Gumtree fills a gap in between ebay ads which are typically created by businesses and facebook buy-sell-swap groups that tend to be localised or special interest. The use of the auction feature which ebay was so well known for has taken a secondary place with items nearly always having a ‘buy now’ option so that you can instantly complete the sale and not worry about getting an auction deal.
Gumtree classifieds is a local market for used items
Though ebay had its origins as a ‘sell your old junk’ website that people everywhere listed on over time it has increased fees and become filled with businesses selling items. It is noticeable abundant with low cost exporters selling internationally who create vast ebay stores of items for sale.
Gumtree is restricted to local residents
Gumtree though has filters and protection setup to ensure that it is difficult for someone outside of Australia to post an ad onto the Australian Gumtree website. This has had the effect of keeping out the international sellers and coupled with Gumtrees marketing which focuses on the ’empty your garage and house of valuable stuff’ a casual look through any given category will reveal predominantly local and often second hand items for sale.
Gumtree is a good place for cheap and second hand
Don’t expect that everyone that contacts you from a Gumtree ad is keen to pay premium prices, it’s fair to assume people are on Gumtree looking for a bargain. If someone wants to pay full price for a new tv/lounge/bike/car/thing then they’ll probably go to a retail shop instead.
Creating a listing on Gumtree
The process to create an ad on Gumtree is a bit simpler than ebay too which I think helps ensure non-technical people will use it. Plus you can post an ad FOR FREE!
You can see in the screenshot below, once I’ve clicked on home and garden / appliances and scrolled past the ads I’m presented with listings that are nearest me by default.
These are not ads for expensive or new things, we’re looking at ads written by people who have stuff they want to get out of their house.
A little gumtree history
Gumtree was founded in March 2000 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.
Yep, Gumtree is owned by Ebay and has been since 2005. They don’t make it too obvious in that the Gumtree branding is fairly true to its origins and it’s likely they will leave it that way so that the Gumtree brand isn’t diluted.
10 Steps to creating an ad on Gumtree
Let’s assume you’ve taken a few photos of something you want to sell and are ready to list it on Gumtree. You can download the Gumtree app for iphone/android and that works really well and is especially convenient if the photos are on your phone already or use the website interface to create the listing. I’ll walk you through the ten steps to creating an ad on Gumtree.
Click on Post an Ad
Choose a category
Choose a sub category
Choose the option to sell an item
Select a free ad, or paid if you want featured placement.
Enter your price, title and description
Use relevant keywords as much as possible and make sure the price is reasonable compared to any others available.
Upload up to 10 images and add contact details
The more images you have the better. If there are 10 possible aspects to show of an item then use all ten image slots.
Then fill in the contact details with your name, mobile, email and address.
Post your ad now
Login or signup for an account
The ad is live and complete
You can edit it if you need to and now hopefully there are people looking for the thing you want to sell.
There is an option to link your paypal account to the listing as well which may make it easier to get paid.
Creating a listing is pretty easy and once you are logged in and have done one any subsequent listings are even faster.
The process explained above is available as a Google Slideshow on How to create Gumtree Ads, here.
Gumtree as a search engine strategy
Gumtree ads and categories can rate quite well in Google for some topics so as a search engine positioning strategy it may generate visitors to your ad and potential phone calls.
Google search for ‘office desks newcastle’
Gumtree is in position 2 and 3.
Google search for ‘cheap lounge newcastle’
Gumtree in 1st and 2nd position.
There are plenty of searches that gumtree isn’t going to be on first page for so test some and see what you get. For topics that are not well contested it’s quite common for location searches. If the businesses in an industry niche haven’t done much with their websites or there is not a lot of demand then a Gumtree listing or category can be indexed and ranked by Google.