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Gumtree's Logo as of 2016
Type of site
Gumtree.com, known as Gumtree, is a British 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 the Eucalyptus tree, was chosen as a word that linked the three communities (even though the gum tree in South Africa is a completely different type to the variety 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 already was available in multiple cities in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, Poland, France, Canada, Australia (Gumtree Australia), Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa (Gumtree South Africa) and Hong Kong.
On 7 January 2016, Gumtree's re-branding was published on their website and respective apps.
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, increasing its coverage across 31 cities
- August 2007: Gumtree expands to the United States, targeting expat communities in New York, Boston and Chicago. The company intends to pitch its service at the two million British, Australian and Polish expatriates in the United States.
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.
Gumtree has an extensive social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, with 35,000 and 471,000 followers, respectively. Gumtree uses social media to communicate news and information about the brand as well as launch competitions and promotions.
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 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, 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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- Child, Ben (2 October 2013). "Kevin Smith's next horror film is based on ... a Gumtree ad". The Guardian.
- "Cambridge scientist used Gumtree to target and blackmail children, court hears as he is labelled one of UK's worst sex offenders". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2020.