. debut. For the past two years, Kijiji has operated overseas but is now available in about 220 U.S. cities, said eBay spokesman Hani Durzy.

But eBay enjoys an unusual advantage. For three years, executives at eBay have been allowed to peer deep into Craigslist's operations. Since 2004, the year eBay bought a 25 percent stake in the San Francisco-based Craigslist from a former employee, the auction site has held a seat on the company's board of directors.

Craigslist's In-House Competitor: eBay's Kijiji [news.com.com]

Whilst Craigslist has the following and the advantage of the one-to-beat, eBay has the financial muscle. This one could easily end in tears.



 2:24 am on Jul 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'd never heard of this service before, but they have full Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese versions of the site up and running. The eBay people are not renowned for their prowess in Asia so it's nice to see them making an effort.

Craigslist has sites for the same countries, but the interfaces are all in English. That's fine for me, but it won't do much for the locals. ;)


 3:05 am on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Kijiji.com? Who came up with that domain? I wonder how many times that one will be misspelled over the next few years? I took out the middle "i" and I see someone has already put up a page to take advantage of that misspelling.



 5:34 am on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Craigslist is very easy to use; i like it!
I have the same opnion with farmboy, Kijiji is not a good domain at least to me


 6:47 am on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

People are paying now to list their local-pick-up items on ebay, but if they move to kijiji it will be free....good deal.

I wonder what the rationale is: trying to compete with somebody who doesn't charge anything and has no adv?

And then, lets say you take some of their traffic, of course eventually you start to show ads, charge fees, etc. where will your userbase go?

But since ebay owns part of craigslist who knows whats going on?

[edited by: simey at 6:49 am (utc) on July 8, 2007]


 6:48 am on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think a difficult domain to spell was sort of the point. eBay is in a very dangerous place, cannabilizing revenue like this so they have to play it very carefully.


 6:58 am on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is it canibalizing or opening a store across the street from your own store?

Is this move a sign of frustration with the pace of Craigslist's monetization?


 12:17 pm on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Kijiji is not a difficult domain to spell
see it on the keyboard: right-left-up-down-up
easy to remember? Now that's something else :-)


 1:48 pm on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think they'll unseat Craigslist. The interface is nice and it has some cute functionality but is it compelling enough for people to make the switch?


 1:56 pm on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Kijiji is not a difficult domain to spell

Suppose you went out and stopped 100 people at random on the street, pronounced the word "kijiji" and asked each one to spell it. How many do you think would get it correct?

For that matter, how would you pronounce it? Is the "j" a "j" sound or a "g" sound?

Which of the "i" letters are pronounced with the "i" sound and which with the "e" sound?



 2:03 pm on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I looked around Kijiji last night and evidently they have a policy against listing something not in your own state in the U.S.

One person on the forum indicated he lived in Illinois but St. Louis, Missouri was much closer to him than any of the listed Illinois cities, yet he couldn't post in St. Louis.


Craigslist has an "erotic services" category that has basically become a free advertising service for local prostitution and has generated complaints from local law enforcement officials in a number of locales. I noticed that Kijiji included their own erotic services category.


I wonder what the rationale is: trying to compete with somebody who doesn't charge anything and has no adv?

When you set up a competing free service with basically the same categories, won't that tend to create a situation where people who have something to sell will just list on both? And won't that make one of them useless and rarely visited down the road?

I would think Craigslist, being first to the ballpark and without the domain name issues, would be the one to survive.

On the other hand, after reading the article, the Craigslist folks seem to have a "live and let live" & "avoid commercials" philosophy. Maybe eBay learned enough about the company to think Craigslist is so laid back they will eventually just go away rather than compete.



 4:39 pm on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>>Craigslist is so laid back

That's what I alluded to in my previous post asking if it could it be a sign of frustration with the pace of monetization.

Craig Newmark didn't plan much with the company, at one point around '99 one of the volunteers bought the dot com and was about to receive venture capital to roll out a paid craigslist, until Craig sued her. Craig then gave the volunteers large equity stakes in the company. Craig didn't think much of it because it hadn't occurred to him the company was worth anything- and judging by the pace of monetization to now, likely because he never intended it to grow up and become a money machine.

Then eBay started throwing money at the equity stakeholders and before he knew what was going on, eBay owned a quarter of the company. Sneaky of eBay or naive on the part of Craig Newmark? I think it's more that Craig has a hippy outlook on the website and sees it less as a business and more of a community project.

