|Slogan||Your local noticeboard|
|Type of site||Classifieds|
Gumtree.com is an online classifieds and community website. Classified ads are either free or paid for depending on the product category and the geographical market. It is now the UK's largest website for local community classifieds and is one of the top 30 websites in the UK, receiving around 8 million monthly unique visitors and reaching 17.9% of the U.K.'s online audience. Gumtree was founded in March 2000 by Michael Pennington and Simon Crookall as a local London classified ads and community site, designed to connect Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans who were either planning to move, or had just arrived in the city, and needed help getting started with accommodation, employment and meeting new people. In May 2005, Gumtree was acquired by eBay’s classifieds group, for an undisclosed sum. At the time of the acquisition, Gumtree already was available in multiple cities in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, Poland, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Hong Kong.
Although Gumtree’s largest category of classifieds adverts is still goods for sale, with up to 2 million ads being posted every month. The site is also home to around 200,000 motors listings across the UK at any one time, and is also the second largest UK listings site for jobs and the third largest for property.
Gumtree has an extensive social media presence, active on both Twitter and Facebook with 200,000 and 15,000 followers respectively. Gumtree uses its social media presence to communicate news and information about the brand as well as launching competitions and promotions.
Although predominantly a free listings website, Gumtree allows its users to promote their adverts by ‘featuring’ them on the site. Different types of featured advert can be bought for different prices. Users can place their advert at the top of the search page as a featured or urgent advert or on the homepage as a spotlight advert. They are also able to ‘bump up’ their adverts in the listings, boosting them in the site’s search rankings.
In more recent years, Gumtree has extended its service to business customers as well as the general public. The site began selling classified advertising packages to companies looking to post multiple job vacancies and properties with this contributing to the company’s growth of listings and revenue, in 2013 Gumtree extended their bulk classifieds listings accounts to car dealers. In 2010, Gumtree launched its Gumtree Media website to publicise its services to potential business clients. The site showcases paid classified listings options as well as display advertising on the Gumtree site. Gumtree allows advertisers to post display advertising in the form of banners, rich media and homepage takeovers.
The Gumtree Walrus
In June 2013 an advert was posted on Gumtree offering a rent-free accommodation to a lodger that would be prepared to dress and act like a walrus. The advert was shared around various sites such as Buzzfeed and Mashable and caught the eye of Hollywood director Kevin Smith. Smith will use this ad as his inspiration for his upcoming movie: Tusk which will tell the story of an evil scientist who plans to sew a human permanently into a walrus suit.
Fraud and scam using Gumtree
The Guardian newspaper reported that flat-hunters fall victim to costly rent deposit scam using Gumtree. A London landlord was ripping off prospective tenants by taking deposits and then charging a fortune to check references.
In April 2008, The Journal reported that "Gumtree scams continue to target international students", where students continued to be targeted by fraudsters offering to rent nonexistent flats by using this site.
On 2 October 2008, a BBC News Investigation claimed, "Prospective tenants are being conned out of thousands of pounds in an elaborate Internet scam using Gumtree".
In 2008, Gumtree was featured on BBC Watchdog for being a medium of money transfer scam. The flat hunters are the victim of this scam. Gumtree claims that it is an "industry-wide problem that affects a small number of their users".
On 9 November 2009, BBC news warned over bogus landlord scam using Gumtree.
Actionfraud, a service run by the National Fraud Authority UK, issued a warning on 30 July 2010: "Scam targets potential tenants on Gumtree. A number of would-be tenants have lost money after replying to a new wave of bogus adverts for rental accommodation on the website, Gumtree."
Significant developments in Gumtree’s international expansion beyond the UK include:
- September 2004: Gumtree launches a site in Warsaw, Poland.
- May 2005: Gumtree launches a site in Berlin, Germany.
- June 2005: Gumtree expands into Italy, with sites in Rome and Milan, Italy, increasing its coverage across 31 cities.
- August 2007: Gumtree expands to the US, targeting expat communities in New York, Boston and Chicago. The company intends to pitch its service at the 2 million British, Australian and Polish expatriates in the US.
The Gumtree service is available in English and Polish, and additional languages through its partner websites.
- "Flat-hunters fall victim to costly rent deposit scam", Guardian.co.uk
- "Gumtree scams continue to target international students", Journal-Online.co.uk
- Morris, Nigel. "Internet fraudsters in rent scam". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- BBC Watchdog "Flat-hunter's transfer trap", BBC.co.uk
- BBC News "Warning over bogus landlord scam", BBC.co.uk
- Actionfraud "Warning – Scam targets potential tenants on Gumtree", Actionfraud.org.uk
- "Gumtree plans pan-European roll-out of classified ad forum", NMA.co.uk, February 10, 2005.
- Julian Mattocks "Gumtree.com to expand into three new cities", NewFox.com.
- Jemima Kiss "Gumtree comes to America", Guardian.co.uk, August 14, 2007.
- Gumtree Australia
- Gumtree Hong Kong
- Gumtree Ireland
- Gumtree Poland
- Gumtree Singapore
- Gumtree SG's blog
- Gumtree South Africa
- Gumtree SA's Blog
- Gumtree New Zealand
- Gumtree UK
- olx Gumtree
- Gumtree UK's Facebook page
- Gumtree UK's Twitter page
- Gumtree UK's blog
- Gumtree UK's Linkedin page