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Type of site
|Classifieds, e-commerce site|
Gumtree.com, known as Gumtree, is a British-based online classified advertisement and community website based at Hotham House, Richmond, London. Classified ads are either free or paid for depending on the product category and the geographical market. As of November 2010, it was the UK's largest website for local community classifieds and was one of the top 30 websites in the UK, receiving 14.8 million monthly unique visitors according to a traffic audit in 2010.
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. The term 'gum tree', the local Australian phrase for eucalyptus trees in general, was chosen as a word that linked the three communities (even though the gum trees found in South Africa are introduced species, whereas gum trees occur natively in Australia and New Zealand). The founders also felt it reflected the roots and branches of a real community.
In May 2005, Gumtree was acquired by eBay's classifieds group for an undisclosed sum; however, eBay disclosed that it paid a collective $81.6 million for three classified sites: Gumtree, LoQUo and opusforum (with Gumtree being the largest). At the time of the acquisition, Gumtree was available in multiple cities in United Kingdom, Poland, France, Canada, Australia (Gumtree Australia), Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Hong Kong.
On 7 January 2016, Gumtree's re-branding, including updated logo was published on their website and respective apps.
Expansion beyond the UK include:
- September 2004: Gumtree launched a site in Warsaw, Poland.
- May 2005: Gumtree launched a site in Berlin, Germany.
- June 2005: Gumtree expanded into Italy, with sites in Rome and Milan, increasing its coverage across 31 cities.
- August 2007: Gumtree expanded to the United States, targeting expat communities in New York, Boston and Chicago. Services targeted the two million British, Australian and Polish expatriates in the country.
While the largest category of advertisements on Gumtree is "goods for sale," the site is also home to around 200,000 motors listings across the UK at any one time.
Although predominantly a free listings website, Gumtree provides users with paid promotional options for increased advert visibility, such as going to the top of the listings.
In more recent years[when?], Gumtree has extended its service to business customers. The site began selling classified advertising packages to companies looking to post multiple job vacancies and properties.
In 2013, Gumtree extended bulk classifieds listings accounts to car dealers. In 2010, Gumtree launched its Gumtree Media website to publicize its services to potential business clients. The site showcases paid classified listings options as well as display advertising on the Gumtree site.
In 2018, Gumtree introduced a ratings system, for buyers and sellers, and also launched a Keep Gumtree Real campaign "which aims to improve the user experience by encouraging trust and responsibility".
In popular culture
In June 2013 an advert was posted on Gumtree offering a rent-free accommodation to a lodger who 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, who used the ad as his inspiration for his 2014 film, Tusk, a story of an evil scientist who plans to permanently sew a human into a walrus suit.
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