No doubt eBay can't be happy with a hippy site that is perceived as so popular that it can make more money if they charged for various services and added targeted advertising. But that's part of what makes Craigslist so popular, that it's a community well, not a bottled water vending machine.

Does eBay have a chance in locations where Craigslist hasn't taken hold?

Do any of those locales matter?


 5:39 pm on Jul 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does eBay have a chance in locations where Craigslist hasn't taken hold?

Do any of those locales matter?

I live in Louisville, and the number of listings on our local of craigs list is laughable. Maybe less than a tenth of the smaller top 22 markets craigslist operates in. I wouldn't mind kijiji competing with craigslist, maybe they would monetize and invest in advertising in the smaller markets to increase listings. I would end up using which ever one was more popular in my area.


 12:55 am on Jul 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

<title>Kijiji United States: free local Classifieds Ads and Want Ads for Housing, Apartments, Furniture, Personals, Vacation Homes, Pets, Jobs, Resumes, Cars, Services, Events, Appliances, Discussions and more.</title>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"/>
<meta name="description" content="Kijiji United States - local community with free Classifieds Ads and Want Ads for Housing, Apartments, Furniture, Personals, Vacation Homes, Pets, Jobs, Resume, Cars, Services, Events, Appliances, Discussions and more."/>

<meta name="keywords" content="Free, local, classifieds, classified Ads, Kijiji, classes, real estate, babysitter, dog, cat, shared rooms, pets, rental, apartments, apartment for rent, jobs, resume, cars, housing, furniture, personals, services, events, appliances marketplace, private, for free, search, find, ${areaName}"

Anyone else think this website was made 10 years ago by a high school student learning HTML with frontpage thinking they are an SEO. Look at these meta tags and the title tag! I bet they paid some really expensive "SEO firm" to do this and of course they'll probably still rank from natural links unrelated to this company's work. As a real SEO this stuff pisses me off... real SEO costs money and we get calls all day long for SEO for $50 or some other low number they were told they could get it for from some rip off house. It's a shame.


 12:59 am on Jul 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

also BTW the domain name is horrible... PayPal was eBay's only good move... and they do a horrible job with customer service / service in general with PayPal. Furthermore x.com was a great domain name they didn't brand at all. X as in X-FER (transfer)


 1:06 am on Jul 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

one thing you might take into consideration: unlike craigslist, which is a is a u.s.-only phenomenon, kijiji is already well known outside the u.s.
i was pretty amazed that you didn't hear of them before and that they enter the u.s. market only now because for instance they are advertising since years on adwords germany and i suppose so they do it worldwide. apparently they saved up the american market in a final step because of the one big competitor.
craigslist is virtually u.s. only. no one advertises in craigslist in other parts of the world because they a) simply don't support foreign languages and b) don't advertise. that's very poor marketing. laziness will get punished..


 9:30 am on Jul 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

plus, craigslist is one hell of a good example why web design apparently don't matter - but nevertheless i'd predict certain difficulties when it comes to capturing foreign markets with a for them "brand new" product in 2007 ;)


 9:59 pm on Jul 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

What a terribly disguisting name for a site not only is it a nightmare with regards to spelling & prun-unounce-a-ciation it even looks bad when you spell it out.....maybe this time aiming for a brander domain was a big mistake, I couldnt be bothered trying to type it in for fear 99% of the time I will end up on a landing page, who pays these guys......


 11:33 am on Jul 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Kijiji? What kind of domain is that. I think it is one of those domains which would have remained unreserved for years to come. The same goes to Google. :)


 3:09 pm on Jul 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Same goes for Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia, Orkut, which are all well known now, right?


 7:54 pm on Jul 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Same goes for Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia, Orkut"

These as examples look at them very closely what have they all got in common? There pronounceable on first look....now look at ebays new creation:

Kijiji straight away your eyes play tricks on you between the i`s and the j`s and how its pronounced will be varied - hence not to rememeberable straight off and isnt that what makes branders.....?

google`s a nice open looking word and rolls of the tongue....kijiji makes me spit trying to say it.....lol

craigslist is easy to remember....its a list and it belongs to craig...(weak i know lol)

wikipedia is an intelligent looking word easy to pronounce and straight away rings media....

orkut is short and sharp.....pronounceable on first look....

why assume that just because its ebay that they are right in there choice.....maybe they choose the name as it would be possible to get there hands on tld extensions....for the reg price....

one more thing how many people will type in kigigi when it passes by word of mouth....? but hay brain wave over it points at ebaydns.com

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